There's a new challenge ahead for head coach Gary Boughton.
After leading the Erie Community College women's team to the NJCAA Division 3 national title game in 2016, finishing fifth place nationally in 2017 and seizing the top ranking in the national polls for much of 2018, Boughton has accepted the head coaching job for the women's team at Trine University in Angola, Ind. The move takes effect Jan. 18.
The Trine Thunder, an NCAA Division III program, will be Boughton's first NCAA head coaching gig after five years with the JUCO Kats. His new program, which went 5-11-1 last season, competes in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA).
After inheriting an ECC side that had won just once in 2013, Boughton - a fixture in the local club coaching ranks - capitalized on his local connections to rapidly change the complexion of the team - as well as the program's results.
[Read also: Medaille College names new men's head coach]
"When I began coaching the Women’s Soccer Team there were several goals I had in mind which I felt would measure my success," Boughton wrote in his announcement on Facebook.
"Leaving the program in a better place than when I started was just a small one that I hope I have achieved. It will forever haunt me that we were not able to win the National Championship under my leadership, however I can take solace in knowing that the young women I worked with here at Erie, day in and day out, will be honorable representatives within the community, within their families, and in their futures."
In the past, the Lancaster High School and Medaille College product played professionally for FC New York, two separate stints with amateur side FC Buffalo and also with the Rochester River Dogz. He's a longtime member of the Clarence Coyotes of the Buffalo & District Soccer League, too.