Northwestern State hires Masters as associate head coach

Eric Masters has reunited with Northwestern State head coach Stu Gore as Masters will be the associate head coach, Gore announced Tuesday.

Masters coached with Gore at the University of North Dakota in 2020 before he developed the Colorado State keepers into a stellar group this past season.

The Rams held 12 of their 17 opponents to one goal or less, which included four shutouts. Freshman goalkeeper Shayna Ross was named to the All-Mountain West Newcomer team.

“Eric was my No. 1 target and a tremendous hire for our program,” said Gore, whose NSU squad is coming off Southland Conference regular season and tournament championship.

“After working with him at UND, we struck up a connection.

“Eric has a passion for personal development and enthusiasm for success on and off the field. He’s a triple-threat coach, fantastic recruiter, goalkeeper coach and person. He’s one of the best goalkeeper coaches I’ve worked with, and I’m really looking forward to watching him grow and enhance not only our goalkeepers but our field players, too.”

NSU’s Acelya Aydogmus is a two-time All-Southland Conference Goalkeeper of the year as NSU has taken the top keeper honor three times in the past seven years (Alex Latham in 2016).

Masters will have a chance to tutor his own keeper behind a back line that allowed just 18 goals in 20 matches, including a 5-1 loss to Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament (13 goals in the other 19 matches).

He has coached at various levels, including a decade in the Nevada high school and club soccer scene.

Masters has served with Capital Soccer Club, Carson FC, Northern Nevada ODP and the United Soccer Club. He brought Carson High one regular season title in a two-year tenure.

The Long Island University-Brooklyn graduate was a standout goalkeeper as a player, aiding the Blackbirds to one conference championship, a 2004 NCAA Tournament appearance and two runner-up finishes in the league.

Masters played professionally for one season in the USL second division (Long Island Rough Riders) before returning to LIU-Brooklyn as a graduate assistant coach.