Chris Rash selected to take over East Mississippi’s soccer coaching reins
Published 2:59 pm Monday, May 22, 2023
EMCC Sports Information
SCOOBA — Former NJCAA All-America soccer player Chris Rash has been named the new head men’s and women’s soccer coach at East Mississippi Community College. The announcement was made Monday by EMCC Director of Athletics Sharon Thompson.
“We’re excited to have Chris Rash, his wife, Katherine, and their boys, Ezra and Moses, as part of the EMCC family,” Thompson said. “Chris is very familiar with the soccer scene within our conference (MACCC), and he brings with him vast coaching experience from his previous stint at Hinds. I’m looking forward to working together with him as we reinstate our soccer programs.”
Rash, who was a two-time NJCAA All-American at Hinds Community College during the 2003 and 2004 seasons, most recently served as an assistant men’s soccer coach at Hinds for the past five seasons. During that time, the Eagles made the postseason all five years to improve their impressive string of having advanced to the playoffs 23 times in the past 25 years, including a current streak of 10 straight playoff berths. Hinds also made the NJCAA Region 23 semifinals each of the past four seasons.
“I want to first thank EMCC President Dr. Scott Alsobrooks and EMCC Director of Athletics Sharon Thompson for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is a dream come true, and God’s timing is perfect for my wife, Katherine, and our boys, Ezra and Moses,” Rash said.
Having assisted both current Hinds head coach Robert Gardner and retired head coach Doug Williams with on-field coaching, running practices, training players and recruiting student-athletes since 2018, Rash was instrumental in the recruitment and development of as many as 30 players who collected postseason individual honors for the Eagles.
“Ultimately, the goal of EMCC Soccer will be to inspire our student-athletes – as future moms, wives, dads, and husbands – to find their purpose, and to pursue it with courage, integrity, and joy. If we collectively work hard to do all of this, winning will likely take care of itself,” Rash noted about his goals for EMCC’s reinstated soccer programs.
Prior to entering the collegiate coaching scene at Hinds, Rash earned his first head coaching experience while working for the Pearl Public School District. Following brief stints as an assistant men’s soccer coach at Jackson Academy (2007-08) and Pearl High School (2009-10), he served as the district’s head men’s soccer coach for seven seasons (2011-18). As a result of the Pirates’ two-year run (2014-15) as the Mississippi High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Class 5A state champions, Rash was awarded the 2014 Coach of the Year Award for the state of Mississippi by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in addition to being selected for the prestigious Tour of Champions that same year by MaxPreps.
During his successful decade working at the prep level in the Jackson metro area, Rash also served as the director of coaching for the Pearl Youth Soccer League for 10 years (2009-18). In addition, he held the position as a staff coach for the Olympic Development Program within the Mississippi Youth Soccer Association.
With an associate’s degree from Hinds in applied science of early childhood education, Rash is certified with a national D license and a national youth license by the United States Soccer Federation. He has also been a certified 3D coach for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
As a two-time NJCAA All-America and NJCAA All-Region 23 forward at Hinds, Rash helped lead the 2004 Eagles squad to the MACJC State Championship as well as to the program’s first Region 23 title in more than a decade. Having totaled 136 career points during his Hinds career with 50 goals and 36 assists, Rash ranked third among NJCAA scoring leaders as a freshman with 66 points (24/18) and sixth nationally with 70 points (26/18) as a sophomore. He then continued his collegiate soccer playing career at Mississippi College.
During his high school career playing for head coach Brad Biard at Pearl, Rash set the school record with 97 career goals scored in being named All-District First Team all four years and All-State First Team three times. The two-time team captain and MHSAA All-Star helped lead the Pirates to back-to-back MHSAA Class 4A state championships in 2001 and 2002.
Rash and his wife, Katherine, who is an educator and teaches Spanish, celebrated five years of marriage this past April. They have two sons – Ezra, 3, and Moses, who will turn 1 year old in July.