Covenant Names New Men's Soccer Coach
Covenant College tapped one of its own to be its new men's soccer coach, announcing former Scot Nathan Pifer as its new head coach. Pifer has earned championship success as a head coach at both the intercollegiate and interscholastic levels.
After graduating from Covenant in 1984, Pifer had successful coaching stints at Montreat-Anderson and King, before taking the head men's coaching job at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. At Midwestern State, Pifer took his teams to the NAIA national tournament in his first seven seasons, and finished as the National Runner-Up in 1991 and 1995. He was nominated for NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996.
MSU then moved to NCAA Division II status, and his teams didn't miss a beat, breaking into the Division II Top 25 in their inaugural campaign, and in the following season in 1998, when they were ranked as high as #15 in the national rankings. In 1999, MSU finished 14-5-2, winning the Lone Star Conference championship. In his ten years as the men's coach at MSU, Pifer was 163-61-13.
In 1996 MSU asked Pifer to take over the helm of the women's soccer program, in addition to his work with the men's team, and he built the women's team into a program that won the Lone Star Conference two consecutive seasons. His success in the women's game led him to take over as the women's soccer coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2000, taking a program that was 3-34 in their first two years of existence to consecutive 9-7-2 seasons in 2002 and 2003.
After six seasons at UT-Martin, Pifer moved to Christian Academy of Knoxville, where he has served as the school's assistant principal and girls' soccer coach. In his three seasons as CAK's head coach, they won state championships in 2006 and 2008, and just missed a third title in 2007 when his team lost a heartbreaking four-overtime game that ended on penalty kicks to Chattanooga Christian School. After three seasons he had rung up a very impressive 64-6-3 record, and was the Prep-Xtra Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2008.
"I am very pleased that Nathan Pifer will be our men's soccer coach," said Covenant College President Niel Nielson. "As an experienced and successful coach on the collegiate level, a Covenant College soccer alumnus, the father of a Covenant soccer player, and a mature and deeply committed Christian man, Coach Pifer hits the bull's-eye for Covenant College about as well as could be imagined. And as the father of a Covenant soccer player myself, I am grateful that my son will have the privilege of playing for him. I look forward to enjoying our soccer program under his leadership."
Pifer earned a master of art in education from Western Carolina University in 1989, and an education specialist degree in instructional leadership from Tennessee Tech University in 2008. He and his wife, Angie, have been married for 25 years, and they have two sons, David, who is currently a sophomore on the Scots' soccer team, and Chris, who will be an incoming freshman on the men's team in the fall.