Head soccer coach resigns after verbal abuse allegations


Matt (Matthew) Kellogg has allegedly resigned from head coach of the Winona State University women’s soccer team.

Sophia Sailer, Editor-in-Chief

Matt (Matthew) Kellogg, the head women’s soccer coach at Winona State University has resigned allegedly due to audio a student on the women’s soccer team recorded relating to verbal abuse allegations.

Kellogg has not been spotted at the women’s soccer games since Sept. 11 and is now no longer a faculty member at Winona State.

These allegations mark the second athletic scandal at Winona State in seven years. In 2015 Mike Leaf, former basketball coach, resigned due to evidence surfacing of him making unwanted sexual advances on players.

A previous women’s soccer player at Winona State, who wished to remain anonymous, commented about the parallels between the two scandals, stating that the athletics’ department is handling the allegations with Kellogg a lot better than with the allegations relating to Leaf.

Erich Sohoh, director of athletics, and Melanie Brunsdon, associate athletic director, were contacted for a comment on the situation but did not respond.

On Oct. 14, an official university statement was given to The Winonan stating that Kellogg was still employwed as the head women’s soccer coach and that no disciplinary action was taken. This statement came before Kellog’s name was removed from the Winona State Warrior Directory. On Oct. 20, an updated universty statement was provided to The Winonan, stating that Kellogg has left Winona State to pursue opportunities outside the university.

Adela Ashby, a former Winona State student and Women’s Soccer player who transferred to Hamline University, spoke about why she believes Winona State has not made a public statement about Kellogg resigning.

“I have a feeling they don’t tell anyone because the athletic director is not much better than Matt. He doesn’t listen to athletes or other students that see things,” -Adela Ashby, former WSU soccer player (Carolyn Hauschild)

“I have a feeling they don’t tell anyone because the athletic director is not much better than Matt. He doesn’t listen to athletes or other students that see things. They probably don’t want it getting out to any possible future athletes, but I think athletes should be informed of these things before committing the next 4 plus years of their life to a university,” Ashby stated.

Andrea Northam, the Senior Director of Marketing, Communications, and Media Relations commented on this change, saying that Assistant Coach Jill Leibforth will assume head coaching duties until a national search is conducted.

Ashby talked about what her experience was like with Kellogg.

“At first, I liked how he set his standards so high and pushed us. But I soon realized that he was the same off the field as he was on it. Constantly criticizing, limited rewards, and very little effort on reaching out and making sure his athletes were okay mentally and physically,” Ashby said.

Ashby continued, saying that she never felt supported by Kellogg, fearing how he would react to her mental health struggles.

“I had many meetings with him to talk about how I was struggling mentally but he never seemed to care, he just brushed it off and never put much thought into it. He made me feel as if I couldn’t advocate for myself and I stopped reaching out in fear that I would just make him madder, and it would affect any possible playing time. I felt like I couldn’t be myself by the team and I started to shut down,” Ashby said.

Ashby spoke about her feelings towards the verbal abuse allegations, and how she agrees with them.

“He was very close minded to anyone else’s opinions including the other coaching staff. He would disrespect his wife (our assistant coach at the time) when she would try to make things fun or do something goofy. I just felt that he should not be coaching women’s sports if he can’t even respect his own wife. He also would shut the other coach’s ideas down and verbally abuse them at times. He was just a difficult man to work with from multiple aspects,” Ashby said.

Ashby reflected on how traumatic coaching can affect how a player feels about the sport, and how she was affected.

“Going through something like that can really ruin a sport for someone. Lucky it didn’t ruin my love for the game, but I did lose myself in the process and had to take a step back/time off to remember that my performance on the field does not make me who I am from it. I do not want any athlete to feel as broken as I was over a sport,” Ashby said.

*Correction (10.25.22): The article ‘Head soccer coach resigns after verbal abuse allegations’ published Oct. 24, 2022, incorrectly attributed comments from Winona State University interim head soccer coach, Jill Leibforth. The Winonan has no knowledge of Leibforth’s coaching prospects.

*Correction (10.26.22): Attribution of the official university statement to Erich Schoh and Melanie Brunsdon was inaccurate. Communication was misinterpreted and has been updated in the story to properly reflect the situation