OTTUMWA, IA – A coach with 10 years’ experience at the collegiate and club soccer levels has been named the new head men’s soccer coach at Indian Hills. James Ross comes to Ottumwa from Highland Community College in Kansas where he was the head women’s coach. Prior to that, the new Indian Hills coach was an assistant women’s coach and Director of Recruiting at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. Ross also has previous coaching experience at the four-year level as the head women’s coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma.
Ross’s greatest success so far came at Cloud County Community College in Kansas where he coached the men’s team and helped restart the women’s program. His teams had an overall record of 70-20-5 over four years. In 2016, the Cloud County men went 19-1-2, won the Jayhawk Conference title and the district championship and qualified for the NJCAA tournament for the first time in program history. Ross was named the conference, regional and district coach of the year and was a finalist for national coach of the year. The following year Cloud County resurrected their women’s program and Ross led them to a 15-5 record and a national tournament berth.
Coaching stops at Western Texas Community College, where he was an assistant for one year, and Maple Woods Community College, with a trip to the regional final as an assistant, are also on Ross’s coaching resume. His coaching career began with a youth team, Futura FC, in Kansas City, Missouri.
He has been a tenacious recruiter, signing players from 10 different states and 10 countries while at Cloud County.
Ross earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Park University in Parkville, Missouri, where he played on the soccer team. He also played at Barton County College in Kansas and Tyler Junior College in Texas, where he was an all-region choice.
Upon taking over as head men’s coach of the Warriors, Ross said, “Accepting the head men’s soccer coach position at Indian Hills is the most exciting career decision I have ever made. I know this opportunity is a life- and game-changer for my career. Indian Hills is exactly where I belong!”
Indian Hills Athletic Director Dr. Brett Monaghan said, “James has been one of those coaches on my radar for some time. He is highly regarded at the community college level and has shown the ability to recruit, develop and graduate young people. While checking these boxes, his teams have also had a tremendous amount of success on the field and we believe he is the right fit to continue our success in men’s soccer and get us back to the national tournament. I’m looking forward to getting to work right away with James in preparation for the fall soccer season.”
Ross will take over the Indian Hills men’s program after the Warriors went 13-3-2 under Juan Espinal in 2019. Espinal was the head coach the past two seasons prior to taking an assistant coaching position on the men’s team at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri this offseason.