OREM, Utah — Only a few short months after being named Utah Valley University's first head coach of men's soccer, Greg Maas has announced the first hiring to his coaching staff. Matt Ellinger has been named associate head coach of Wolverine men's soccer.
Ellinger comes to UVU from the University of Utah where he was the head coach of the men's soccer club team. During his tenure, the Utes were regional finalists during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
"It is an honor and privilege to represent UVU men's soccer as the associate head coach," Ellinger said. "I believe strongly in the direction of UVU both academically and athletically. I am very fortunate to be involved with such a great program and I am excited for the future of UVU men's soccer.
"I have known coach Maas for many years and his track record for building successful teams and programs has been remarkable. I know UVU men's soccer will play an attractive and effective style of soccer, and I believe we'll be very competitive from the onset. It will be an honor to work with coach Maas on a daily basis."
Local fans might already be acquainted with the Ellinger name when it comes to soccer in the state of Utah. Matt's father, John Ellinger, was the first head coach of Real Salt Lake, piloting the organization through its initial years in Major League Soccer.
The younger Ellinger also spent significant time with RSL. He held stints as the creative services manager as well as the head coach of the U16 and U17 teams, helping to establish RSL's youth development programs in Arizona and Florida.
From there, Ellinger accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Central Arkansas, an NCAA Division I member that competes in the Missouri Valley Conference. While there, he spearheaded the Bears' recruiting efforts through his strong ties to the state of Utah. The current UCA roster features four student-athletes from the Beehive State.
After two seasons with the Bears, Ellinger returned to Utah to take on his most recent role with the Utes. He has also held positions with the Arkansas Rush and Sparta United, two nationally recognized, youth soccer clubs.
"Coach Ellinger is a very motivated and knowledgeable coach who will bring a wealth of experience to the program," Maas said. "It's evident he is passionate about coaching, and he will be a tremendous mentor to our players both on and off of the field. He's very connected throughout the U.S. Soccer community, and he's excited to take a major role in our player identification and development process. UVU men's soccer is very fortunate to have coach Ellinger on its staff."
Ellinger played collegiately for two seasons at Winthrop University before transferring to Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. There, he completed his bachelor's degree in graphic design and marketing.
The UVU men's soccer program is slated to play its inaugural season in 2014 and will be a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company