Northwestern Oklahoma State Soccer Camps
Head Coach Erik Solberg
Erik Solberg was named the Head Soccer Coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in December of 2019 after three successful seasons as the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at East Texas Baptist University (ETBU). Coach Erik is no stranger to the Great American Conference (GAC), spending the 2014 and 2015 seasons as the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at conference foe East Central University. Solberg started his college career serving on staff at NCAA Division I Nicholls State University, while also working at the club level with St. Charles Soccer Club, and as the Head Boys’ Soccer Coach at Ponchatoula High School.
In his first season at the helm of the Rangers, Northwestern set a program record for most wins since joining NCAA Division II. The Rangers also more than doubled their 2018 win total, while scoring the most conference points since 2004, and in the Division II era. Northwestern also scored the most goals in a season since 2004, and had their most shutouts since 2005, both marks setting NCAA Division II program records.
The Rangers also notched a number of single-game records in 2019. Their 11-0 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State University matched their largest win in program history, and Northwestern launched a GAC record for shots in the home win. The Red and Black also scored their largest road win since 2008 by defeating Southern Nazarene 3-0. In the reverse fixture, the Rangers defeated the Crimson Storm 6-2 on Senior Day to achieve their largest margin of victory in a GAC game since joining Division II.
In addition to team accolades, Reyna Gonzalez was named GAC Newcomer of the Year for her efforts between the posts, while Yazmin Gomez and Makayla Barrientos were named all-conference. Kaley Whitworth was named Honorable Mention.
Prior to Northwestern, Solberg led ETBU to program records during his tenure on “the Hill.” Coach Erik became the first coach in program history to qualify for the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Tournament in each of his first three seasons, and quickly rebuilt the program from a record of 5-13 to 13-5-2 in just two seasons. Solberg finished his time at ETBU with a record of 27-21-7, including a mark of 21-12-3 in the past two years.
In 2018, the Tigers finished 8-7-1, giving ETBU a .500 record in back-to-back years for first time since 2011-12, and saw the program rewarded with 6 ASC All-Conference awardees, all of whom were Freshman and Sophomores. Sophomore Ashleigh Rondon was also named ASC Offensive Player of the Week for her performance against Belhaven and Louisiana College. The 21 wins over the course of 2017-2018 are the most since 2005-2006.
In the record-setting 2017 campaign, the Tigers set program records for regular season wins (13), winning percentage (.708), and also had the fewest losses in a season in the history of the program (5). ETBU also earned their first United Soccer Coaches West Regional ranking, and hosted an ASC Quarter-Final match for the first time in program history by virtue of their Top-4 conference finish in the ASC. The Tigers also made history, by defeating a NCAA Division I opponent, Alcorn State, 4-1, for the first time in school history.
The success of the team also resulted in many individuals garnering awards in 2017. Solberg recruited both the ASC Offensive Freshman of the Year (Ashleigh Rondon) and ASC Defensive Freshman of the Year (Kibriana Bonner), and for the first time in program history, ETBU had players named to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region team (Kibriana Bonner and Heather Brady). The Tigers also had 7 All-Conference players including 3 first team selections (Kibriana Bonner, Heather Brady, and Hannah Murin). Hannah Murin also was named ASC Offensive Player of the week after her hat-trick against Louisiana College.
In Solberg’s first season at ETBU in 2016, he led the program to a 6th place finish in the American Southwest Conference (ASC), marking the program’s best finish since 2011. The Tigers lost 6 fewer games than in 2015, and finished with the most shutouts and fewest losses in 5 seasons.
Off the field, the Tigers have continued to excel in the classroom. The team cumulative GPA has risen from 2.99 in 2015 to 3.42 in 2017, and ETBU has had 15 honorees in 2018, 11 in 2017, and 10 in 2016 named to the ASC Academic Team. The Tigers have also earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award.
Prior to his time at ETBU, Solberg gained experience at both the NCAA Division I and II levels, as well as head-coaching experience at the high school and club levels.
