From NAIA.org | KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After becoming the winningest coach in NAIA history and capturing the 2022 NAIA National Championship in the same season, Spring Arbor (Mich.) head coach Jason Crist was named the 2022 Select Sport America NAIA Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year. This is the third time Crist has received the honor in his career, the last in 2017.
Crist led his team to its third national championship in program history with a thrilling 1-0 victory over conference rival Marian (Ind.) back on December 5, 2022.
The Cougars started off the season with a pair of big wins before snagging a pair of 0-0 draws in back-to-back neutral site contests to Cumberlands (Ky.) and Embry-Riddle (Ariz.), both of which finished their seasons at the NAIA National Championship Tournament Final Site in Orange Beach, Ala. Four consecutive wins, however, put Spring Arbor back on track for a big season. Though the team picked-up its only loss, a 2-1 decision to Marian, the Cougars avenged it in the title game just two months later.
In addition to the impressive season, postseason honors flooded -in for Spring Arbor as Becca Mindling, Blair Currie, Mackenzie Selvius, Ariana Stoltzfus and Madison Marshall were all named All-America selections. Crist now sits at 384 career victories, Eclipsing former Oklahoma City University head Coach Brian Harvey.
In addition to all of the player accolades collected, Becca Mindling was named the NAIA Championship Most Valuable Player while goalkeeper Blair Currie was named the NAIA Championship Outstanding Defensive Player.
The 2022 Select Sport America-NAIA National Coach of the Year is voted on by the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches Association and is announced at the annual National Convention. To be eligible, a head coach must be selected as their conference or unaffiliated group coach of the year or lead their team to the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Final Site.