Delaware State University officially announced the hiring of Kortney Rhoades as its new women’s soccer head coach in July of 2016, making her the sixth coach in program history.
“I’m super excited for the opportunity to come to DSU,” said Rhoades, who comes over from Division II Colorado Mesa after spending two seasons as an assistant coach. “I get to come home and I think if anything, the biggest draw is that I get to bring my experiences from South Carolina where I played and Colorado Mesa. You can’t really beat that.”
Athletic Director Louis “Skip” Perkins, meanwhile, is thrilled about what the Wilmington, Del., native will bring to the table both now and for the future of the program.
“We’re really excited that Kortney is here at DSU. Her enthusiasm and energy combined with the experience she has a player and coach will definitely enhance our program going forward.”
Rhoades replaces DSU’s all-time wins leader (15) in Kerri Scroope, who was named the head coach at Pacific back in February. In three seasons under Scroope, the Hornets enjoyed the most success in program history, highlighted by back-to-back Independent Conference Tournament championships the previous two seasons. In 2015, the Hornets set program single-season best marks for most wins (8), victories in a row (4), games played (20), goals (36), points (91), shots (235) and shots on-goal (110).
“My goal is to continue the growth that Coach Scroope was able to do while she was here,” said Rhoades. “From what I’ve seen, we already have a good program here and my expectation would be to just keep growing it and get that Del. State name out there more than just the Tri-State area.”
Rhoades’ playing career includes starring at Padua Academy, where she was a four-time All-State selection and led her squad to a pair of state titles. Her prep career also featured a stint with the FC Delco Fury club team. Serving as a team captain for three seasons, she helped the squad win an astonishing six EPYSA State Cup titles.
Collegiately, Rhoades played her freshman season at St. Joseph’s, appearing in 17 games and making 13 starts as a midfielder. She managed to total three goals and a team-leading four assists for 10 points.
Despite her early success, Rhoades transferred to the Southeastern Conference’s South Carolina, where she made an immediate impact. Appearing in all 25 games, including making 24 starts in her first season, Rhoades registered three goals and two assists for eight points, as the Gamecocks went to win their first-ever SEC Tournament title. That season also featured the Gamecocks reaching the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament to round out the best season in program history. Rhoades went on to serve as a team captain during her senior in 2011, as the Gamecocks won their lone regular season SEC Championship.
Rhoades also garnered a plethora of academic honors while receiving her bachelor’s degree in Public Health, highlighted by receiving Third Team All-Nation Consortium for Academics and Sports honors in 2011 as the only soccer SEC player to make the list.
“One of my best attributes is that I played at a level that not everyone gets to play at. I experienced winning championships, playing in the NCAA Tournament and going to the Sweet 16. Getting that experience as a player I can say this is what I did and this is what it took to get there.”
Rhoades’ coaching background also includes serving as a student assistant with South Carolina in 2012, in addition to a similar role with Padua Academy before heading to Colorado Mesa.
|Alma Mater:||South Carolina|