Darryl Longabaugh is entering his 24th season at the helm of the Lady Choctaw soccer program as the only women’s soccer coach in Mississippi College history. Longabaugh helped get the program started as the inaugural coach in 1997 and built one of the most successful programs in the American Southwest Conference before transitioning to Division II and the Gulf South Conference and competing for the top spot in the league year in and year out.
The Lady Choctaws made history in 2019, winning the Gulf South Conference regular season title with a perfect 12-0 record in league play. They would advance to the NCAA Tournament as the #1 seed in the South Region for the second time in three years and went 15-3 overall and played in their third straight NCAA Tournament. The Lady Choctaws won a school-record 15 straight contests during the 2019 campaign, and Katie Taylor was named a First Team All-American and earned South Region and GSC Player of the Year Awards. MC also swept the GSC postseason awards with Liza Wise earning Defensive Player of the Year honors and Erin Hederman being named GSC Freshman of the Year. The 2019 squad also featured the first two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in program history in Lauren Kate Carter and Taylor. Also, 21 players were named to the GSC Academic Honor Roll, while four Lady Choctaws were named to the All-Academic Team.
In 2018, the women's soccer team advanced further than any other in the program's history, winning their way to the Division II Sweet Sixteen with an upset road win over top-seed Barry in the second round. The Lady Choctaws set a school record with 11 straight victories from September 7th to October 21st, including eight shutouts and just a total of three goals allowed. MC opened the Division II tournament with a 3-0 win over Nova Southeastern before defeating Barry in the second round. Senior Gaylynn Cooper earned First Team All-GSC and First Team D2CCA and USC All-South Region honors on the year. Senior Sam Carson and juniors Gabby Kayser and Liza Wise were Second Team all-conference selections, while Wise also earned all-region honors from D2CCA and USC. Carson, Kayser and Katie Taylor were also named to the USC All-Region Team. The Lady Choctaws hung their hats on the defensive end where they allowed just 13 goals and posted a 0.64 goals against average.
The year 2017 proved to be one of the most successful seasons in MC Women's soccer history. The Lady Choctaws compiled a record of 15-4-1, with a 12-2 record against Gulf South Conference, marking for the third most single-season wins in program history. The Lady Choctaws booked a second-straight trip to the GSC Postseason Tournament Championship match. The Lady Choctaws also earned their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament, serving as the #1 overall seed in the NCAA South Regional Tournament in Florence, Ala. Caitlin Hayes and Andrea McDonald headlined the 2017 squad as GSC All-Conference First Team Selections, while Scarlett Hodges was named to the All-GSC Second Team. Hayes and McDonald were both also named to the Division II Conference Commissioners Association All South Region First Team, while Hodges garnered Second Team honors. The Lady Choctaws were led by a stout defense that allowed just 12 goals in 20 contests, for a GSC-best Goals Against Average of 0.60; a mark that ranked second in program history in single-season GAA. The Lady Choctaws also pitched a GSC-best 10 shutouts, highlighted by stretches of 309 and 326 consecutive minutes during the year without allowing a goal. The Lady Choctaws netted 41 goals on the season, for an average of 2.05 per match. MC put together a run of five-straight wins from Sept. 22 through Oct. 6, and a season-high six straight wins from Oct. 15 through Nov. 3.
In 2016, Longabaugh led the Lady Choctaws to a record of 13-5-2 overall, and a 9-2-1 mark against Gulf South Conference opponents in MC’s first full season of competition in the GSC in over 20 years. Under Longabaugh’s direction, the Lady Choctaws scored 39 goals in 20 games, for an average of 1.95 goals per contest. The Lady Choctaws rendered just 0.90 goals per game to opponents and recorded eight shutouts, both marks that ranked third in the Conference. The Lady Choctaw defense put together a streak 364 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal, a streak that lasted just over four matches from Sept. 25 through Oct. 9. Caitlin Hayes, Lauren Kate Carter and Gaylynn Cooper all landed spots on the 2016 GSC All-Conference Teams. Hayes garnered first team honors, while Carter and Cooper both earned second team honors. Hayes was also selected to the D2CCA All-South Region First Team, while Carter picked up second team honors. The Lady Choctaws finished off the regular season with a three-match win streak, including a 1-0 victory over nationally ranked West Florida that clinched the Lady Choctaws a spot in the 2016 GSC Postseason Tournament. Longabaugh and the Lady Choctaws grabbed their first ever win in the GSC tournament in a 2-1 overtime victory over West Georgia on Nov.1. The Lady Choctaws would go on to clinch a spot in the GSC Finals after playing to a 0-0 draw versus Lee and advancing on PK’s 3-2.
