Alumnus Begins First Season as Director of Soccer at Chowan University

Mat Phelps (BA ‘05) kicked off the Fall 2011 season in his first year as Director of Soccer at Chowan University in North Carolina. For the past two years, Phelps served as Head Men’s Soccer Coach for the Hawks, leading the 2010 squad to the most wins in a season since Chowan switched from Division III to Division II in 2006. As Director of Soccer, Phelps will retain his position as men’s head coach and take on the head coaching job for the women’s team.

“Our goals are to create unity with one program and two teams,” he said. “The Men's team has worked hard the last two years to make progress, and now we expect to compete for a winning record.  We are just starting out on this journey with the women, and we expect to change the atmosphere of the program to hard work, dedication and progress." Phelps, who holds an advanced national diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, was a four-year starter and captain at Hope International University (HIU) where he earned a degree in Youth Ministry. While at HIU, Phelps dedicated himself to developing his passion for teaching and coaching by serving as the assistant soccer coach for two seasons at Don Lugo High School in Chino, CA.

My time at Hope helped me to develop the humility to always trust God and seek guidance and wisdom,” he said. “The qualities of a servant leader are also something that I strive for and work towards in my role as Director of Soccer.  I take honor in serving young men and women and teaching them to give their best for themselves, for others and for God on and off the field.”

Prior to becoming a full-time coach, Phelps served as a youth pastor, and upon graduation he accepted two positions:  head JV soccer coach and assistant varsity coach at Redlands High School in Redlands, CA, and coach of the U-19 Silver-Elite boys’ team at Titans Football Club in Inland Empire, CA. Now as he leads two programs at Chowan towards excellence both on and off the field, he continues to draw strength from his faith and his family.

“As I am settling into the Director of Soccer role I first recognize how important it is to surround myself with support, and be humble in realizing that I cannot achieve success on my own,” Phelps said. “God and my family are my main support, but I am also pleased with the help of my new assistant coach.  It is an exciting position, and I look forward to the unity that we will build within the two programs, with like mindedness.”

Phelps and his wife Joy (MA ’07) live in Murfreesboro, NC with their two daughters, Abigail (3) and Eden (9 months).

Hope International University is a regionally accredited Christian university established in 1928 that integrates faith, service and learning. Through undergraduate, graduate, and online degree programs with faculty and staff dedicated to student success, our students experience a transformative educational experience and are prepared to make an impact with their lives. Our diverse student body represents over 35 states and 40 countries around the world.

To learn more, please visit the Hope International University website at or contact Katie Gladding, Director of Marketing, at 714.879.3901, x-2692.

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