SHERIDAN — The new Sheridan College soccer program has its first coach.
Stefan Skillman, a goalkeeper specialist, will coach the women’s soccer team.
An individual has also been offered the men’s coaching position, but SC personnel are awaiting background checks before releasing the person’s name.
Skillman, 25, has worked with the coaching staffs of the men’s and women’s teams at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., since July of 2011.
He focused on goalkeeper coaching while with the NAIA Dakota Wesleyan teams, and prior to that, was an assistant coach at Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“We’re thrilled to announce the hiring of Stefan to our Generals staff,” SC Athletic Director Steve Smiley said Thursday morning. “Stefan is a young, driven coach that is extremely active and passionate about the game of soccer and well respected by his peers in the profession.
“He’s exactly the type of coach that we were looking for to begin a new program; energetic, knowledgeable, and understanding of the monumental task at hand. Stefan will hit the ground running and begin building our Lady Generals program immediately.”
Interest in both the men’s and women’s jobs was through the roof, Smiley said, as they eventually had to stop accepting applications.
He said Skillman stood out above the other applicants because of his knowledge of the game, bringing a combination of work ethic and soccer intelligence.
Smiley reiterated that Skillman was extremely well-respected by his peers at his young age.
The SC soccer program’s first season will be this fall, and new coaches will now rush to catch up in the recruiting game.
“In a lot of ways we’re behind the eight ball,” Smiley said. “But, the silver lining is, in Wyoming — obviously we want to recruit a lot of in-state kids — we’re right in-season, and a lot of those kids haven’t played their senior season out or made a decision yet.”
Smiley pointed out that when he was hired as men’s basketball coach, he had two weeks to fill out half of his team in late August before practice started.
“It’s a challenge, that’s why in Stefan’s instance, it’s good because he’s so proactive,” Smiley said.