Evangel University

Evangel University Athletics
1111 N Glenstone Ave Springfield, MO 65802
NAIA Missouri Midwest
Private Small Competitive team


Email coach

Bruce Deaton

Ext. 7351

Bruce Deaton (Coach Bruce) is entering his fifth season at Evangel University; he joined EU as director of soccer operations and head women’s coach in April 2015 to lead the launch of the two new soccer programs at Evangel. Both teams began play in the fall of 2015. This past year, the women’s team continued its progress on the field with improvement in all statistical categories including goals scored, goals allowed, overall and conference wins, while compiling a record of 7-10-1.

This past year two players received NAIA Scholar-Athlete awards and an additional player received all-conference recognition, another set of firsts for the program. The team completed the academic year with a team GPA of 3.44, garnering their second straight team academic award from both the NAIA and the United Soccer Coaches. Additionally, the ladies were recognized with the Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award from the United Soccer Coaches for exhibiting fair play, sporting behavior, and adherence to the laws of the game.

Coach Deaton is involved in the local soccer community as Technical Director for FC Legacy soccer club in Springfield. Additionally, this past summer, he helped coach the Springfield Lady-Demize, a brand-new team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). Prior to coming to Springfield, while Deaton was in central Louisiana, he served as director of coaching and player development for the Crossroads Soccer Association. He also spent ten years as an Olympic Development Program (ODP) head coach for the Louisiana Soccer Association, as well as, being a coaching instructor.

While in Louisiana, coach Deaton was at Louisiana College (NCAA D-III) where he was the head women’s soccer coach for five seasons, in addition to being the associate athletic director. Prior to taking over at Louisiana College, Deaton had a successful stint as a high school coach at Ouachita Christian School in Monroe, Louisiana. During his eight seasons as both boys and girls coach at OCS, Deaton was twice named the state high school girls coach of the year for Louisiana (2009 and 2010).

Coach Deaton holds a USSF (United States Soccer Federation) National “B” License and National Youth License as well as the United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma and Level III Goalkeeping Diploma.

Deaton played collegiate soccer at Marshall University (NCAA D-I) in Huntington, West Virginia, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration. Deaton and his wife, Margaret (who also works at Evangel University) have been married for 33 years and have two grown children, Tessa (who serves as a voluntary assistant coach for the women’s team) and Tucker.

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Email coach

Christy Kononiuk

Ext. 7469

Christy Kononiuk begins her first season as the Evangel women's soccer coach during the 2018 season.

Kononiuk is currently serving as the head coach for Sporting Springfield 2001/00 Girls team. She is the Olympic Development Program (ODP) Girls Coordinator for Missouri Youth Soccer Association, and Head Coach of the 2006 and 2003 Girls ODP teams.

Additionally, she is on staff for the 2018 ODP Midwest Region II identification camp. Prior to joining the staff at Evangel, she was the volunteer assistant coach for the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Champion Missouri State University Women's Soccer team.

Her soccer journey began at the age of six when she fell in love with the game. Kononiuk began her coaching career in 1994.

"I know God placed me on this journey for a purpose and I have never looked back," said Kononiuk. "He has given the gift of soccer and I hope to use this knowledge for His glory. I am very passionate about sharing it with the young ladies that God brings onto my path. I believe soccer is an amazing platform to come alongside girls in their lifelong journey to become the women God created them to be. To be brave and courageous leaders."

"Having worked some with Coach Christy over this past year plus, I have been impressed by her understanding of the game and her ability to teach and coach the game to players," said fourth-year head coach Bruce Deaton. "Her commitment to mentoring and developing not only the athlete but also the person told me she was absolutely the right person for our women's program at Evangel. I am excited to have Coach Christy joining us and continuing along this incredible path that God has laid out for us."

Coach Kononiuk currently holds a USSF National B License, United Soccer Coaches Director of Coaching Diploma, and National Youth License. She is currently working on the USSF Grassroots Coaching Instructor License.

She has a very supportive husband, Bob, who encourages her every day to go after her dreams. He works as a pharmacist at Walgreens. She has two daughters, Karis, who graduated with a BS in Elementary Education from Drury University and is a 4th-grade teacher at Dayspring Christian School and Kayla, who is a 2018 graduate of Greenwood Laboratory School.

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Sarah Sabo

Sarah Sabo begins her first season as an assistant coach with a focus on goalkeepers for the Evangel Women's Soccer program in spring 2019.

Coach Bruce Deaton had this to say about Sabo: "I am excited to have Sarah join our program as assistant soccer coach – goalkeepers. Her capabilities to share the game and train the technical aspects of the position are strong but what I have seen is that her character is even stronger and her commitment to serve God and our student-athletes is incredible. She will be a valuable asset to our program and our culture as we continue forward on this journey."

Sabo is currently employed part-time with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board as an assistant to the Marketing and Sponsorship Coordinator. She serves as assistant coach of the 07/08 Olympic Development Program girls' team along with Evangel Soccer coach Christy Kononiuk. She is also an assistant coach to the boys' and girls' soccer teams at Springfield Catholic High School.

Prior to joining the staff at Evangel, Sabo attended Missouri State University, where she played goalkeeper for the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Champion women's soccer team. She also played for the Missouri State Ice Bears Division III Men's ice hockey team from 2014-18. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing.

Sabo currently holds an MYSA Coaching Certification and is working on obtaining her US Soccer Grassroots License as a foundation for future licenses.

Sabo is supported by her parents, Rick and Teri, and 20-year-old sister Katie.

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