Clayton State University

Clayton State University Athletics
2000 Clayton State Blvd. Morrow, GA 30260
Division 2 Georgia Southeast
Public Medium National competitor


Email coach

Fergal Forde

A former NCAA Division I men’s soccer player and longtime coach, Forde originally joined Clayton State as an assistant men’s and women’s soccer coach in August of 2014. He was named interim head women’s soccer coach on March 21, 2016 before being named to the full-time position on June 26, 2017.


Serving as the head coach of the women’s program since 2016, Forde has compiled a career record of 20-23-5 while developing players that have achieved a number of achievements.

Those have included CoSIDA Academic All-America and All-District honors for Maria Marti Bartis (2016) as well as Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year recognition that same year. She was also one of two Daktronics/D2CCA All-Region selections along with Ann-Cathrin Zabel (2017) while Jessica Charman became the first PBC Female Scholar Athlete of the Year in school history in 2017.

His program has also produced a number of PBC honors, including three All-Conference selections, five weekly award winners and an impressive 16 All-Academic honorees.

Under Forde’s leadership, the Lakers have reached the PBC Tournament in two of his first three seasons and posted several eye-catching results. The first of those came on September 10, 2017 when they defeated Division I The Citadel 1-0 at Laker Field, marking just the second win over a team from that level in program history and the first ever at home.

That same season they lost a 2-1 nail biter to No. 9 Carson-Newman, the eventual NCAA Division II National Runner-Up. In that game they led the Eagles for 24 minutes – in a season that they trailed a grand total of 42 minutes.

Another impressive result came against No. 13 North Georgia on October 15, 2018 as Clayton State notched an improbable 1-1 tie at Laker Field. Incredibly, that came playing with 10 players for the final 55-plus minutes.

As an assistant for both programs, Forde helped the men’s soccer program to a 15-15-2 overall record and 8-10 mark in Peach Belt Conference action and the women’s team to a strong 22-15-1 overall mark. The latter also went 12-9-1 in the PBC.

In 2014, both teams reached the semifinals of the PBC Tournament and the quarterfinals the following year. Between the two clubs, he helped them produce one CoSIDA Academic All-American, two CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, 12 All-Region selections, 12 All-PBC honorees and 15 PBC weekly award winners. Additionally, he helped the women’s program to a 2-1 overtime victory over No. 3 North Georgia on October 14, 2015.


At the college level, Forde was an assistant men’s soccer coach at Division II Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee during the 2010 season. During that campaign, he helped the Bucs reach the championship game of the Gulf South Conference Tournament.

The following season, the players he helped recruit would go 15-4-1, win the GSC Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history. Forde also served as the assistant coach for the women’s soccer and boys U-16 programs at KR Reykjavik Iceland in 2009 and 2010.


Prior to coming on staff, he served as the Director of Coaching for the Ballina Town F.C. Ireland Senior Men’s Team, assuming that role after becoming the program’s head coach in 2011 and serving in that capacity through 2014.


Before beginning his coaching career, he was a member of the University of Memphis soccer program from 1993-97, helping the Tigers reach new levels of success during that time. Finishing with career totals of 30 goals, 13 assists and 73 points in 73 games, Forde helped Memphis to three double-digit victory campaigns, including the 1993 Great Midwest Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

That season the Tigers went 13-9-2 with an impressive home mark of 10-2-1. Both the tournament championship and NCAA appearance were firsts in the history of the program and have each only been matched once in the ensuing years, both in 2004. Following an 11 win season in 1994, Forde was a member of the first Memphis soccer team to play in Conference-USA in 1995.

After falling to No. 2 Saint Louis just 1-0 in the C-USA Quarterfinals that year, the Tigers returned with another 11 win campaign during his senior season and upset the third-seeded Billikens in the opening round of the 1996 conference tournament.

In both of those seasons, Forde made program history while receiving personal accolades for his accomplishments on the field. In 1995 he was one of the first two players in team history (along with Bernard Licari) to earn All-Conference USA honors, doing so with Second-Team recognition, before duplicating that honor at the First-Team level as a senior in 1996.


A 1997 graduate of the University of Memphis, Forde holds a Bachelor’s of Science in International Business as well as a coaching UEFA B License. In 2016 he earned his Master’s in Health Administration from Clayton State.

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Ross Henderson

A former professional men’s soccer player with the Myrtle Beach Mutiny and collegiate star with Southeast Region member Erskine, Ross Henderson joined the Clayton State women’s soccer staff in August of 2018.


Henderson came to the Lakers through a strong connection with the Triumph Youth Soccer Association (TYSA). Since joining the organization in January 2017 he has served as a full-time director of the Junior Academy program, head coach of the Boys U10 and U11 programs and Boys Academy Director.

In addition to his time with TYSA he served as a coach at the North American Academy ID Camp and as a National Camp Coach for West Ham United, the Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City FC from January through August of 2018.

Prior to that he served as head coach of the Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach in 2017, earning SCISA 1A Region Coach of the Year honors that season. Henderson also worked with Coast FA Myrtle Beach over summers from 2013-16 and was head coach of the U10 program in 2017.



An accomplished player in his own right, Henderson played four seasons with the Myrtle Beach Mutiny of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) from 2014-17. During that time he helped lead the club to South Atlantic Division Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016, the latter while serving as team captain.


ERSKINE (2012-15)

Before going pro, he delivered an impressive collegiate playing career at fellow Southeast Region member Erskine from 2012-15. In his time in Due West, South Carolina he played in 61 games, starting 57, while producing 19 goals and 11 assists for 49 points.

A three-time All-Conference Carolinas selection, Henderson earned First-Team honors in 2013 after putting up eight goals and a pair of assists in 14 games (13 starts) and was a Third-Team honoree in 2012 and 2014.

The latter would see him start all 16 games with two goals and three assists after helping to lead the Flying Fleet to a share of the 2013 Conference Carolinas Regular Season Championship. That year would also see EC reach the tournament championship game before finishing the campaign with an impressive 12-6-2 overall record and 7-1 in league play. Additionally, he served as team captain over his final two seasons.


A 2016 graduate of Erskine, Henderson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration in May of that year. He also holds a B-Tec Diploma in Sports Development, Coaching and Performance from Lincoln College in England.

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