WAYNE – A couple months after a national search began for the new Wayne State College head women’s soccer coach, Director of Athletics Mike Powicki announced that Emily Hester has been hired.
According to a Tuesday late afternoon release from the Wayne State Athletics office, Hester is the 10th head coach in program history and replaces Joe Cleary. Cleary resigned in December after four years as head coach and six years total with the Wildcat program.
“I am honored and excited to be the next head women’s soccer coach at Wayne State College,” remarked Hester. “I would like to thank Director of Athletics Mike Powicki and the search committee for the opportunity to lead these amazing student-athletes. Wayne State College is a special place and I can’t wait to build on the success of the women’s soccer program.”
Hester comes to Wayne State after spending the last three seasons as head coach at Shepherd University in West Virginia, an NCAA Division II school.
Other coaching stops for Hester include two years as an assistant coach at Division I Southern Utah, one year (2015) at Chicago State and one year (2014) as an assistant coach at Southwest Minnesota State where she helped the Mustangs to a 10-8-1 record and 9-5-1 conference mark while in Marshall, Minnesota.
A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Hester graduated from Bellevue University in 2014 where she had a standout playing career. She was a three-time All-MCAC Second Team selection and a three-time MCAC Scholar Athlete, helping the Bruins to three MCAC regular season championships and four NAIA national tournament appearances.
Hester also earned Team MVP honors, Bellevue University Female Athlete of the Year and received the NAIA Champions of Character Award as a senior. She also has coaching experience with various club teams and worked with the Nebraska Olympic Development Program while also serving as camp coach at North Carolina (seven years) and Texas (one year).
Hester earned a bachelor’s degree from Bellevue in 2014 in health and human performance and has a master’s degree from Southwest Minnesota State.
Hester inherits a Wayne State team that was 6-9-4 overall and 6-7-2 in the NSIC in the 2019 season, qualifying for the NSIC Tournament for the first time since the 2006 season. The 2020 season for Wayne State was canceled due to COVID-19.