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Gibson-Snyder steps down

June 2, 2006

Olympia, WA - Erik Gibson-Snyder, head women's soccer coach at The Evergreen State College for the past two seasons, announced his resignation today.

The Evergreen alum guided the Geoducks through the most successful period in the program's history, posting the first- and fourth-winningest seasons in the 25 years of Evergreen women's soccer, culminating in Evergreen's first-ever appearance in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament championship game.

Gibson-Snyder also served as Evergreen's sports information director. He will be replaced in that role by Craig Dickson, who will add the SID duties to his current position as men's and women's cross country and track & field coach.

"This has been a difficult decision that I have been struggling with since the conclusion of last season, said Gibson-Snyder. "Evergreen has a talented, hard-working and fun team and I am proud of what we have accomplished. I think things are only going to continue to get better here with Evergreen soccer, and I would love to be a part of that.

"But coaching well takes such an enormous amount of time and energy. Spending the extra two and a half hours a day driving from Seattle to Olympia and back on top of long days in the office and on the field has worn me out. I don't feel like I am meeting my obligations to my wife and daughter, but doing less wouldn't be giving this team what they deserve.

Evergreen's athletic director, Dave Weber, expressed disappointment at Gibson-Snyder's departure.

"Erik did a nice job of coming in late his first year and putting his plan to work that season to set up a great season this past fall. He's tough to lose, Weber said. �If you're not at the pro or Division I level, though, when you get good people they eventually move on. In this case it's for family and not professional reasons, but as an athletic department you've got to be ready for changes.

The Geoducks lost eight of their first nine games when Gibson-Snyder took over the reins two year ago, but has lost only two regular season games since, putting together a 20-game unbeaten streak spread over two seasons.

In that span Evergreen defeated in-state rivals Pacific Lutheran University and Central Washington University , and downed national power and conference rival Concordia University in Portland becoming the first team to beat the Cavaliers on their home field in over four years.

"It took us a little while to get everyone on the same page, especially defensively, said Gibson-Snyder. �We changed a lot of things, raised some standards and expectations both on and off the field. But the kids have really prospered. They are a talented, competitive, proud group who really enjoy playing soccer together.

During Gibson-Snyder's tenure the Geoducks were ranked fourth in NAIA Region I behind nationally prominent programs at Simon Fraser, Concordia University and Carroll College, and rose as high as 28 th in the NAIA national rankings, the highest ever for the team.

"I came here believing that Evergreen could and should be a national power. It is a great school with an enormous amount of talent in the immediate area. We took some huge strides toward competing at a national level. We are really close to achieving that goal. We have a talented core of players coming back for next season and a good recruiting class. This program has one more step to take, and it is really hard to leave the job of taking it to someone else.

Evergreen has already begun the search for a coach.

"Hopefully, it will work out as nicely as it did when Tom Boatright left the men's program a few months ago. We were able to get a great person to take over in John Purtteman. If all goes well, we can do just as well with a timely women's search, said Weber.