MACON, Ga. - Mercer University Director of Athletics Jim Cole announced today that Grant Serafy has decided to retire from his duties as head coach of the women’s soccer program. Serafy had coached the Bears for eight seasons from 2004-2011.
“I am simply ready for the next chapter in my life,” Serafy said in his letter of retirement. “I will take some much-needed time off and plan my next steps in due time after reflection and consideration.
“I want to thank Mercer University for hiring me as their women’s soccer coach. Mercer University is a fine academic institution and I am certain they will be able to be successful in their athletic endeavors. I have been proud to be associated with the university and the athletic department for the past eight years.
“I am extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish with the women’s soccer program. We turned a program that had not won since 1998 into one of the most respected programs in the conference and in the Southeast.”
Serafy leaves the Bears’ program after a record-setting career in Macon. Serafy, just the fifth coach in program history, leaves as the longest-tenured coach in women’s soccer at Mercer. In his eight years, he became the all-time leader in seasons coached, games coached (153), and wins (68).
Serafy’s work turned around a program which, just two years prior to his arrival, had won but one game. By his third season in 2007, he recorded a program-best 11 wins and was named Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year. His legacy includes recording the program’s first two A-Sun Championships (2008 – regular season, 2010 – Tournament) and a first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2010. Serafy also led the Bears to their first-ever NSCAA Regional Ranking in 2008 and again in 2009. The team also received votes at the end of the 2010 season, distinguishing the Bears among the best Division I programs in the Southeast.
This past season the Bears went 10-8-2, which also makes Serafy responsible for the longest-sustained winning record in program history (the Bears’ fifth-straight winning season). The 2011 squad advanced to the Atlantic Sun Championship game for the fourth time in the past five seasons, as well.
Serafy’s 50 victories over past five years are the most ever accumulated by a Mercer women’s soccer coach during that same time frame.
“I’m sure that I speak on behalf of everyone in the Mercer Athletics family when I say that we wish Grant nothing but the very best and are thankful for the major contributions he made to the women’s soccer program,” Cole said. “His record of success on the field – as well as in the classroom – is one which will serve as an example of how you can be a ‘winner’ both on and off the field.”
Serafy leaves the program in good standing in the classroom as well. His teams maintained a team grade point average above 3.1 in each of his eight years as head coach. In each of the past two seasons, his team has had a student-athlete earn a spot on the prestigious Capital One Academic All-District First Team. Additionally, the Bears earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award (based on overall team GPA) every year during his tenure and had a total of 106 student-athletes honored as A-Sun All-Academic Team members.
“Most importantly, I want to thank the players,” added Serafy. “These are some of the finest young ladies you will ever meet. They are bright and dedicated and wonderful people. They are talented soccer players and have a passion and spirit that is unequalled. I will miss them most of all.
“I wish them and Mercer University all the best.”
Cole said a national search for Serafy’s replacement will begin immediately.