(Argo Athletics Media Release)
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – After reviewing over 80 applications and interviewing a handful of candidates, the University of Providence athletic department has named a new Head Men’s Soccer Coach, dropping the interim tag from Matt Ball’s title, and naming him as the team’s new head coach. Ball has been the program’s Interim Head Coach since the job became open on December 18.
Before being named the interim, Ball was an assistant coach for the Argos during the summer and fall of 2017, giving him a familiarity with the team, the department, the university, and the conference.
“After reviewing a number of candidates and closely reviewing Matt’s work, it became clear to us that he is the man to move this program in the direction it needs to go,” Vice President for Athletics Dave Gantt said. “He is well liked, and well respected across campus. He already knows what is expected of the program, and his experience as a player and coach in collegiate soccer has him ready to lead an NAIA team.”
During the 2017 season, Ball served under former head coach Joseph Yeisley as the team’s primary assistant and as the team’s goalkeeper coach. He also established himself in the Great Falls community, serving as the head coach of the Montana Rush Boys U19 team, who he led to a runner-up finish in the 2017 Montana Cup.
Even before the interim tag was removed, Ball has already spent the past month putting together the team’s 2018 recruiting class and planning the program’s offseason workouts and spring practices.
“I feel very privileged and honored to be given the opportunity to take up this position on a permanent basis. The entire athletic department has been extremely helpful and friendly ever since I first arrived and you couldn’t ask for a better environment to work in,” Ball said. “I’m thankful for the faith shown in me by the hiring committee and look forward to building upon the successful tradition of the program.”
Despite missing the playoffs during a rebuilding year in 2017, Argo soccer has established itself as one of the top programs in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, finishing as the CCC Tournament runner-up in 2015 and 2016. The team has made three trips to the NAIA Tournament in its 16-year history, most recently in 2015.
Prior to joining the Argos as an assistant coach, Ball spent two years as the Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach with NAIA school Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Ill., helping the team reach the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Finals in 2015. While in Chicago, Ball also served as the head coach for the Chicago Fire Juniors.
From 2012-15 Ball worked as the Assistant Regional Director for UK International Soccer, as well as coaching a number of other youth club programs.
Ball was a four-year starting goalkeeper for NCAA Division II Oakland City University. During his time at OCU, he was named to the 2010 NCAA DII Midwest Team of the Year and helped lead his team to a berth in the NCCAA National Championships in 2011.