Ross Joins Highland CC As Head Soccer Coach With Competition Starting Fall 2020


Highland Athletics has named James Ross as the inaugural coach of the women’s soccer program beginning in fall 2020. The Board of Trustees voted in July to approve the addition of the varsity program, the first in more than 30 years.

Ross comes to Highland after holding the positions of assistant women’s soccer coach and director of recruiting at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, the head soccer coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma, an NCAA D II program, and head soccer coach at Cloud County Community College.

While at Cloud, his team earned national rankings, won the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference – West title and was awarded Conference, Regional and District Coach of the Year in 2016. Ross also led his team to an appearance at the national tournament, the first and only in school history.

A native of Kansas City, Ross holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Park University.

“We are excited about the addition of Coach Ross. While he is a young coach, he has a successful track record of winning soccer programs a strong history of recruiting high-level talent,” said Dr. Bryan Dorrel, Director of Athletics at Highland.

With the addition of Women’s Soccer, the Highland Scotties now field 13 varsity sports; women’s soccer, football, volleyball, men’s & women’s cross country, men’s & women’s basketball, men’s & women’s indoor track & field, softball, baseball and men’s & women’s outdoor track & field.

Highland will compete with 14 other Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) soccer programs across the state with the addition of non-conference matches to fill a 22-game schedule.

A new soccer field for practice and competition is being constructed inside the new track and field facility located on the west end of campus. The facility is due to be completed in 2020.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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