Gray III named new Luther head women’s soccer coach


Photo courtesy of Luther Athletics

Gray began his head coaching duties on March 8, and will be the fifth women’s soccer coach in school history since 1989.

In a recent announcement by Luther Director of Athletics Renae Hartl, Hollie Gray III (‘15) was named head women’s soccer coach prior to the start of the 2021 ARC women’s soccer season. Gray, a former Luther men’s soccer player, was named as the new head coach after an extensive nationwide search that began in December of 2020.

Gray played in 56 games as a defender for the Luther men’s soccer team during his collegiate career, helping lead the Norse to a conference championship and an NCAA tournament appearance in 2013. After his playing career was done, Gray became an assistant coach for the Luther men’s soccer team before becoming an assistant coach for the boys’ U19 team at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota. Gray said he was very proud to return to his alma mater.

“Being back at Luther as a head coach is wild to even think about,” Gray said. “It is a great privilege and honor to be entrusted with a program in a place that means so much to me.”

In looking for a new head coach, Hartl was focused on finding the best candidate, but didn’t want to rush the search process.

“As the person leading the search, it was important for me that we name the right head coach and do it with the right timing,” Hartl said. “I told the search committee that if we had a coach named and on campus before the games started that would be wonderful, but that wasn’t the end goal.”

Luckily, Gray ended up being the perfect candidate. According to Hartl, Gray stood out as a great fit for the athletic department because of his energy for recruiting and his six years of experience as an assistant coach. In a statement published on the Luther Athletics website, Hartl expressed her excitement in bringing Gray to Luther.

“We could not be more excited to bring back coach Hollie Gray as our head women’s soccer coach,” Hartl said. “His positive personality is going to resonate with our student-athletes, recruits, families, friends and fans of women’s soccer and Luther College.”

Luther midfielder Allison Edgar (‘21) was very happy about the hiring of Gray, as she thinks he can take the team in a great direction. Edgar was one of many Luther players who had previous experience playing under Gray’s leadership.

“I have seen Coach Gray around some summer camps and he knows the Luther soccer vibe,” Edgar said. “I am super excited for him to start as our head coach.”

Luther midfielder Chloe Baumgartner (‘22) spoke about Gray in a similar manner, and is looking forward to working with him again on the soccer field.

“I got to know Hollie a bit when he was an assistant men’s soccer coach my freshman year,” Baumgartner said. “Getting to end my collegiate soccer career with him I think will be awesome; I think he’ll be a great addition to the program.”

Gray’s first game as a head coach will be on March 30, when Luther travels to Dubuque, Iowa for their season-opener against Loras College. It will be the first of an eight-game season that will see Luther face off against every other team in the American Rivers Conference.