The 2015 season saw the Lady Choctaws advance to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national championship game, entering the tournament as the #1 overall seed. MC won 14 games on the season and had three players named NCCAA All-MidEast Region in senior Sayit Mejia Bello and freshmen Jess Davenport and Andrea McDonald. Mejia Bello and Davenport were also named NCCAA All-Americans, while Davenport was named a D2CCA All-South Region selection. In their final transition year being ineligible for NCAA and GSC postseason play, MC finished 4th in the final league standings, while 19 Lady Choctaws were named to the GSC FireSeeds Academic Honor Roll.
In 2014, the Lady Choctaws played a full Gulf South Conference schedule for the first time in school history, going 9-8-1 with a 4-7-1 mark in league play. Seniors Melanie Benner and Macey Lee were joined by juniors Meghan Dodge and Mejia Bello on the NCCAA All-MidEast Region Team, while 20 members of the Lady Choctaw team earned spots on the GSC All-Academic Team.
It did not take Longabaugh long to develop one of the ASC’s most consistent soccer programs and earn his status as one of the league’s top coaches. Four times he was named ASC East Division Coach of the Year in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2003. He also led the Lady Choctaws to the NCCAA national championship game in 2015, heading into the tournament as the #1 overall seed. They finished 2015 fourth in the final GSC standings.
In 2013, the Lady Choctaws wrapped up their time in the American Southwest Tournament with a 13-6-1 overall record and a 6-3 mark in the league. With MC's 7-0 victory over Ozarks on October 24th, Longabaugh earned his 200th career win. Despite not being eligible for the ASC Tournament due to transitiong to Division II, the Lady Choctaws advanced to the National Christian College Athletic Association Tournament. They would open the tourney with a 5-1 win over Tennessee Temple at home. They then traveled to face Campbellsville, falling in penalty kicks. The Lady Choctaws had 14 players earned ASC All-Academic honors, while Melanie Benner, Caitlin Chapman, Meghan Dodge, Macey Lee and Nicole McKissack were All-ASC selections. Junior Macey Lee set a school record with 25 goals scored in 2013, also earning NSCAA All-West Region honors. Benner and Kaitlyn Kiss earned NCCAA All-Region honors.
The 2012 season saw the Lady Choctaws return to the ASC Tournament after a brief hiatus in 2011. MC won at least 14 games for the fifth time in 16 seasons under Longabaugh. The Lady Choctaws advanced to the semifinals of the ASC Tournament, falling to Texas-Tyler in a shootout. The MC defense was stifling in 2012, posting 10 shutouts in 20 matches. Senior Megan Whitten and sophomore Melanie Benner each earned NSCAA All-Region honors and joined Macey Lee as First Team All-ASC selections. In all, seven Lady Choctaws earned All-ASC honors. Arguably, the most impressive feat by the Lady Choctaws was that 21 of 36 members of the team earned ASC All-Academic honors.
In 2011, the Lady Choctaws clinched their 13th consecutive winning season in the tough American Southwest Conference. MC had six players earn All-Conference honors, led by three on the Second Team, including senior Lesly Melo, junior Megan Whitten, and freshman Macey Lee. Senior Hannah Langley was given the ASC Fred Jacoby Sportsmanship Award, recognizing one male and one female student-athlete in the conference who best displays the attributes of sportsmanship, leadership, citizenship and academic integrity in their athletic, academic and life pursuits. Over the 13 years the award has been given out, four Lady Choctaw soccer players have earned the honor.
