In his eighth season at the helm of the Hardin-Simmons women's soccer program, Marcus Wood has brought his team to a level where it is yearly considered one of the nation's best. In 2006 the Cowgirls made their deepest run in the NCAA Tournament, going to the Elite Eight with wins over Puget Sound, Trinity and UC-Santa Cruz. HSU won its fourth straight American Southwest Conference title and extended its ASC unbeaten streak to 82 matches. The program has also made great strides in facility improvements. The Cowgirls have a new game field that is two years and a soccer fieldhouse is being built next to the field. On the other side of the field is an area that is going to be the new practice field for the Cowgirls. Wood has compiled an 120-17-13 record in his five seasons with Cowgirls currently ranks fourth in the NCAA Division all-time winning lists by percentage. His .843 mark puts him behind only Joe Russo of The College of New Jersey, Bob Barnes of Ohio Wesleyan and Luis Reis of Wheaton (Mass.). His teams have not shied away from going against some of the toughest competition in the nation. In the last seven years, the Cowgirls have played eight teams that have advanced to at least the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Striving to get to the top of the NCAA ladder, Wood has had to play most of those games on the road, either in the regular season or the NCAA playoffs. The Cowgirls have made trips to Emory, Trinity and Puget Sound, three of the powerhouses in NCAA Division III, in search of the best competition. Although not always successful, the Cowgirls have been competitive in all of those on-the-road situations. HSU has to find tough foes in the non-conference portion of its schedule, because HSU has dominated the ASC slate going undefeated in its last 83 games.. HSU has been to the last six ASC Women's Soccer finals winning five of the titles, including four straight. Overall, the Cowgirls have won nine ASC titles since 1996. Not only do the Cowgirls go anywhere to face the best competition in season, its offseason conditioning program may be one of the best in the nation. The Cowgirls have made two trips to Europe under Wood, including this August when the team went 1-0-2 against some top level teams from London. In each of the last six seasons the Cowgirls have been ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America National Poll at some point, reaching a high of No. 4 in 2006. Wood's players are also responsible for the "HSU rule" in the conference by-laws that says only seven players from one school can be nominated for All-ASC honors. That is because in year's past the Cowgirls had 12 or more players that were deserving of awards and were picked, taking away awards from other teams. Since the rule was enacted, the Cowgirls have had all seven players on the All-ASC or ASC-West teams. Prior to the elimination of division in 2004, the Cowgirls had the ASC West offensive and defensive players of the year in each of the last seven years. Wood is already the school's all-time winningest coach. Eight players have been named all-region a total of 11 times under Wood's guidance. He has coached four All-Americans at HSU, including a pair of sophomores on this year's team Christ Carr and Amy Kuykendall. Mollie Porter and Whitney Piendak are the other two All-Americans. Prior to HSU, Wood was a highly-successful assistant coach at both Cumberland College (Ky.) and Gardner-Webb (N.C.) University. His most recent stop was a one-year stint at GWU, where he helped turn the program from 6-13 in 1998 to 13-9 in 1999. The Lady Bulldogs also upset the No. 1 team in the nation. Wood coached the Bettendorf (Iowa) Soccer Association team to the U18 Iowa State Championship in 1999. He had a 41-7-2 record as the head coach for the youth team. Also added to the resume is his ability to speak and perform at soccer clinics all around the Midwest. Known as a skillful motivator and teacher, he has conducted his annual camp called "Woody's" since 1993. The camp is for ages 6-14. At Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Ill.,Wood was team captain, team MVP, NCCAA All-Region and was a NAIA Academic All-American. Wood graduated from ONU as the school's second all-time leading scorer and team captain and MVP. Wood was also a three-time Olympic development player. Wood holds a Premier National Coaching Diploma through the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He earned his premier in April of 2004 in Limeshak, U.K. He earned his master's degree from Hardin-Simmons in Sports and Recreation Management. He married the former Kelly Tragesser in December of 2005.