Coach Erik was the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at East Central University, a Division II member of the Great American Conference (GAC). At East Central, Solberg was responsible for all aspects of recruiting and day-to-day operations, and led the team to the GAC Tournament semi-final game in 2014.
Solberg started his collegiate coaching career as the Volunteer Assistant Coach at Nicholls State University in 2013. In his lone season with the program, Nicholls recorded their best record in program history at 12-6-2. The Colonels also notched their most conference wins in program history (6), and their first conference tournament appearance since 2004.
While in Louisiana, he also served as the Head Boys Soccer Coach at Ponchatoula High School, as well as a Head Soccer Coach with the St. Charles Soccer Club. Solberg led the club to its first ever State Championship, capturing the Louisiana Soccer Association State Cup/Governor’s Cup with the U-12 Girls team in April, 2014.
Solberg’s other coaching experience includes a stint as a staff coach with FC Dallas East Texas, as well as serving as Head Coach of the Athletes in Action Women’s Soccer team as they competed and served in France in 2016.
Solberg holds both an Advanced National Diploma and National Diploma from United Soccer Coaches, along with a soccer certification from the National Federation of State High School Associations. He has been responsible for directing camps at all four of his collegiate coaching stops, and has worked camps nationwide, including Texas Christian University, the University of Wisconsin, University of Oregon, Lamar University, and Tyler Junior College. He has also been staff member of the FC Dallas College Combine, H2C College Combines, Texas Spirit ID Camp SportSource College Showcase ID camp, and has worked as a director and coach with EXACT Soccer Camps.
Solberg got his start in coaching serving as Camp Director and Coach with Skyhawks, Inc., working with ages 3 to 15 years old, from 2009-2011. As a player, Solberg competed for Grove United Soccer Club and the Buffalo Grove Hurricanes Club in Chicago.
Coach Erik was a track and cross-country athlete at the University of Mississippi from 2009-2011. He scored points for the Rebels at the 2009 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Cross-Country Championships, and also earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2009-2010. During his career at Ole Miss, he was inducted into the M-Club for Varsity Letter-Winners in October of 2010, and was also one of only 100 NCAA student-athletes selected nationwide to attend the 2011 NCAA Sports and Entertainment Summit.
In his time in Oxford, Solberg was also a scholarship violinist in the Lafayette-Oxford-University Orchestra. He remains an active member of the Ole Miss M-Club Alumni Chapter, and Ole Miss Alumni Association.
Following his career with the Rebels, Solberg completed his athletic eligibility as a graduate-student at Division I Southeastern Louisiana, where he lettered in track and field, while being the only Southeastern graduate student to earn Southland Conference Academic Honor Roll merits.
Prior to his collegiate career, Coach Erik was a stand-out athlete at Buffalo Grove High School, earning All-American honors in Track and Field for his sixth-place finish in the 2000-meter Steeplechase at the 2007 USA Track and Field National Youth Championships. He was also a member of the 2003 USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic team champion with Prospect Heights Running Club. Solberg is on the Buffalo Grove High School “Wall of Fame.”
Servant leadership has been a big part of Solberg’s life, having served with the Fellowship of Christian Athlete (FCA) huddle groups at Ole Miss, Southeastern Louisiana, ETBU, as well as starting the campus huddle group at Nicholls. He has also served with Athletes in Action, going on a mission trip to Zimbabwe in 2012 as an athlete, and as a coach to France in 2016.
Solberg also has a passion for broadcasting, serving as the voice of the Rochester Honkers baseball organization in the summer of 2014, and also doing play-by-play work for Nicholls, and ETBU. He has also done public address work, most notably for the 2011 SEC Softball Championship, the 2016 ASC Baseball Tournament, and for Ole Miss baseball, volleyball, softball, and football.
Solberg holds his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Ole Miss, and his Master of Education in Sports Administration from East Central University. The Arlington Heights, Ill., native is married to the former Shelby Tidwell, and they reside with their dog, Scout, in Alva.