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Millikin University > Alumni & Friends > Stay Connected > Millikin Quarterly > Posts > New era begins in athletics

In recent months, seven new coaches joined the Big Blue, beginning a new era in the athletic department. Four of the seven new coaches are MU alumni

Dirk Doehring ’02 , new director of track and field and cross country, started his collegiate coaching career as an MU assistant track and field coach and assistant football coach from 2004-06. During his days as a student athlete for the Big Blue, Doehring was a four-year varsity letterwinner in track and a two-year varsity athlete in football. As a member of MU’s 4x100 relay team, he was a two-time qualifier for the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships; that team still holds the Millikin outdoor school record for the event.

Doehring returns to Millikin after spending last season as a volunteer assistant track and field coach at NCAA Division I Delaware State. He also has served as director of track and field and cross country at Culver-Stockton and was a graduate assistant track and field coach at Defiance College.

Doehring is a 1998 graduate of St. Joseph-Ogden High School and started his teaching and coaching career at Argenta-Oreana High School in 2002.

New head football coach Patrick Etherton ’00 was formerly an assistant football coach and head men’s golf coach at Millikin.

Etherton has been on the football staff since 2004 and has coached on both sides of the football. In addition to Millikin, his 10 years of collegiate football coaching experience has included Washington & Jefferson College, the University of Puget Sound and Allegheny College.

Since 2008, Etherton was the Big Blue’s passing game coordinator, wide receivers coach, recruiting coordinator and head JV coach. From 2004-08, Etherton was Millikin’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in addition to running the JV program and heading up the recruiting efforts.

Etherton was also the Big Blue’s head men’s golf coach since 2004. He was named the 2011 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Men’s Golf Coach of the Year after leading the Big Blue to its 19th CCIW title in school history and first since 2000. 

Etherton played defensive back for the Big Blue and was a student assistant coach from 1998-2000. He and his wife, 2002 Millikin graduate Airn English Etherton, live in Decatur.

Emily Johnson has been named the new head women’s soccer coach after spending two years as an assistant women’s soccer coach at St. Lawrence University in New York. Johnson has 15 years of collegiate soccer coaching experience. In addition to St. Lawrence, she has served as an assistant coach at Guilford College, Greensboro College, Bentley College and the State University of New York, Cortland.  Johnson was the head women’s soccer and head women’s lacrosse coach at Ferrum College from 2000-02. Johnson also has significant developmental and club coaching experience.

As a collegiate player at Ithaca Collage, she was an All-American player and a member of Ithaca’s National Championship team in 1991.

Former Big Blue player Chad Jones ’93 returns to Millikin as head men’s soccer coach with extensive coaching experience at the collegiate, club, high school and developmental level. Most recently, he was head men’s soccer coach at NCAA Division II University of Illinois-Springfield.

Jones has served two stints as assistant coach in the Big Blue men’s soccer program including in 2000 and 2009. He also has been an assistant coach at Illinois Wesleyan University and Eastern Illinois University.

In addition to his collegiate experience, he serves as an Olympic Development Staff Coach for the State of Illinois.

Jones was executive director of the Springfield Soccer Association from 2007-08 and director of soccer for the Midstate Soccer Club and Academy in Decatur from 2001-07.

He was the varsity soccer coach for men’s and women’s soccer at Decatur MacArthur High School from 1995 to 2000. His boys team went to the IHSA Class A Final Four in 1999 and he was named the Decatur Herald and Review Soccer Coach of the Year in 1998 and 1999.

Jennifer Lindsey has been named the new head women’s tennis coach. Lindsey’s tennis career started in high school, where she played for four years. In 2005, she qualified for the Missouri High School State Tournament. In 2004, she earned the 110-percent award at Hazelwood Central High School, presented to an outstanding athlete. In college, Lindsey was instrumental in starting a club tennis program at Avila University. She has attended numerous tennis camps, clinics and private lessons. In addition to coaching tennis for the Big Blue, Lindsey is an admission counselor for Millikin. She earned degrees in psychology and sociology at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo.

New head men’s basketball coach Matthew Nadelhoffer comes to Millikin from Eastern University in St. Davids, Penn., where he served as head coach since 2002.

Under his direction, the Eagles had the school’s highest Freedom Conference finish in school history, finishing second in 2009-10. He led the team to a school record 17 wins in the 2008-09 season.

Nadelhoffer also was an assistant at the College of Dupage when they won the NJCCA National Championship in 2002.

Nadelhoffer is a 1998 graduate of Wheaton College, where he earned All-America and All-CCIW honors as a player. He set an NCAA record for assists in a tournament game with 20 and holds the Wheaton record for assists in a season at 221. After college, he played in the CBA and had a tryout stint with the Miami Heat in the NBA. In addition to his playing experience in the US, Nadelhoffer has played in Croatia, Portugal, England, Spain, Ireland and Switzerland.

Former Big Blue golfer Sam Osborne ’10 has been named new head men’s golf coach.

Osborne spent last season as an assistant men’s golf coach, helping guide the Millikin team to a CCIW Championship and a 14th place finish in the NCAA Division III Championships.

As a student, Osborne served as golf team captain for two years. As a senior, he had an 18-hole stroke average of 77 and won the McNaughton Memorial at Illinois College, carding a 69 for the round.

Osborne has been a pro shop assistant for the Decatur Park District courses since 2005 and also played in a number of amateur and junior golf tournaments.

He was honored with the Major Thomas G. Storey Citizenship Award at Millikin in 2010 as the senior who demonstrated outstanding campus and community citizenship. He also received the Top Teke Frater Award presented annually to only a few graduating Tau Kappa Epsilon members across the U.S.  and Canada.

Osborne also was a high school teacher for the Lutheran School Association of Decatur last year.


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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL