Overton named Asbury coach

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Former Shelby County athlete is new women’s soccer coach

By Brian Stone

Former Shelby County soccer player Elyse Overton (formerly Cottrell) is getting back into the sport full-time after being named Asbury University’s women’s soccer coach.

“My expectations for this year are to defend a conference championship title and make some waves in the NAIA national tournament,” Overton said. “More than winning games, however, I expect my girls to see adversity and to face it head on with class and boldness. I’m excited to work with these ladies and grow together and watch them grow into adults in the process.  When they look back at their playing career at Asbury, I want them to be able to say without a doubt, that they gave all they had and that they enjoyed it.”

Overton had been working under now former head coach Brooke Lincoln since 2015 an assistant, with a specialty in training goalkeepers.

In that time, the Eagles have amassed a record of 36-16-5 in that span, including winning a River States Conference Championship this past season.

Overton says she accepted the post as an assistant after meeting Lincoln at a signing at Shelby County High School in 2014.

“I first met Lincoln when I was speaking at a signing of a now Asbury senior at SCHS in 2014,” Overton said. “Coach Lincoln approached me after the signing and asked me to be an assistant coach at Asbury and train the goalkeepers. I worked with the goalkeepers for the last three years and when the position came open, I immediately applied and began the process.”

The former Shelby County athlete brings a winning pedigree with her, having won four NAIA National Championships as a keeper at Lee University in Tennessee from 2008-12.

After graduating from Lee, Overton has been teaching sixth-grade at East Middle School here in Shelbyville, a post she has held for the last five years.

“As a four-time collegiate national championship player and assistant coach at AU, we’re excited about the expertise Elyse brings to this head coaching position,” Asbury Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Mark Whitworth said in a press release. “Elyse is committed to the mission of Asbury and out student-athletes. As a former student-athlete, she understands the vital role collegiate sports has in transforming lives and raising up leaders.”

With impressive track records in both the arenas of assistant coaching and playing the sport of women’s soccer, Overton says she will use her experience and knowledge to help better the team having played several different positions in her time with the sport.

“One of the best takeaways that I have from all my experience on the field is being able to see the entire field of play at one time,” she said. “I played several different positions in high school and was a goalkeeper through my collegiate experience. I have the unique perspective of seeing the game from all angles of the field and that will play a huge role in my coaching process.”