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Soccer hires Kagan

Jul 16, 2021

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State soccer head coach Todd Shulenberger announced Friday the newest addition to the coaching staff, assistant coach Matt Kagan. Kagan adds another veteran Pac-12 head coach to the Cougars' staff after spending the last two seasons at Oregon State. Kagan replaces Jon Harvey who left the program in June.

"I am very excited to welcome Matt and his wife Jessica to WSU," said Shulenberger. "Matt has had a ton of success both as a head coach and assistant and will fit right in here with the Cougs. We are excited to get started. Go Cougs."

In two seasons at Oregon State, Kagan helped turn around a Beaver team that struggled to find its footing in the Pac-12. In his first season, the new head coach led OSU to one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history posting 11-wins, a nine-win improvement from the year before and the most for a Beaver squad in nearly a decade. In addition, Kagan revamped the Beavers' offense as OSU went from scoring six goals the previous year to 31 in 2019. Playing a pandemic altered season in the spring of 2021, the Beavers made the most of their shortened campaign coming up with a signature win early in the spring as OSU defeated No. 3 Stanford, 2-1, for just the second win over the Cardinal in program history. 

Under his guidance the Beavers would pick up three all-conference awards in two seasons after finishing the previous two years before his arrival without a postseason award. Additionally, Sydney Studer, who joined the Cougs as a transfer in June, was named an all-region honoree under Kagan's tutelage in 2020 becoming the first Beaver to earn such an honor in nearly a decade and just the 10th to earn the award in the program's history.

Prior to OSU Kagan spent two seasons as the associate head coach at Mississippi State where he helped lead the Bulldogs to their most successful seasons in program history. In his first year in Starkville the Bulldogs posted their best record in nearly 20 years while in 2018 the team earned its first top-25 ranking and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

In total, Kagan has been a part of nine teams that have earned NCAA Tournament bids with a third of those teams advancing all the way to the third round.  

Kagan is a 2002 graduate of Southern New Hampshire University where he led his team to three NCAA Tournament appearances including a national runner-up finish as a senior. He earned both a bachelor's (sports management) and master's degree (business administration) from Southern New Hampshire.

"I am extremely thankful to Todd for this amazing opportunity to join the Cougar soccer program," said Kagan. "The proximity to our family combined with the ability to work with close friends is something my wife and I are excited about. I can't wait to get started in Pullman! Go Cougs!"