Wednesday, January 7, 2009


WEATHERFORD -- The coach who built winning programs at three different Oklahoma colleges has been hired by Southwestern Oklahoma State University to do the very same for its women's soccer program.

Mark Persson, who has been the head women's coach at Southern Nazarene University for the past three seasons, emerged as SWOSU's choice from a deep and talented applicant pool according to athletic director Todd Thurman. Persson takes over for Joe Bradley who resigned after eight seasons at SWOSU.

"We are very excited to hire Mark as our women's soccer coach," Thurman said. "His knowledge, energy and passion for soccer are great characteristics that will help us build our program into a competitive Lone Star Conference and NCAA Division II team."

Persson (41) has spent 12 years as both a high school and college coach in the state of Oklahoma, the last eight at Southern Nazarene. At SNU, he initially served as the men's head coach and posted a 100-33-14 in eight-plus years. His teams made five consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament and advanced to in the National Final 4 in 2005. He then served in the dual capacity as both the men's and women's head coach in the 2006 and 2007 before exclusively coaching the women in 2008.

This season the SNU women finished with a 14-2-3 record and were ranked as high as No. 13 in the final NAIA poll. The SNU women went 32-19-7 in three years under Persson, included back-to-back winning seasons in 2007 and 2008.

"I am eager and excited to take over the soccer program at SWOSU and hope that I can have an impact on the success of our student-athletes both academically and athletically," Persson said. "The school has a number of strong academic programs which is certainly an attraction for any young student athlete. My plan is to build the program into a consistent contender in the Lone Star Conference and one that is competitive at the national level."

Go to the SWO Website for the complete story.

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