Courtesy of Davenport's Sports Information Department
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Davenport University is pleased to announce the hiring of Paige Eli as the head coach of the women's soccer program. The team is coming off a second straight appearance in the GLIAC Tournament. Eli becomes the third coach in the program's history and will inherit a program that has a .578 (125-89-16) winning percentage since its first season in 2006.
"We are excited to announce the appointment of Paige Eli as our new head women's soccer coach," said executive director of intercollegiate athletics Paul Lowden. "During her time as a former Davenport student-athlete and assistant coach, she proved herself as a strong competitor, selfless leader and respected mentor. Her passion for this program and Davenport University was evident throughout the hiring process. We are confident that Paige's focus on the development of our student-athlete's academically, athletically and socially will help in the continued growth of this program."
Eli returns to Davenport after having an illustrious four-year playing career as a Panther. During her four years as a student-athlete, the women's soccer team went 57-19-6. The Panthers won the WHAC Regular-Season Championship, conference tournament titles twice and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament in 2012 and 2013. She was named to the All-WHAC First Team three times in her career and was the first player in Panthers history to be named an NAIA All-America Honorable Mention twice.
She followed up her playing career by spending four season as the assistant coach with the team. Davenport produced a historical season in 2016, going 18-2-1 and setting the program record for the longest win-streak at 15 games. Eli was also involved in the transition to NCAA Division II and helped the team to two straight GLIAC Tournament appearances.
Eli graduated with a bachelor's degree in medical case management and recently finished her master of business administration with a concentration of healthcare management.
"I am excited and humbled to return back to Davenport and lead the women's soccer program. Thank you to Paul Lowden, Ronda Varnesdeel and those involved in the interview process for granting me this opportunity. As an alumni and former assistant coach of the program, I know that this is a special program and community to be a part of! I embrace the chance to build the future success of Davenport Women's Soccer and mentor student-athletes to being successful young ladies!" – Paige Eli.
Story by: Devin Steiner