Seven-Time Conference Coach of the Year Kanute Drugan Takes Reins of Shorewomen Soccer
CHESTERTOWN, MD -- This fall, the Washington College women's soccer team will embark on its 15th varsity season and its first with a head coach devoted exclusively to one sport. That coach is one of the winningest women's soccer coaches in NCAA Division III history - Kanute Drugan. Director of Athletics Dr. Bryan Matthews officially announced Drugan's hire earlier today.
Drugan spent the last 15 seasons at Aurora University in Illinois, where he compiled an outstanding win-loss record of 229-85-13 and guided the Spartans to 12 conference championships and eight NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. His 229 wins rank 27th all-time in NCAA Division III women's soccer history. His winning percentage of .720 ranks 23rd all-time in Division III and 50th all-time across all three NCAA Divisions.
"I am excited about this opportunity and about the future of women's soccer at Washington College," states Drugan. "I am humbled and grateful for the faith and confidence Dr. Matthews demonstrated in offering me this opportunity. I am impressed with his effort and the efforts of everyone involved during my hiring process. I feel welcomed by all. It is a tremendous honor and I feel blessed to be a part of the Washington College community."
"To all our current players and alumni, please know I will do all I can to provide the direction and leadership required to help our women's soccer program realize our full potential and achieve our individual and collective goals."
Drugan's first nine seasons were Aurora's last nine as a member of the Northern Illinois Iowa Conference (NIIC) and the Spartans won the NIIC Championship in six of those seasons - 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2005. In 2006, Aurora moved to the newly-formed Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) and the Spartans won each of that league's first six conference championships under Drugan. He was named the NIIC's Coach of the Year four times (1997, 1999, 2000, 2005) and the NAC's Coach of the Year three times (2006, 2007, 2010).
In addition to leading Aurora to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, Drugan coached the Spartans to final national rankings of ninth in 2002 and 25th in 2007. Aurora finished the season regionally-ranked eight times in his final 10 seasons as head coach.
Under Drugan's guidance, Spartan student-athletes earned 93 All-Conference first-team awards, 13 All-Region awards, 12 Conference Player of the Year awards, and one All-America honor. They also excelled in the classroom, boasting the highest team grade-point average among all of Aurora's varsity sports during each of Drugan's 15 seasons and annually earning a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) College Team Academic Award.
A leader in the coaching community, Drugan served seven years on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for the Central Region, eight years as his conference's women's soccer committee chair, and nine years as the soccer commissioner for the City of Aurora Sports Festival.
In addition to coaching women's soccer, Drugan fulfilled a variety of other duties during his tenure at Aurora, including over 11 years as the Athletic Recruitment Coordinator, eight years as assistant and - later - associate head coach for men's basketball, and a two-month stint as interim head coach for women's basketball.
Prior to arriving at Aurora, Drugan accumulated extensive soccer coaching experience in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL), and Illinois Women's Soccer League (IWSL). He also spent 16 seasons as an AAU basketball head coach, posting a record of 258-150 and leading both boys and girls teams to AAU National and Regional Championships.
Drugan graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English and Government from Ohio University in 1977. He was a four-sport athlete while attending Southern Local High School in Ohio.
Drugan replaces Julika Blankenship as the Shorewomen's head coach. Blankenship spent the last four years coaching both the women's soccer and women's lacrosse teams at Washington College. She will continue to coach the women's lacrosse team.
"I am confident that, in the future, we will look back on these last few weeks and remember them as an important time in the history of our women's soccer program," notes Dr. Matthews. "Washington College made a great step forward by separating the women's soccer and lacrosse head coaching positions and it would have been hard to imagine a more outstanding coach to take over the program than Coach Drugan."