Granstrand leads the ’Cats

Rebecca Morstad

The 2013-14 soccer season marks year No. 10 at Northern Michigan University for head coach Matt Granstrand.

Over the past nine years as the women’s head soccer coach, Granstrand has earned a record of 89-63-15. His overall collegiate coaching record stands at 120-85-18. Granstrand leads the Wildcat team with the help of his assistant coach, Jennifer Granstrand.

Jennifer Granstrand returned to this position in 2012, and she had previously held the position from 2005 to 2009. Jennifer Granstrand is the wife of head coach Matt Granstrand. Together they have one son named Owen.

Head coach Matt Granstrand leads the women’s soccer team with experience taken from his years of playing soccer and past coaching experience. (Anthony Viola/NW)
Head coach Matt Granstrand leads the women’s soccer team with experience taken from his years of playing soccer and past coaching experience. (Anthony Viola/NW)

Granstrand said he loves being able to coach in Marquette because the area is so nice.

“My family and I really enjoy living in Marquette,” Matt Granstrand said. “It’s such a beautiful and unique place to live. So for me, being able to work at NMU and coach women’s soccer here is truly special.”

Matt Granstrand began playing college soccer at the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg. He also played at Maryville College in Tennessee, where he set a record for both career assists and single-season assists in 1989.

He graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in pyschology in 1995. In 1998, Matt Granstrand was the head soccer coach at Lakeland College (Sheboygan, Wis.) for both the men’s and women’s teams.

He only stayed there for one year before becoming the University of Oklahoma women’s assistant soccer coach for four years.

Following, Matt Granstrand became the head coach for two seasons at the University of North Dakota. In 2003, he earned Central Region’s Coach of the Year honor after leading the team to their best season record of 14-3-2.

In 2004, Matt Granstrand began his coaching career with the NMU women’s soccer team. During his first season, he led the ’Cats to a record of 7-6-3. The team improved the next year to finish 10-7-0.

During Matt Granstrand’s third season at NMU, he was named the GLIAC women’s soccer Coach of the Year, earning the honor after leading the ’Cats to the most successful season in NMU history and a 16-2-0 record.

In 2007, Matt Granstrand again led the Wildcats to a semifinals spot in the GLIAC Tournament with an overall record of 12-5-2. The next year, he ended with a record of 11-9-1 and another spot in the GLIAC Tournament. Then, continuing along in this pattern, he led the Wildcats (10-9-1) to the semifinals again.

In 2009, the NMU Wildcats made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Matt Granstrand led the team to a record of 9-6-5 after an incredible start to the season with a 10-game unbeaten streak. The Wildcats even reached No. 19 in the national polls that year. During the season, he led the team to a defeat over Grand Valley State, who went on to become national champions. This win ended Grand Valley State’s 65-game unbeaten streak. The game would also give Granstrand his 100th career collegiate victory.

In 2011, Granstrand led the Wildcats to their fifth consecutive seasozn spot in the GLIAC Tournament. With a record of 8-5-2 in the GLIAC (10-6-3 overall), the Wildcats took second place in the North Division. The team ranked No. 13 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll after starting out with a 4-0-2 record. Granstrand coached four of his players in 2011 to all-GLIAC honors.

Junior midfielder Ashley Katers said Granstrand is a good guy.

“He cares a lot about the team and everyone as an individual,” Katers said. “He wants what’s best for the team.”

Katers also said Granstrand will work on anything to help the athletes improve and will help to correct any player mistakes.

“Although he may be quiet on the sideline, we do get the positive criticism we need from him when we are off the field,” Katers said. “He’s dedicated to win and that’s a quality we need in a coach because it reflects on our team.”