By Chris Place
Ashley Malone, also known as “Coach A,” is the assistant coach of the Blue Colts women’s soccer team.
Malone said has been around soccer since she was a kid.
“Soccer has been a part of my life for roughly 20 years. I started out playing rec at 8 years old, then I played travel and indoor from 10 to 15. I played varsity in high school. In college, I chose to focus on school and getting acclimated to living away from home, but a couple weeks into my first semester at Monmouth, I wound up joining a co-ed intramural soccer league,” she said.
After Malone’s playing career ended, she couldn’t stay away from soccer for long. She started to look at other ways to get right back into the sport. This ultimately led to her becoming the assistant coach at MCC.
“I missed soccer immediately after my playing career ended, so I started to look for alternatives to stay involved with the sport. I became an indoor referee for a winter rec soccer league throughout college. After that, I taught soccer lessons to 4 to 8-year olds. I was actively looking for a coaching job, saw the opening here, applied for the position and the rest is history,” she said.
As a coach, Malone has focused not only on making the women better on the field, but also off the field.
“My coaching philosophy started out as ‘perform better,’ but it’s evolved to ‘be better.’ As a fitness professional, I tend to focus on improving athletic performance. The girls are expected to show up ready and put the work in all year, but that’s only half the battle. To me, success isn’t determined in wins and losses alone. My success as a coach is measured in more meaningful ways, like shaping responsible, passionate athletes, and role models to represent our program off the field. It’s important to me that my girls also develop skills like teamwork, leadership, being respectful, accepting discipline and being patient with others. These characteristics, combined with the dedication to training, make an impact on how well they play,” she said.
Malone said she is very happy with where she is now and would consider becoming a head coach in the future after gaining more experience.
“Coach Ted and I are currently recruiting new girls for our roster next fall. Once I have more experience under my belt, I would consider taking on that role, but I’m really happy with where I am now,” she said.