Illinois State hires former Redbird for soccer head coach vacancy

Last season with the Badgers, Kresge and staff led UW to a 10-6-6 overall record and a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance. (Photo Courtesy of Illinois State Athletics)

By Jake Fogal

BLOOMINGTON – Illinois State has filled another vacant head coaching position, as Athletic Director Kyle Brennan announced the hiring of Wisconsin assistant coach Marisa Kresge to be the next soccer coach at ISU. Kresge spent one season as a Redbird in 2016, before heading north to join the coaching staff at Wisconsin.

“I could not be more excited or honored to be named the next head coach of Illinois State Soccer,” Kresge stated.

“I want to thank Director of Athletics Kyle Brennan, Executive Associate AD Nona Richardson and everyone involved in the hiring process. The energy of the administration, their investment into the program and their drive to be successful was something I was immediately drawn to. Illinois State has a rich history of success, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with our student-athletes and lead this program into the next chapter.”

In five years at Wisconsin, Kresge helped guide the Badgers to a Big Ten Conference Championship and four NCAA tournament appearances. During her time in Madison, she also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator and brought in over 30 players from the Midwest region, five from the East Coast and seven players from the Frontier region.

“We are extremely excited to have Marisa Kresge lead our soccer program at Illinois State and welcome her back to campus,” Brennan said.

“Marisa has been a proven winner at every stop of her career, as a player at Maryland and Wisconsin and as a coach here at Illinois State and Wisconsin. She is extremely competitive and structured in her approach as a coach and a recruiter, which we believe will translate into success for our soccer program. Her tough, blue-collar mentality as a leader fits well with the culture of our department and we look forward to watching her get this program to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference.”

Kresge played soccer collegiately in the Big Ten at Maryland and Wisconsin, and after graduating from UW in 2016, she spent one season with ISU as part of Eric Golz’s staff. The Redbirds went 14-6-3, winning the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles. In the NCAA Tournament, Kresge and the Redbirds made it to the second round.

“I am incredibly excited for both Illinois State and Marisa; they share similar values and purpose, and it will be a great fit,” Golz’s said.

“Marisa is a gifted professional who will be a great leader, mentor, and role model for the women of Redbird Soccer. She will connect, inspire, and motivate her student athletes, while teaching them both the game and how to compete at a championship level. I am excited to watch her continue to grow the tradition and success of Redbird Soccer!”

The Redbirds kick off their schedule on August 18th, meeting a familiar opponent for Kresge, The University of Illinois.

Jake Fogal can be reached at [email protected].


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