LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Covenant head men's soccer coach Nathan Pifer has resigned from the position to pursue other career opportunities. Long-time assistant coach Scott Bosgraf will take over the reins as the sixth head coach of the program since 1968, announced director of athletics Tim Sceggel on Monday.
"Over the last eight years, I have enjoyed working with Nate as it has been a pleasure to see his investment in the men's soccer program," Sceggel said. "While it is disappointing to lose a coach like Nate, I'm excited about promoting Scott Bosgraf. His heart for discipleship, proven ability as a recruiter, and his servant leadership in our department for the last several years make him well equipped to serve at the helm of the men's soccer program."
Bosgraf has spent the last three years as the full-time assistant for Pifer after five seasons of being a part-time assistant. No stranger to the Covenant men's soccer program, Bosgraf played for the Scots from 1985-88, under head coach Brian Crossman, and graduated in 1989.
"I am very humbled and thankful to be given this opportunity by Dr. J. Derek Halvorson and Tim Sceggel. Their support, encouragement and trust have been outstanding," Bosgraf said. "I would like to thank Nathan Pifer as well. Working full-time for the last three years with him has been a tremendous experience for me. He is a man of God, a mentor and a true friend and has done a fantastic job of shaping the lives of the Covenant men both on and off the field. To be given this opportunity at Covenant College is truly special for me and my family. Covenant, and specifically Covenant men's soccer, has had a huge impact on my life both as a player and coach and I look forward as the head coach to continuing the process of shaping young men's lives for Christ and his Kingdom. I am truly excited about the program and look forward to getting started."
Bosgraf has been active in the coaching field at various levels for many years. Bosgraf served as head coach for the Chattanooga FC Club team and has held assistant positions at both Baylor School and Chattanooga Christian. Since 2013, Bosgraf has been a staff coach with the Tennessee Olympic Development Program coaching U13-U19 boys and girls. From 2009-11, he was an assistant for Crossman with Chattanooga FC. Bosgraf was a head coach at East Ridge Soccer Association from 2009-12 and led his U18 Boys team to a Division II state championship in 2011. Additionally, he has served as a coach, board member and director for the Lookout Mountain Soccer Association.
In his senior year as a player at Covenant, Bosgraf was a team captain, an All-NAIA District 24 and All-South third team selection while ranking 17th in the country in assists per game. In the late 1990s, he returned to be an assistant coach under Crossman through the 2004 season. After a short stint away from the program, Bosgraf came back to Covenant in 2009 as the goalkeeper coach for Pifer and held that position through the 2013 season before becoming the full-time assistant the next season.
Pifer, a 1984 Covenant graduate, steps down after a successful eight-year run as head coach of his alma mater. Pifer accumulated an 81-66-16 record, the third-most victories for any head coach in the program's history.
"I am so thankful to God and to Covenant College for my eight years serving here," Pifer said. "I was blessed beyond all measure to coach Godly men who strive to glorify God in their lives. I have no doubt the strong traditions and success of the program will continue. As an alum and fellow brother in Christ, Covenant will always be in my prayers."
Under Pifer's leadership, the Scots appeared in three national tournaments including the program's first NCAA Tournament in 2014 after claiming an automatic berth following a USA South Tournament title. Pifer's 2010 team advanced to the NCCAA National Tournament as the No. 1 seed and his 2009 squad placed third at the NCCAA Tournament.
Pifer had 16 players earn all-conference awards during his tenure, with 12 All-USA South performers including one player of the year in the conference, and eight NCCAA All-Americans. Additionally, 43 players earned USA South All-Academic honors with three CoSIDA Academic All-District selections and one CoSIDA Academic All-America choice. Pifer's teams were voted USA South Team Sportsmanship Award winners in each of the last four seasons.
The Covenant stop was the sixth college where Pifer had been a head coach. With previous stints on the men's side at Montreat-Anderson, King and Midwestern State, Pifer totaled 293 overall wins (279 of which came at four-year schools). He also spent time as a college women's soccer head coach at Midwestern State and UT-Martin.
A search for a new full-time assistant coach has started.