Ken Shingledecker knows his fair share about Livonia soccer.
He has coached club soccer in the city since 2006 — now serving as the recreation director for the Michigan Wolves Soccer Club — along with serving as the head coach of the boys and girls soccer teams at Livonia Stevenson. For him, the college game seemed to be a logical next step. “I always kind of thought that a college job in this area, in Livonia… would be a nice little thing,” Shingledecker said. “I thought this would be a perfect fit.”
Schoolcraft College announced Wednesday that Shingledecker would take over as the next head coach of the women’s soccer program, replacing former head coach Joe Carver. “Ken brings a wealth of coaching experience to Schoolcraft College,” Schoolcraft Director of Athletics Cali Crawford said, announcing the hire. “More importantly, Ken has deep-rooted connections within the Livonia area, which should serve us well in our recruiting efforts. I look forward to seeing our women’s soccer program grow in the near future.”
Shingledecker has considered Schoolcraft “kind of a home base” for years, working 15 hours a week at St. Joe’s Sports Dome on the school’s campus. Through the club and high school soccer world in Livonia, he knows the talent that has come through the program and plans on bringing more in his coaching tenure. “It’s been where I have done all my work,” Shingledecker said of Livonia. “Even in the community, I know a lot of coaches, I know a lot of players. I’m really, really excited to bring that all to the Schoolcraft campus.” Being a Division 2 junior-college program, Schoolcraft, Shingledecker said, provides soccer players with a chance to prove themselves and move on to a four-year school instead of solidifying a future plan right out of high school.
While taking on this new venture, Shingledecker said he’s just adding it to his plate. He said he will remain the head coach for both Stevenson soccer teams and the Michigan Wolves.
In terms of recruiting, Shingledecker said being a college coach and a high school coach at the same time will be “a different animal.” “There’s kids that are going to play for me that will go and play at different places,” Shingledecker said. “Everybody is welcome to make their choices, and everybody’s goals are different: kids want to go away for school, kids want to go to big schools, kids want to go to a specific school. That stuff is going to happen. “For the kids that want to stay home and stay local and want to play for a coach they know and trust, I think it’s an excellent option for them to continue with me, if that’s an option.”
Heading into his first season — starting April 2 in a spring season before Schoolcraft’s usual fall slate — Shingledecker is inheriting nine returning players along with a few players who will return to the field, having played with him in the past. The head coach said, ahead of the spring, he is hoping to have 16-to-17 players to work with.
No matter the level, Shingledecker’s goal remains the same, especially working with a soccer team in Livonia. “The talent level is not an issue even right now,” Shingledecker said. “I really expect a lot from the girls that we have now, that are returning. I think it would be a disservice to think that we are not going to go full-speed ahead and not win all our games.”
Written by Colin Gay and originally posted on Hometown Life