In the 2010, the Lady Choctaws qualified for their eighth straight ASC Tournament with a 12-5-2 record and #5 seed in the playoffs. MC was bounced out of the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Howard Payne in the first round. Seven Lady Choctaws earned All-ASC honors: Kasey Ambrose, Molly Dearborn, Hollye Henderson, Lesly Melo, Liz Miller, Megan Whitten, and Bethany Roberson.
The 2009 season was another successful one for the Lady Choctaws as they advanced to their seventh consecutive ASC Tournament after an 11-5-3 finish and a #3 seed. Carrie Kirk earned Defensive Player of the Year honors as five Lady Choctaws overall earned All-ASC honors. Kirk was named to the All-ASC First Team for the fourth time in her career.
In 2008, the Lady Choctaws finished 17-4 with an 11-2 conference mark that earned MC a #3 seed in the ASC Tournament. Seven Lady Choctaws earned All-ASC selections with Carrie Kirk earning the inaugural ASC Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year Award. Hannah Langley was named ASC Freshman Defender of the Year while Kirk was named to the NSCAA All-South Region Third Team.
In 2007, the Lady Choctaws finished with a 13-6 record, which earned them the #4 seed in the ASC Tournament. It was the fifth consecutive tournament appearance for Longabaugh and the Lady Choctaws. MC placed seven players on the All-Conference teams, including three players with First Team selections: Laura Leigh Ellis, Kellie Kirby, and Carrie Kirk.
In 2006, the Lady Choctaws earned a 14-6 record, which was good enough for a #4 seed in the conference tournament. MC saw six players earn All-ASC honors, and Jennifer Benson became the all-time leading goal scorer in school history. Laura Leigh Ellis and Carrie Kirk earned First Team All-ASC honors with Kirk earning the Defensive Freshman of the Year Award.
In 2005, his Lady Choctaws finished the season with an 11-7 record and earned an appearance in the ASC Championship Tournament for the third consecutive season. Under his tutelage, seven Lady Choctaws earned post-season honors including First Team All-ASC selection Kelley Kirby. In addition, Kelly Morse became the first Lady Choctaw soccer player to earn ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors.
In 2004, the Lady Choctaws finished the year with a 14-6 overall record that included a trip to the ASC Championship Tournament semifinal round where they lost to eventual ASC Champion Hardin-Simmons 2-0. The season resulted in seven different Lady Choctaws earning All-ASC honors including two first team selections in Kristy Morse and ASC Offensive Freshman of the Year Kellie Kirby.
In 2003, the Lady Choctaws won a school-record (at the time) 16 games and set numerous other records including goals scored in a season and goals scored in a game (15, Jackson State). That same year they were regionally ranked by both the NCAA and NSCAA as high as 5th.
Longabaugh helped develop some of the ASC’s top talent. Kemily Weimer (2002), Jennifer Benson (2003) and Kellie Kirby (2004) have been named the ASC Offensive Freshman of the Year. Kellie Kirby was also named to the NSCAA Second team All-Region after leading the team in goals scored with 18 in 2004. Courtney Shires (1997) and April Smith (2003) were named the ASC Defensive Player of the Year. Carrie Kirk (2006), Lauren Cooper (2007), and Hannah Langley (2008) have all been named ASC Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Prior to taking the reins of the women’s program, Longabaugh worked with the men’s team for four seasons as an assistant and goalkeeper coach. He also has extensive experience away from Mississippi College coaching top high school talent and Division I select teams. Longabaugh has worked in international soccer ministry teams that have toured Mexico, Costa Rico, Antigua, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Longabaugh is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He played at Clinton High School in Clinton, MS and Hinds Junior College, Raymond, MS before playing at Mississippi College. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Social Science degree from Mississippi College. He currently holds his U.S.S.F. National D Coaching License.
Darryl is married to the former Kimberly Girod and the two have a son, Garet.