Missouri Southern women’s soccer coach Chris McNaughton has announced his resignation effective immediately in order to pursue other coaching opportunities.

A national search for McNaughton’s replacement is underway.

McNaughton compiled a 16-28-9 record for the Lions during the past three seasons. He directed the team to the second-most wins in the decade with seven in his final season.

The Lions started this past season 6-2-2, which included a 2-2 draw on the road against defending national champion and eighth-ranked Central Missouri.

In 2017, the Lions placed fifth in the MIAA standings and had the program’s first postseason appearance since 2012, when they battled Fort Hays State to a scoreless draw in the first round of the MIAA tournament. Fort Hays State won the game in the 15th-round of a penalty kick shootout.

In three seasons, McNaughton coached 11 all-MIAA selections and 34 MIAA academic honor roll picks. He had one all-region player in Ronise Miller, as well as an all-region scholar team member this past season in Alex McCord.

“We wish Coach McNaughton the best in his future endeavors,” Missouri Southern athletics director Jared Bruggeman said in a release. “He helped steer the program in the direction it needed to be and has recruited outstanding players who can be successful in a highly competitive MIAA.”

McNaughton came to Missouri Southern after spending three years as the assistant coach at Louisiana-Monroe. Before that, he was an assistant at Arkansas-Little Rock for four seasons, head coach at Lyon (Arkansas) College and an assistant at Ottawa, his alma mater.