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Mark Platts hired as head women's soccer coach at Point Park University

May 17, 2010

PITTSBURGH – Point Park University hired on Monday Mark Platts as the head coach of the women’s soccer program, announced director of athletics Dan Swalga.

Mark Platts Head Shot

Platts (pictured), a native of Wetherby, England, had been an assistant coach at American Mideast Conference rival Walsh University the last four years. This will be the first head-coaching position on the college level for Platts, 29, although he served as head coach of the Marlington High School boys’ soccer team last year in Alliance, Ohio.

Platts is the second head coach since the program gained varsity status in 2005.

“We are very pleased to name Mark Platts as the new women’s soccer coach here at Point Park University,” said Swalga. “His college experience is very solid, and he is familiar with the AMC and the NAIA. He also has a strong handle on recruiting.”

Platts takes over for Jeroen Walstra as women’s soccer head coach. For the last three years, Walstra had been the head coach of both the women’s and men’s soccer teams at Point Park. But now Walstra, a native of the Netherlands, will focus his efforts entirely as head coach of the men’s team.

“With the hiring of Mark as women’s soccer head coach, we now have the ideal model of having a separate coach for each soccer team,” said Swalga. “This strengthens both soccer teams as we move forward.”

Walstra had been the women’s soccer head coach since 2003, and the program gained varsity status at the school in 2005. The women’s soccer program was instituted in 2002, and it existed as a club sport from 2002-04.

“This is a great opportunity for me to work with a young program and build on what has already been established,” said Platts. “Point Park is a great school with a great campus, and I know the NAIA and the AMC. And it was always a goal of mine to be a head coach on the college level.”

While serving as assistant on the Walsh University coaching staff the last four years, Platts helped the Cavaliers make AMC playoff appearances the past two seasons. His responsibilities at Walsh included coaching the defensive positions of goalie and defender. Other duties were running the team’s offseason conditioning program and recruiting.

In the fall of 2009, Platts became the head boys’ soccer coach at Marlington High School. In his only season leading the school from Alliance, Ohio, Platts led Marlington to a 12-5-3 record and a berth in the regional finals. The team was co-conference champs and also district champions.

For the past two years, Platts had been the head coach of Marlington Soccer Club’s U-14 team. His coaching experience also includes lending his time to youth soccer clubs on several occasions.

Platts earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Walsh University in 2004. A year later, he earned an MBA from Walsh. From 2003-04, Platts was a member of the Walsh men’s soccer team. A defensive midfielder, Platts started his collegiate playing career with two years at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma, Ohio.

Point Park University is located in downtown Pittsburgh. The Pioneers are a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the American Mideast Conference.