HOUSTON – Brenton Saylor has joined the Rice soccer staff as an assistant coach, Owl head coach Nicky Adams announced on Monday (April 25).
Saylor joins Rice from Mercer University where he worked the last four seasons as the goalkeepers’ coach and recruiting coordinator. His myriad duties with the Bears also included assisting with tactical preparations and scouting of opponents, as well as helping oversee the academic progress of the student-athletes.
"We are very excited to have Brenton join our staff,” coach Adams said. “Brenton brings a wealth of knowledge and energy to Rice. He will be working will all our players, but also utilize his experience with our goalkeepers. I cannot wait to introduce him to the team and get to work."
Last season under Saylor the Mercer goalkeepers posted six shutouts and tied for second in the Southern Conference for fewest goals allowed (19 in 21 matches). The Bears were third in the league with 110 saves and a 0.85 goals-against average. Saylor coached senior keeper Maggie Cropp to all-conference honors. In 2014 he coached Cropp to earning the league’s tournament MVP to help the Bears win their first-ever Southern Conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history.
Prior to Mercer, Saylor was the top assistant at Eastern Kentucky from 2010-2012. In that time he also served as the Academy Director of the Madison United Soccer Association. Saylor worked a graduate assistant coach on the women’s soccer team at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 2008-2010.
Before pursuing a career in coaching, Saylor was the starting goalkeeper at Lambuth University from 2004-07. During his stellar collegiate career, Saylor was an honorable mention NAIA All-American, an NAIA All-Region selection and Lambuth’s 2007 Male Athlete of the Year. He helped lead the Eagles to a Trans-South Conference Championship.
A native of Lincoln, Ill., Saylor earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management from Lambuth in 2008 and finished his master’s degree in education with an emphasis on health and human performance at UT-Martin in December of 2013.