Neil Stafford signs 4-year contract extension

Central Michigan women's soccer head coch Neil Stafford was asked Wednesday by a 2014 recruit’s parent whether he would be coaching CMU by the time that recruit arrived.

Stafford can confidently say yes after signing a new four-year contract Thursday.

That recruit verbally committed to CMU later that day.

After leading the CMU’s women soccer team to its best winning percentage in school history with .786 in his first season as head coach, Stafford has received a four-year contract extension.

“I feel great, I’m really honored,” Stafford said. “Central Michigan is a great place for student-athletes and professionals to grow and achieve their goals."

In 2011, Stafford helped coach CMU to a 15-3-3 record, including road victories over Wisconsin and Louisville while extending its home winning streak to 33 games.

Stafford isn’t satisfied with the record-breaking season.

“It was kind of anti-climatic,” Stafford said. “You say to yourself, 'Was it a success?' Some people say yes you broke records, we only gave up seven conference goals. We still have that feeling in our stomachs that we didn’t achieve everything we wanted.”

Stafford’s new contract replaces his previous one and will run through 2015 with a base salary of $66,500.

On and off the field, the Chippewas excelled having eight players earn All-Mid American Conference Academic honors as well as having five athletes earn All-MAC honors on the field.

Stafford is taking his coaching staff to a retreat later this weekend to go over season goals and offseason plans. There is a list of goals Stafford already has in mind.

“Our expectations is that we finish in the top two every year in the MAC,” Stafford said. “Be in contention to make the NCAA tournament every year. I’d love to see CMU get into a Sweet 16 scenario. Our ambition is to be in the top 30 nationally every year.”

Stafford originally came to CMU as an assistant coach in 2009 after leaving Assumption College as the all-time winningest coach.


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