LANCASTER, Pa. - Patricia S.W. Epps, Director of Athletics and Recreation, has announced the hiring of former Messiah College women's soccer standout B.J. Atkins as the head women's soccer coach at Franklin & Marshall College. Atkins will take over for Steven O'Day, who retired after 11 years and posted the most coaching victories in women's soccer program history.
"I am thrilled to have such a bright young coach on board with our program," said Epps. "Coach Atkins familiarity with our soccer tradition and the aim of the program going forward will pay immediate dividends."
Atkins, a 2006 graduate of Messiah, led the Falcons to four Commonwealth Conference Championships and three trips to the NCAA Final Four. A four-year starter, she garnered All-CC second team honors as a junior and helped Messiah produce an 81-4-6 record during her career. Atkins scored the game-winning goal in the 2005 Division III National Championship game for the Falcons first-ever NCAA title.
Atkins is no stranger to Diplomat soccer, having spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach on the F&M sidelines. She helped plan practices and conditioning sessions, while being involved in recruiting process.
O'Day will remain a part of the F&M community, devoting more time to his family and expanding his responsibilities as the Associate Dean of the College.
"My 11 years as head coach of the Diplomats was a wonderful experience I wouldn't have traded for anything" said O'Day. "I look forward to staying close to the Franklin & Marshall women's soccer family."
Atkins graduated from Messiah with a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education. She is currently a secondary health and physical education teacher at Penn Manor High School in Millersville, Pa.