After just a few weeks of searching, Mississippi State Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin found his new soccer coach.
On Tuesday, Aaron Gordon was announced as the fourth head coach of the MSU women’s soccer program.
The Red Raiders won a school-record 16 games in that season and earned their first berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Before TTU, Gordon coach all over Texas, as well three years as an assistant coach of the Atlanta Beat in the professional-level Women’s United Soccer Association.
Gordon anticipates hi ties across the southeast and even into the west will help him in recruiting to Starkville.
His main goal in doing so, he said, will be to educate players across the country about what MSU can do for them.
“Once we start to educate, we’ll be able to get anybody we want,” Gordon said.
One of the many benefits of MSU, he says, is the location, being within a day’s drive or less of anything from the Atlantic Ocean to the heart of Texas.
Asked about his style of play on the field, whether it’s attacking, defensive or anything in between, he replied with one word.
“Winning,” Gordon said. “I’d like to win.”
But to elaborate, Gordon said his system is dependent on the players he has.
He conceded the phrase to be a cliché, but said you can’t force a square peg into a round hole. Gordon will build a system around his players, meaning the style is subject to change, and in his eyes, the style which gives him the best chance to win.
MSU’s soccer team has been strong in the non-conference, but has struggled to break through in the SEC in recent years, playing competitively in close games, but falling short of the SEC tournament.
Gordon feels MSU’s current state is certainly better than what TTU was like when he was a part of the staff to take over a failing Red Raider program.
Before his staff took over, TTU had won two Big XII games in 10 years. In his first year as an assistant with the new staff, the Raiders won five in the conference.
Gordon hopes to draw on his experience from Lubbock as he builds his program in Starkville.
He will do so with the help of his wife Ashley, who has been an assistant for TTU and will join her husband’s staff at MSU.
Gordon’s first goal at MSU, he said, will be to build a bridge to the current team, cultivate a relationship with those girls and begin to formulate their plans for success.
While the Lady Bulldogs have never been a powerhouse in the SEC, Gordon believes the program is in a good place and that he can build it up higher from where it is.
“Without question,” Gordon said, “the fact that Mississippi State participates in the SEC makes them a relevant soccer team. Period.”