College Sports

Former SIUE assistant tagged to lead McKendree soccer

Scott Gyllenborg, new McKendree men’s head soccer coach.
Scott Gyllenborg, new McKendree men’s head soccer coach.

McKendree University director of athletics Chuck Brueggemann announced Monday that Scott Gyllenborg has been hired as the new head coach for the men’s soccer program.

Gyllenborg comes to McKendree following a successful three-year stint as an assistant coach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where he helped lead the Cougars to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths.

“We are excited that Scott has accepted our offer to head the men’s soccer program at McKendree,” said Brueggemann. “In just a short amount of time, he has established himself as a rising star in the coaching profession. Scott played an integral role in the recent success at SIUE, as well as his other coaching stops. Having played and coached at the University of Indianapolis, Scott knows what it takes to compete at a high level both on and off the field in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. We are looking forward to the knowledge and energy he will bring to the McKendree men’s soccer program.”

This fall, Gyllenborg was part of the SIUE staff that helped guide the Cougars to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship and earn the program’s 23rd bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars then defeated Michigan State University and Butler University in penalty kicks to reach the third round of the NCAAs before falling to eventual national runner-up Wake Forest University in a Sweet 16 match-up.

During his stay at SIUE, Gyllenborg coached three first-team All-Conference selections, including Austin Ledbetter, who was named the 2016 MVC Player of the Year. In all, the Cougars received 25 All-MVC honors during Gyllenborg’s tenure with the program. SIUE also had three players taken in the Major League Soccer Draft during that span.

In three seasons, Gyllenborg helped the Cougars to a 30-18-13 record, including a 10-5-7 mark this season. SIUE played in the MVC Tournament championship game in each of those campaigns. In 2015, Gyllenborg was part of the SIUE staff that garnered MVC Men’s Soccer Coaching Staff of the Year accolades.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to become the head coach of the McKendree men’s soccer program,” said Gyllenborg. “I have to thank a lot of people, including (McKendree President) Dr. James Dennis, Chuck Brueggemann and (McKendree associate director of athletics) Angela Red for providing me this great opportunity to coach in a really great athletic department. I also need to thank (SIUE director of athletics) Dr. Brad Hewett and (SIUE men’s soccer coach) Mario Sanchez, who taught me a lot about the profession the last three years.”

Prior to arriving at SIUE, Gyllenborg spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Colgate University. He helped the Raiders to a pair of berths in the Patriot League Tournament, including a semifinal run in 2012. Colgate had nine All-Conference selections as well as an MLS draft pick during Gyllenborg’s stay with the program.

Gyllenborg, a native of Cambridge, England, began his coaching career at his alma mater, the University of Indianapolis. As a member of the Greyhounds’ coaching staff, Gyllenborg helped guide the team to a school-record 12 wins (which has since been eclipsed) as well as the team’s first Top 20 ranking in five years.

A two-year starter and team captain as a senior, Gyllenborg led Indianapolis to its first-ever appearance in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament championship game in 2010. As a midfielder, Gyllenborg recorded a goal and two assists during his senior season at Indianapolis.

Gyllenborg began his collegiate playing career at St. Louis Community College at Meramec, where he posted 10 goals and 11 assists in two seasons.

With his ties to the St. Louis metro area as well as his international experience, Gyllenborg said that the Bearcats’ recruiting base will have both a national and international flavor.

“I would like to have a diverse roster,” said Gyllenborg. “If you look at the rosters for the Division I and Division II programs that reach post-season play, they have a good mix of American players, junior college players and internationals. I believe that every year you have to try and get the best local players, and then you fortify that with junior college players and international players, which helps make up a healthy balance on your roster.”

The Bearcats’ new head coach also outlined some of his goals for the program.

“We want to get everyone going in the same direction,” said Gyllenborg. “We want to make this a program that the University can be proud of and that our fans can be proud of, both on and off the field. We want to set a high standard and then work hard every day to compete at that level, in all aspects, whether it’s on the field, in the classroom, or in the weight room. There is a tradition of success throughout the department that has been built over the last few years, and we are looking forward to adding to that success.”

Gyllenborg and his wife, Melissa, have a daughter, Olivia. The Gyllenborg family resides in O’Fallon.

The McKendree University men’s soccer team posted a record of 3-9-4 in 2016. The Bearcats were 2-9-4 in GLVC play.