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McColl to leave Daemen to accept Houghton College vacancy

The college soccer off-season is less than a month old, but there's already been significant activity in the coaching carousel.

Daemen College head coach Bobby McColl has accepted the same position at Houghton College, effective Dec. 7, athletic departments from both schools announced.

"The decision to leave Daemen was a tough one and not one that was made lightly," McColl stated in a release. "Ultimately, I believe this to be the best decision for my family as it grows and my children get older."

In three seasons with the Wildcats, McColl posted a 14-38 record in the early stages of the program's transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. His 2018 side finished 5-12, including a nine-game losing skid where Daemen did not win for more than a month.

"It was a shocking thing to hear," admitted Daemen junior Noah Keem, a graduate of Sweet Home, in a message. "I wasn’t excepting it at all; it’s tough for all of the players. I wish [McColl] the best of luck in the future and look forward to whoever Daemen brings in."

Although his squads failed to reach an East Coast Conference postseason, his international recruiting - mixed with a group of local signings - brought diversity to the college's athletics program and produced a more European soccer style of building from the back and keeping the ball. Players on the Daemen roster hailed from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Scotland and Italy.

Before his tenure at Daemen, McColl coached the women's team at Roberts Wesleyan College, a Christian college similar to Houghton.

Daemen graduate assistant Ross Stewart, a former Wildcat himself, will handle the daily coaching responsibilities until the school names a successor, athletics director Traci Murphy confirmed in a press release. A search for the new head coach begins immediately.

McColl fills the void at Houghton after previous head coach Matthew Webb accepted the role of athletics director at the college after the 2018 season. Webb coached the Highlanders, based in Allegany County, for 15 seasons.

McColl's departure comes just two weeks after Medaille confirmed that head coach Micky Blythe had been removed from his role.

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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