Gary Ross is in his 13th year at the helm of the men's soccer program in 2016. Ross owns a 110-104-15 career record and led the program to the 300th win of its history on August 29, 2015.
Ross graduated from Taylor University in 1995 with a double major in business administration and philosophy. He played both baseball (1991-1995) and soccer (1991-1994) while at Taylor before injuries ended his career. He was a starting midfielder for Taylor's first ever NAIA District 21 championship soccer team in 1992, subsequently a team captain, and a Trojan Athlete of the Year award winner his senior year for baseball.
Ross returned to Taylor in 2002 as an assistant for two seasons under then head coach, Dr. Joe Lund. When Lund retired in 2004, Ross was hired as his replacement. In 2007, Ross led Taylor to an overall record of 12-5-2, while the team's 5-2-1 mark in the MCC was good enough to earn second place in the final conference standings. The Trojans were consistently ranked in the top four of NAIA Region VIII teams before being upset by Marian College in the first round of the MCC tournament.
After the successful 2007 season, Coach Ross decided to push the program and his players into unchartered territory, scheduling a number of NAIA Top-20 teams in 2008 and 2009. While the records did not match the 2007 campaign, those two seasons did exactly what Ross intended. There were some challenging matches that resulted in excellent learning experiences for the young squads. Others gave them confidence that they indeed could compete with and win against strong competition.
In 2011, the efforts of previous years paid off. Taylor won its first MCC Regular Season Championship and first MCC Tournament Championship in 15 years. Seven players received all-conference recognition, three were named NSCAA First Team All-Mideast Region and received NAIA Honorable Mention All-American nods. The team boasted the MCC Player of the Year and the MCC Defensive Player of the Year while Coach Ross earned MCC Coach of the Year, NSCAA NAIA Mideast Region Coach of the Year and was one of seven finalists for the NSCAA NAIA National Coach of the Year.
In addition, the 2011 team earned its first national ranking in program history, placing as high as No. 17 in the nation. The program qualified for its first ever NAIA National Tournament appearance and was knocked out in the round of 32. The Trojans completed the year 8-0-1 in conference play and 19-2-1 overall.
Since 2011, the program has continued to schedule nationally-ranked opponents, learning what it takes to compete well against the top teams in the NAIA. Despite a number of key injuries and tight matches against top-level teams, 2012 saw the Trojans qualify for their fourth straight league semi-final. In 2013, the Trojans defeated one Crossroads League co-champion on the road and tied the other before finishing seventh in the Crossroads League, qualifying for their 10th straight post-season league tournament.
In 2014, the Trojans placed second in the Crossroads League with a 7-2 record in league play, while amassing 13 wins on the year to advance to their fifth Crossroads League Semi-Final Tournament game in six seasons. The Trojans received votes in four national polls and five players earned all-league recognition, including Devin Moore, who was voted the Crossroads League Defensive Player of the Year. Ross won his 100th game at Taylor’s helm and was voted the Crossroads League Coach of the Year for the second time in four seasons.
Since 2004, four alums have assisted Ross with coaching the program and 12 are currently coaching at the high school or college level, including Nate Miller (’08) who was hired as the head coach for Spring Arbor in the winter of 2013. In addition, Ross has been developing an international soccer ministry in conjunction with RIOT (Revival in our Town) ministries in County Down, Northern Ireland. The Trojans have traveled to Dundrum in five of the last eight summers in efforts to reach the local youth with the gospel through soccer and other ministry initiatives.
Ross holds his National D license from the United States Soccer Federation, his Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and in the offseason conducts training for Westfield United in Indianapolis. Additionally, he has functioned as a guest coach (2011, 2012) at the Tourbeau Sports Professional Showcase for NAIA soccer players. In the summer of 2011, he completed a master’s of arts degree in Christian thought from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He and his wife Carrie (’95) live in Upland and have three children, Noah (14), Logan (11), and Isaiah (9).
The 2016 season is the first at Taylor for assistant coach Steve Bushre.
Bushre was the men’s soccer head coach at Bethesda Christian School the previous three years. Bushre has also been coaching goalkeepers at the United Soccer Club of Indianapolis since 2012. Additionally, Bushre has the NSCAA National Diploma and the USSF National D license.
Bushre graduated from Cedarville University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in business management.
Bushre and his wife, Jennifer, have a one-year-old son, Josiah.