The 2004 Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, George Hageage enters his 14th season as the head women’s soccer coach at Eastern Washington University. Hageage is the longest tenured women's soccer coach in the Big Sky Conference.
In his 13 seasons at EWU, Hageage has produced 85 All-Big Sky players, six All-Big Sky tournament honorees, two BSC Defensive Players of the Year, one BSC Newcomer of the Year, 189 Big Sky All-Academic honorees, three ESPN The Magazine All-Academic Team mentions and one NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-West Region Third-Team selection.
The Eagles’ 2012 campaign saw Brianna Brannan and Cassie Black earned All-Big Sky Second Team honors while Katy Cashman and Katy Allen were All-Big Sky Honorable Mention selections. Academically, Hageage saw 18 players named to the Big Sky All-Academic Team for the second year in a row.
EWU notched six wins in 2012, the most since the 2010 season when the Eagles won seven matches. Eastern also registered four draws on the year and lost three matches by a single goal. EWU finished 3-3-3 in Big Sky action, defeating Idaho State, North Dakota and Southern Utah. Eastern collected four of its wins in the month of September, ripping off a three-game winning streak behind victories over Boise State, Idaho and Hawai’i. The Eagles finished with a winning record at home for the first time since 2009, racking up four wins in the friendly confines of the EWU Sports and Recreation Center Soccer Field.
In both 2011 and 2010, Hageage had five players named the Big Sky All-Conference team, and among those honorees was 2010 graduate Brittany Sparks, 2011 graduate Whitney Brannan and current senior Lauren Jacobseon, all of whom made the presitgious list three years in a row. In 2011, Hageage also had 18 players named to the Big Sky All-Academic team, which was at least five more than any other soccer squad in the conference.
After experiencing significant roster changes over the past two years, Eastern struggled to put wins on the board in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. But an overhaul of the team's system and the addition of several strong recruits by Hageage and his staff has EWU soccer looking at a bright future.
The not-too-distant 2009 season was one of the most memorable in history, as the Eagles were picked last in the BSC preseason coaches’ poll, but went on to finish second overall with an impressive 4-2-1 conference record. The Eagles advanced to the league tournament after defeating arch-rival Montana 1-0 in the final regular-season game. Eastern has now made five appearances in the BSC semifinals in school history, four of which have come during Hageage’s tenure.
The Eagles advanced to the league tournament after defeating arch-rival Montana 1-0 in the final regular-season game. Eastern has now made five appearances in the BSC semifinals in school history, four of which have come during Hageage’s tenure.
In addition to the on-field success in 2009, Hageage’s team was honored with the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the ninth-consecutive year. An award given to squads with a GPA of 3.00 or higher, Eastern posted a solid 3.24 grade point average for the school year. EWU is the only Big Sky school to earn the NSCAA Team Academic Award the past nine seasons, and annually leads the league in BSC All-Academic selections, which included 10 in 2009.
The 2008 campaign saw Hageage lead the squad to a strong finish with wins in the final two games of the year. Early in the season, the Eagles claimed the Jackrabbit Invitational, beating hosts and eventual NCAA second round participant South Dakota State 2-1 en route to the title.
In the 2007 season, the Eagles had a 9-8 overall record, their best mark in school history. During the 2006 campaign, Hageage led the Eastern squad to a 2-1 victory over 21st-ranked Long Beach State, the first-ever win by the school over a ranked opponent.
The 2005 season saw EWU advance to the Big Sky Tournament semifinals for the third time. In 2004, Hageage led Eastern to its initial Big Sky regular-season title with a 4-1-1 league mark.
Two years after his inaugural season at the helm of the Eagles, Hageage took the team to its first trip to the Big Sky semifinals in 2002.
Upon arrival at the Cheney school, Hageage took over a team that was 1-17 overall and 0-7 in Big Sky play the year before, and turned it into the sixth most-improved team in the nation in 2000. In fact, that squad won more games that year (seven) than the previous two teams combined (four).
Hageage has also maintained high academic expectations for the EWU soccer program in his 12 years. Eastern was honored with the NSCAA Team Academic Award for nine-consecutive years, and in 2002, his team ranked second overall in the nation in grade point average with a 3.5 team GPA.
Before coming to EWU, Hageage spent three seasons as an assistant at the University of Toledo. He was also head coach at Division III Adrian College in 1995 and 1996. In fact, he has coached soccer at all levels for more than 20 years after a short professional career in indoor soccer.
Notably, Hageage was among a select class of 12 to be honored with the first-ever National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Master Diploma, which he was presented at the 2009 NSCAA Annual Convention in St. Louis, Mo.
The diploma was the result of Hageage completing a year-long course, modeled after the UEFA "A" Coaching License taught in Europe.
Previously, in 2001, he attained a Premier Coach License, which was passed with "distinction," the highest rating possible.
Hageage was added to the NSCAA national coaching staff and, in July 2006, taught in his first national coaching course in Bloomsburg, Pa., before returning in 2007.
He is one of only 47 coaches nationally on that elite staff, which currently includes University of North Carolina head women's coach Anson Dorrance; former England national team player and Canadian national team head coach Tony Waiters; and Newberry College head men's coach and former Nigeria national coach Sam Okpodu.
Hageage's professional development in recent years, as he was invited to take an online coaching course offered through the League Manager’s Association School of Football Management prior to the start of the 2010 season. These development courses are reserved for professional coaches in Europe, most notably the football managers of the English Premier League, as well as special invitees. Also during the past summer, Hageage was selected as a featured author on “The Playbook” – the official blog of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Hageage published a book in 2006, Developing a Successful Soccer Program. He has helped continue the growth of youth soccer in the region with team camps and clinics and was the director of coaching for the Spokane Valley Youth Association for four years.
In 1998 and 1999, Hageage was appointed head coach for the Ohio-North Olympic development program. He is also the Regional Technical Director for the NSCAA Region 12 and is in charge of all nonresidential coaching courses throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Hageage received his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Richmond in 1988 and his master's in education from Toledo in 1998.
Hageage was born May 20, 1966. He married current Eagle goalkeeping coach Tamara Browder on June 10, 2000, and they have a 7-year-old son, George IV.