Edwards Resigns as Bulldog Men's Soccer Head Coach; Ryan McDonald Takes the Reins

Charlie Edwards (pictured far left) resigns his head coaching post and his associate head coach Ryan McDonald (second from the left) will take the men's soccer helm at Adrian College. (Photo courtesy: Mike Dickie)
Charlie Edwards (pictured far left) resigns his head coaching post and his associate head coach Ryan McDonald (second from the left) will take the men's soccer helm at Adrian College. (Photo courtesy: Mike Dickie)

ADRIAN, Mich. - Adrian College athletics director Michael Duffy has announced that Bulldogs head men's soccer coach Charlie Edwards has resigned from his position, effective Tuesday. Duffy also said that Associate Head Coach Ryan McDonald has been promoted as Edwards' successor.

Edwards just finished his fourth season as the Bulldogs' head coach, leading the team to its most successful season in program history. Adrian had a second-place finish in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) and qualified for its second appearance in the conference tournament--the first appearance was during the 2016 season. The team also made its first appearance in the MIAA men's soccer championship game this past fall.

"I would first like to thank President (Dr. Jeffrey R.) Docking and (Coach) Duffy for giving me the opportunity to guide this program for four years," stated Edwards, who leaves with 32 wins for third-most on the Adrian men's soccer all-time coaching list. "It has been a wonderful journey, and I am proud of all we were able to accomplish as a program. It was a very difficult decision for me, I will miss this program and all of the student-athletes that have committed to helping to turn this program around.

"I am excited for Ryan, and also extremely confident that I am leaving the program in good hands. He is a great soccer mind and a fantastic leader. He will do a great job sustaining the success and taking the program to new heights. I wish him the best of luck."

Duffy added: "We thank Charlie for his service to Adrian Athletics. He did a terrific job of changing the culture of the Bulldogs men's soccer program, which is now considered one of the best in the tough MIAA. He worked hard and had dedication to his athletes. He took pride in his job and the institution. But most of all, Charlie is a family man. We wish him and his lovely wife Megan the best."

"We welcome Ryan into his new role. He has been integral to the program's unprecedented success that has coincided with his arrival four years ago alongside Charlie. With his knowledge of the Adrian Way, recruiting ties to high school and club coaches and the respect he has gained from the student-athletes, Ryan is positioned to take the team to greater heights."

The transition from Edwards to McDonald should be a smooth one as McDonald has been instrumental in the success of the program since he arrived on campus in 2014. He spent three years as the assistant coach for the Bulldogs from 2014-16 before being promoted to associate head coach prior to the start of the 2017 season.

"I am excited for this opportunity to move forward with this team that we have here at Adrian College," McDonald said. "Charlie has been a great mentor and leader and has taught me so much over the last four years. He has left the great program in a great spot for the future. I am looking forward to moving this team forward in the direction he got it started in."

McDonald inherits a squad that has posted a 22-14-2 overall record for a .592 winning percentage (18-8-2 in the MIAA) that includes the best two-year span in Adrian men's soccer history. In 2018, the Bulldogs are expected to return 10 starters among 23 lettermen from a team that reached a school-record 11 wins for the second consecutive year. McDonald has teamed with Edwards to develop nine All-MIAA selections and the first two College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America® candidates in juniors Tad Davis and Chris Stanhope.

McDonald is a 2011 graduate of the University of Louisville, receiving a bachelor's degree in physical education. He was a four-year letterman for the Cardinals, leading the team in goal scoring his senior season and serving as team captain. With Adrian as his first head coaching job at the collegiate level, the Nashville, Tenn., product has worked as a camp counselor at the Bellarmine University and Franklin Road Academy. He also has been a soccer coach at the high school and youth levels.

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