MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon athletic director Buzz Phillips officially announced the promotion of Robert Milner to interim head women's soccer coach on Friday.
The 27-year-old Milner served as an assistant with the Lady Hawks last season.
"We're glad to have Robert in this position," Phillips said. "He came in last season and proved himself as an assistant to Wes Anania. When Wes informed us he was leaving, Robert's name was at the top of our list."
This will be Milner's first collegiate head coaching position. Before joining the Huntingdon staff, he coached at the club and high school level. At the club level, he coached with the Capital City Streaks, FC Torjager and the River Region Rapids. As a high school coach, he spent three seasons as the head coach at St. James School in Montgomery. He is also an active member of the Alabama Olympic Development Program.
"I'm delighted with this opportunity," said Milner, a native of Cork City, Ireland. "My goal has been to become a head coach and I'm thankful to coach Phillips, President J. Cameron West and Huntingdon College for giving me this chance.
"I learned a lot during my season with Wes. He allowed me to take on a little more than some assistants and he let me gain a lot of hands-on experience. The two of us come from different backgrounds and have different coaching philosophies, so it was good for me to be exposed to his coaching style. I was able to learn a lot from the experience."
Anania coached the Lady Hawks for three seasons. Inheriting a program that had won just two games in 2008, Anania led Huntingdon to a 16-30-4 record from 2009-2011. His 2011 team was 6-10-1, marking the program's most wins since 2005.
Milner said he hopes to continue building the program and moving it in the right direction.
"My goal for the team is to be competitive," Milner said. "The key for us is going to be how we come together as a team. If we can keep the majority of the girls we have coming back and add a few new girls to the mix, I think we can make a deep run in the Great South Athletic Conference tournament. I'd like to see us make a run at the conference finals and keep building as we enter the USA South Conference in 2013."
As a player, Milner won two national high school championships, won honors with the U-16 Irish National Team and also played professionally for the U-21 Cork City FC. In college, he played two seasons at Martin Methodist before transferring to Auburn University-Montgomery for two seasons. At AUM, he helped his team win the Region XIII championship and reach the Final Four.
Milner earned his B.S. in Education from AUM.