Kevin Boyd’s career as a college soccer coach seems to be defined in 10-year periods. He spent 10 years building a winning program at University of California before being hired to do the same at Arizona State.
He put in his 10 years at ASU, but results weren’t the same. Boyd resigned yesterday as head coach of the women’s soccer program after a couple of disappointing seasons that perhaps signaled it was time to move on, a decision the school may have shared.
Boyd was one of the most successful coaches in the Pac-10 while at Cal, running a program that was consistently ranked in the nation’s top 25 and made eight NCAA appearances, including each of his last three years there. He was named the conference Coach of the Year in 2005.
During his tenure at Cal, Boyd won 124 games. But in the same span at ASU he posted 90 wins – just five more than he lost.
He became Cal’s winningest coach in program history, and then accomplished the same feat in Tempe when he won his 61st game in 2013. But his teams have had difficulty with consistency year to year.
The Sun Devils had the talent to pull off a huge upset three years ago by beating No. 2 Stanford and then took No. 1 UCLA into double overtime the next year, coming within a whisker of pulling off the biggest upset in program history. After that 2014 season, it looked like the ASU program was on the brink of becoming a conference power.
But the loss of some top talent to graduation combined with injuries that have plagued the last couple of teams, the Devils posted a disappointing 9-8-1 finish to the 2015 season that was projected to result in another NCAA berth.
This year was expected to be a rebuilding year, but it started well as the team began the 2016 season with three wins and a tie – but then won just four more games the rest of the way. The Sun Devils ended the season on a seven-game losing streak to finish 6-11-2, with just one conference win.
Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson issued a statement on the resignation, thanking Boyd for “10 years of commendable service to ASU.”
But inbedded in the single-paragraph release, one sentence stood out: “We have high expectations for success at Arizona State, and we intend for our women’s soccer program to compete annually in the postseason.”
Four post-season appearances in 10 seasons didn’t fit that bill.
Boyd’s replacement will become the fourth head coach in the 11-year history of the program.