by Megan Murray
The new school year brings new opportunities and new coaches to Millsaps. This year, the Majors add three new football position coaches, a new head women’s soccer coach, and a new head softball coach to the roster for the 2015-2016 season.
Coach Aaron Fisher joins the Millsaps football coaching staff as the defensive backs’ coach. Before coming to Millsaps, Fisher was a student assistant and recruiting assistant at the University of South Florida, where he received his bachelor’s degree. Most recently, he was the cornerbacks’ coach at Southwest Baptist University, while also earning his master’s degree.
Fisher says, “[I came to Millsaps because] the football program has been very successful. The staff is filled with guys who are very knowledgeable [of] the game of football, so I knew it was a great opportunity for me to grow.” He added, “The Millsaps community has been very welcoming. I have enjoyed working with the type of students [and] athletes that Millsaps attracts.”
With the first game under his belt, Fisher says, “It was great feeling to get a victory against a rival, especially in front of the biggest crowd Millsaps has ever had here.”
As far as his expectations for himself and the team for the remainder of the season, Fisher says, “We are a very young team, which is exciting for a coach because you get to do a lot of teaching. I expect for us to play hard, smart, discipline football for four quarters every single game. If we do that, we will be in good position to win games. As for myself, I want to continue to grow as a coach and a mentor.”
Also joining the Millsaps football program for the 2015 season as wide receivers’ coach is Mike DeTerlizzi. Prior to coming to Millsaps, he coached two years at Charleston Southern University, where he also played for four years and received his master’s degree in business administration. He served as an offensive assistant in 2013 and a defensive and operations graduate assistant in 2014.
DeTerlizzi says, “The coaching profession is interesting. It’s all about connections and who you know and where they’ve been. I saw this job posted online and one of the position coaches at Charleston Southern (and now Fresno State) coached [at Millsaps] under Coach DuBose and [alongside] Coach Pelch… His name was Coach Woodson, and he [coached] at Charleston Southern while I was playing in 2013. He actually was the one who provided the recommendation to Coach Pelch for me—that is what opened up the job.”
With one game under his belt, DeTerlizzi says, “[Being a coach at Millsaps] is great. It’s very similar to what I am used to. Charleston Southern was not a very big school, only about 3,200 kids, so I am used to the smaller campus. But the game-day atmosphere is something that is pretty special even in a smaller school than what I am used to, so that was good. You can tell that a lot of people care about the success of the program. For an institution that is centered around academics, that could be a concern. People are supportive of the athletic program here, so that is good. It is obvious that Millsaps is in its own category when it comes to that, because other conference teams we have are not as athletic-friendly. That is very encouraging. You always want to coach at a place where you have support not just from other athletic teams, but also the faculty and other students… I am very privileged and blessed to be here.”
Coach De, as he’s known, also has high expectations. “[I want the guys to] play at a high level,” he says. “We have a very talented group for the receiver position. They have the ability to do some big things and potentially be some All-Conference selections. But they have to be willing to work everyday. On my end, I have to be prepared… for them, and make sure I coach them and teach them the proper techniques to [be successful]. As well as put them in a position to make those big time plays.”
The Majors also add Coach Daniel Lopez to the team as the linebackers’ coach. Before coming to Millsaps, he was a graduate assistant at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, where he helped with the linebackers and oversaw the scout teams. He also has experience coaching linebackers and defensive line at three different high schools in Texas. He played his college football career at Baylor University. Lopez could not be reached for comment.
There is also a new head women’s soccer coach on campus this year. Coach Sarah Arsenault compiled a successful coaching career before joining the Majors. She was the head women’s soccer coach for two years at the State University of New York at Canton. Prior to that, she worked as an assistant coach for both men’s and women’s soccer at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania.
Arsenault says, “I have only been here for a short time but I have enjoyed coming in to lead a group of young ladies who were ready and anxious to work hard and push themselves to a new level. We have already come a long way from where we started on the first day of pre-season and after earning our first win on Sunday, I believe we are going to see a lot more improvement throughout the season.”
Arsenault confidently adds, “Our goal from the beginning has been to improve from last year in any and every way possible. As a team, we expect you succeed in the classroom and on the field. We are hoping to make an impact big enough to send a message to every team in the conference that Millsaps Women’s Soccer is now a serious contender and should not be taken lightly.”
Finally, the Majors welcome a new head softball coach to Millsaps. Coach Erin Clary comes to Millsaps from Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland, where she served as head softball coach for two years. She was also an assistant coach at Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania.
Clary says, “After speaking to Josh [Brooks] about the job opportunity, I was pretty much sold right away… The work environment itself was great. He told me about the team and where they were and just how excited and eager they were for a change. I was immediately excited. I wanted to be a part of it and I wanted to help [the team]. It was kind of an easy decision for me. Besides leaving my family and everything behind, everything else was pretty easy for me.”
Clary is chomping at the bit to jump in. “Right now I am dying to start fall ball. I cannot wait to start,” she says. “I am excited to see everybody out on the field. I am excited to start building relationships with everybody on and off the field… It feels like I have been here forever although I have only been here since July, so I am just really excited to get started with everything. I am also really excited that we are starting our Spring Break trip this year. I think that will be a great tradition for us to start, so that will be something big to look forward to.”
Clary adds, “As far as myself and the team goes, I am looking forward to us pushing each other and making each other better. I plan to give [the team] 100 percent every practice, every game, everything we do. My goal is to get that out of all [the players] so they can make each other better. Besides softball, I want [the girls] to leave the program that I am running with memories of everything we did besides just softball. Hopefully, they leave [Millsaps] with a better sense of those kinds of things that don’t even have to do with softball and they form relationships.”