(Photo provided)

Following the resignation of three-year coach Chris Tillet, the university athletic department has announced the hiring of women’s soccer head coach Amanda Burge.

The Homestead High School graduate most recently coached at Fort Wayne Canterbury High School, where she helped to lead the Cavaliers to two state championships. She has accumulated 10 seasons of coaching experience.

“At Canterbury, she helped take a program that had been struggling and turn it into back-to-back State titles in a relatively short period of time,” Lori Culler, the university athletic director, said. “Having a understanding of how to change culture, motivate players, develop team chemistry would be the same at any level.”

Sophomore Morgan McCloughan said Burge has shown she can “pick up a losing team” and have success, a prospect she is excited about.

The university’s athletic department conducted an interview time with each candidate that involved the team’s current players. This allowed them to be a part of the hiring and selection process.

“Throughout the interview process, her passion for the Lord, soccer and Huntington University were all very obvious,” Culler said. “ She also connected very well with the current players that took part in the interview process.”

Burge played two seasons with the Bethel Pilots before earning her bachelor’s degree from Huntington in 2003. During her time in Mishawaka, she helped the Pilots to a conference championship and NCCAA National Tournament Finals appearance.

Culler said Burge’s familiarity with the university will allow her to “hit the ground running, so to speak, with recruiting.” She already knows how to sell the university and has connections with her club soccer experience and CrossFit network, Culler said.

“She already has a great pool of talented prospects to tap into,” Culler said.

She also obtained an MBA from IPFW in 2008.

Burge, along with her husband, currently owns CrossFit Praus, located in Fort Wayne. She is a certified CrossFit coach, a quality Forester players said they are excited about.

Morgan Miller, a freshman defender, said she’s noticed on Burge’s website that she has trained female soccer players with intense workouts, such as “flipping tires.”

“She’s going to bring a new energy, vibe and spirit,” Miller said.

The women began off-season workouts officially with Burge on Mar. 30.

“It might be more work,” freshman Autumn Demott said of the CrossFit workouts. “But I don’t care. I’m honestly so excited.”