Ben Williams Hired as Women’s Soccer Head Coach

NACOGDOCHES, Texas- Stephen F. Austin announced Tuesday afternoon that Ben Williams has been named head coach of the women’s soccer program. He becomes the 10th head coach to lead the SFA women’s program.

“It’s a great day for SFA and our soccer program as we welcome Ben as our new head coach,” said Ryan Ivey, SFA Director of Athletics.  “Since its inception, our women’s soccer program has proven to be successful on and off the field.  As such, we wanted to ensure that we found a leader that embodies our Axe ‘Em core values and can grow and elevate our program to new heights.  

“I am confident we found that individual in Ben Williams.  He is a hard working, passionate, energetic coach that will build upon the success of our soccer program and assist us in our vision of being the leading mid-major athletics department in the Nation.”

Williams is ready for the new opportunity, “I am incredibly excited to join the SFA Athletics family and looking forward to leading the Women’s soccer program. I cannot wait to begin this adventure with the student athletes, coaches, and support staff to build a culture of excellence in Nacogdoches. I am extremely grateful to Ryan Ivey, and the rest of the committee in putting their faith and trust in me. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the vision and resources are all here to be successful and build something that the SFA soccer community can be proud of.”

This past season Williams was at University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) as an Associate Head Coach where he was in charge of recruiting for the Roadrunners. He was announced as the UTSA associate head coach on March 22, 2023 by head coach Derek Pittman, joining the Roadrunners after two years at Miami (OH), including the most recent season as the associate coach for the RedHawks. 

Williams spent two seasons at Miami (OH), joining the team as an assistant coach in 2021 before being elevated to the associate job in 2022. While working with the RedHawks, he helped lead them to their most wins since 2016 in both seasons. He also helped coach Miami (OH) to eight All Mid-American Conference honors in the past two seasons. 

Before joining the RedHawks, Williams was the Girls’ ECNL Director and Coach at Albion Hurricanes FC since July 2017, while also working as the AHFC Royals WPSL as a head coach.

In his time with Albion Hurricanes FC, the club was top-ranked and highest ranking of 30th, having 90 athletes recruited into the college ranks during his tenure. He also mentored multiple youth and full national team players, including players for the United States, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Africa, and Mexico. 

Prior to the Albion Hurricanes, Williams first coached in the college ranks as a volunteer assistant coach at Oklahoma State University from 2015-2017. While in Stillwater, he helped the Cowgirls to two Big 12 Tournament Appearances and a 2016 NCAA Tournament appearance. 

The Liverpool, England, native graduated from Oklahoma Wesleyan in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. He played all four years for the Eagles, winning three regular season conference championships and two conference tournament championships. Oklahoma Wesleyan went to four national tournaments and made it to the Elite 8 in his junior year. Williams also played two seasons in the Premier Development League for Vermont Voltage. He holds a USSF A License, NSCAA Premier License, NSCAA Level 3 Goalkeeping Diploma.

What others are saying around the country:

James Armstrong, Head Coach at Mississippi State

This is a great hire by SFA. Ben does a fantastic job in developing players and creating a winning culture. He is a great recruiter who has the benefit of having existing relationships in the Texas market.

 G Guerrieri, Head Coach at Texas A&M 

Coach Ben Williams is a brilliant hire for SFA as the next head soccer coach who can resurrect the high status of the Lumberjack soccer program to the very top of their conference. Ben is a man of high character with great coaching qualities, recruiting skills and connections. So, I’m sure there will be an immediate influx of new talented players coming into the Piney Woods campus and a big bump in the enthusiasm and playing level of the players already there. 

Colin Carmichael, Head Coach at Oklahoma State 

Ben is a terrific coach who will bring a ton of passion and energy to the SFA soccer program.  His ability to identify, recruit, and coach elite players will enhance the team immediately.  Ben’s drive and work ethic is contagious, and his players and the soccer program will thrive under his direction. 

Nate Norman, Head Coach at Notre Dame 

What a fantastic hire by Stephen F. Austin.  Ben is one of the brightest and smartest coaches in the game.  He is a tireless recruiter and will be able to quickly elevate the program.  The players will love playing for him and Stephen F. Austin will quickly become a very attractive place for any recruit to go to school at.

Troy Fabiano, Head Coach at Kentucky

Fantastic hire for SFA, Ben’s knowledge of the recruiting landscape, ability to connect and develop players will allow for the program to be successful on and off the field. 

Show your support to Coach Williams and Lumberjack Soccer here.

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By: Amanda Paver, SFA Assistant Director for Strategic Communications