Sherwood joins Northwestern State staff as associate head coach

Northwestern State soccer coach Stu Gore added head coaching experience to his staff with the addition of Melissa Sherwood as an associate head coach, Gore announced Monday.

All hires are subject to the approval of the Louisiana Board of Supervisors, of which NSU is a member, as well as pass through other University human resource processes.

Sherwood has been a head coach for the past five years, taking over South Carolina State in 2020 after four seasons at the helm of Saint Peter’s.

“Melissa has got a great soccer knowledge, and she’s young and hungry,” Gore said. “She’s been a head coach before, so for me and a delegation standpoint, she can do the job.

“I’ve hired another head coach, not an associate head coach.”

Sherwood didn’t coach a game at SCSU because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she started the program rebuild by recruiting 13 players, including three international student-athletes, with limited resources.

She lifted an underfunded Saint Peter’s to new heights in her tenure.

Her 2018 squad posted the most conference wins in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in nearly a decade in just her second season after being one of the youngest Division I head coaches hired at 27 in 2016.

The Peacocks finished seventh in the MAAC with three league wins and 10 points overall, the best placement in 20 years.

Saint Peter’s won consecutive matches in the 2019 season for the first time in 25 years.

“Melissa has shown that she’s a good coach, but she’s been at programs that have been underfunded,” Gore said. “Now she can better put that soccer IQ to good use here, and she’ll be a great asset to this program.”

Sherwood started her coaching career as the head coach at Immaculata High School in New Jersey (2012-15) and on the club scene as the director of female club soccer at Advanced Total Soccer Coaching (2011-14).

As a player, Sherwood competed at England’s top college program (Leeds Metropolitan University) as part of a 10-year playing career with sides such as Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield among others.

Leeds Metropolitan won the BUCS national championship in 2008 and won their conference in every season with Sherwood.

Sherwood played professionally in leagues in Australia (Central Coast Mariners) and the United States (North Jersey Valkyries).

NSU begins practice Tuesday in preparation for an exhibition at Little Rock on Aug. 14 and the season opener Aug. 19 at Oral Roberts.

The Lady Demons step on the home pitch for the first time Sept. 1 against Louisiana Tech.

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