STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University women's soccer coach Neil Macdonald has been re-assigned within the university's athletic department, Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin announced Tuesday. The search for a new coach to lead the Bulldog soccer program will begin immediately.
Macdonald led Mississippi State to a 58-103-14 record during his nine seasons as the Bulldog head coach. He will remain on the athletic staff through the conclusion of his coaching contract, June 30.
This past season, his squad finished 9-10-1 and wrapped the season with a 3-2 win against rival Ole Miss to claim the Magnolia Cup.
The 2012 Bulldogs opened the year with an eight-game unbeaten streak, a mark that matched the 2009 squad's 8-0 start for the best opening to a season in school history.
"We appreciate the nine years Neil has given Mississippi State as head of our soccer program," Stricklin said. "Neil was a tireless worker and gave soccer everything he had both as an assistant on our staff and then as head coach. We just felt a change in leadership was needed to guide our program to the ultimate goal we have for all of our student-athletes -- to win consistently in the Southeastern Conference and compete for championships."
In 2011, MSU secured its most SEC victories since 2004, including upsets of two Top 20 teams for the first time since 2003, his first season as an assistant coach on the Bulldog staff.
The third head coach in the program, Macdonald took over the head coaching reigns at the start of preseason training for the 2004 season. He became Mississippi State soccer's most-successful rookie head coach, taking the team to nine victories and an SEC Tournament berth.
Macdonald came to Mississippi State in 2003 as a volunteer assistant coach under long-time friend Neil McGuire. Macdonald was promoted to a full-time assistant, and he helped the 2003 squad turn in a program-best 0.86 goals against average.That team finished the year 9-8-3 and recorded the program's first wins over nationally-ranked teams, including a victory over No. 6 Florida.