Ben Read
Ben Read
Title: Head Men's and Women's Volleyball Coach
Phone: 617 824-8955

Now entering his 10th year at Emerson, success has followed nearly every step of his playing and coaching career without exception at Emerson. In addition, he has concluded several coaching jobs at high levels of achievement at Wheaton, Johnson & Wales, UConn and UNH, Bryant, as well as several club teams.

Thus far in his tenure at Emerson, Read made back-to-back conference championship appearances with the women's squad, with the Lions taking home the GNAC title in 2012, as well as advancing on to an NCAA Tournament appearance. For the women's program, Read has compiled a 43-19 overall and 23-2 conference record. On the men's side Coach Read has seen the program turn the corner, making back-to-back conference tournament appearances the last two years with their first tournament win in program history coming in 2013.

In 2016, Read led the Lions to a 20-12 record and the team reached the ECAC Championship for the first time in program history.  In the 2019 season, the Lions reached the NEWMAC playoffs for the first time in program history, this time defeating the MIT Engineers and Wellesley in dramatic five set matches that featured comebacks from 0-2 deficits to win 3-2 in both matches.  The two victories led Emerson to the NEWMAC Championship game for the first time in program history.  

Read was part of UNH’s back-to-back America East Championship seasons and two NCAA appearances from 2002 to 2004, which he immediately followed up with a Championship season for the Seacoast Juniors Volleyball Club before moving onto athletic powerhouse UConn where he was a Graduate Assistant Coach for the Huskies. While at UConn, Read contributed to nearly every facet of the team’s day-to-day functions, with responsibilities ranging from team practice to game strategy and video breakdown.

In 2006, he took over the Head Coaching duties at Wheaton College, where he continued his upward progression in transforming the program while managing every aspect of the program from implementing strength and conditioning programs to running the operations budget and developing recruitment plans. Read saw an 18 victory improvement from his first year to his second year, going from 4-28 to 22-13.  

Read earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: Exercise Science from University of New Hampshire in 2002.  


Sara Rutan
Sara Rutan
Title: Assistant Volleyball Coach

Sara Rutan returns to Emerson after being a former Student-Athlete on the Women's Volleyball team from 2007-2011.

While at Emerson, Rutan had a fantastic career. She was nationally ranked multiple times and is the all time dig leader at Emerson with 1,714 Digs.

Rutan studdied Writing, Literature, and Publishing while at Emerson with a concentration in Desktop Publishing and Nonfiction Creative Writing. She was also the Assistant Volleyball Coach for the Mass Patriots Volleyball Club during her time at Emerson.

After graduation she went on to become the Head Coach for the 16 Power Team at the Evolution Volleyball Club.

Currently Rutan works as a Marketing Assistant for MaidPro Franchise Corp, and runs her own business, GooseInk, which creates custom websites and graphics.

Matthew Soderstrom
Matthew Soderstrom

Matt Soderstrom enters his first season as the Lions’ assistant coach in 2020 after 5 successful seasons at Northeastern after working as an assistant coach during the 2009, 2010, and 2015-2018 campaigns.

Most recently at Northeastern University, Soderstrom led Northeastern University to the 2nd best NCAA Division1 RPI improvement in the country going from 272 to 94 within two seasons at Northeastern.  Additionally, this was the 3rd best win improvement in Division 1 volleyball with a 14-win improvement (2015-2016) and the best game improvement in school history. Northeastern University Volleyball in the span of 2 seasons had gone from last place in the CAA conference to 2nd place.  Additionally, as the recruiting coordinator, Soderstrom recruited four straight years of USA Volleyball Open All Tournament Selections including Northeastern’s first Prep Volleyball All American (Gabrielle Tschannen) and first Prep Volleyball Senior Ace recruit, Elizabeth Carroll.  During the 2017 season, Soderstrom helped mentor CAA setter of the year Kristen Walding and Defensive player of the Year, Gabrielle Eyl. In total, he mentored 7 All-CAA Selections, 5 All CAA Rookies, and one CAA Player of the Year. In 2010, Northeastern University came in 3rd place in the CAA Conference and made a CAA Finals Tournament appearance. 
Prior to joining the coaching staff at Northeastern University in fall 2015, Soderstrom served as the assistant director of Woodlands Wave Volleyball Club in Spring, Texas (currently TAV Houston). From 2014 to 2015, he was the head coach of the organization’s Top 14’s Team Program while also working as the club’s recruiting coordinator.  He was instrumental in the development of Prep Volleyball Senior Ace, Nena Mbonu, No. 55 in the Class of 2019 by PrepVolleyball.

Additionally, Soderstrom brings experience from the USA Volleyball High Performance Pipeline to the Lions’. Most recently, he served as the Associate Head Coach at the Future Select National Skills Program for 2018. Soderstrom served as the Assistant Coach for the same program the previous year. He also was an Associate Head Coach and Assistant Coach for the A2 Training Camp in 2014 and 2015. Finally, Soderstrom served as the Assistant Coach for the Youth Continental Team, High Performance, A2 Training Camp and National Training Camp. 

Soderstrom became an assistant coach at Syracuse, where he ascended into the role of interim associate head coach between October 2011 and January 2012. As the recruiting and video coordinator for the Orange, Soderstrom helped guide Syracuse in 2011 to a fourth-place finish in the BIG EAST and the program’s first victory against national power Notre Dame since 1981. As recruiting coordinator, Soderstrom helped recruit Syracuse University's highest ranked recruit ever, Leah Levert, a #84 ranked Prep Volleyball Senior Ace.  While at Syracuse, he helped Syracuse to its first ever top 25 win against I#18 Iowa State and helped coach 2 Canadian National Team members Noemie Lefebrve and Lindsay McCabe and mentored five All-BIG EAST selections and one All-ACC selection.

Prior to coaching at Northeastern, Soderstrom was an assistant coach at St. John’s, where he helped the Red Storm win the 2008 BIG EAST regular-season championship. He mentored conference Player of the Year Wioleta Leszczynska and Libero of the Year Lena Yee who also garnered AVCA All American honors. 

Soderstrom graduated from Connecticut in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in physiology and neurobiology and a master’s degree from Northeastern University in 2011 in Sports Leadership. He was a four-year member of the UConn men’s volleyball club program and was recognized as an All-NECVL selection in 2006 and played with the Creole Men’s Volleyball program as an Outside/ Middle Blocker for several season at USA Adult Nationals.  Soderstrom ranks #4 all time in single season solo blocks at the University of New Haven and was ranked #10 nationally in aces per game in NCAA Division 1 during the 2008 season. Additionally, Soderstrom is an eagle scout award recipient. He is currently married to Rhynn Soderstrom, a former collegiate swimmer at the University of Kansas.  



Jake Girard
Jake Girard
Title: Assistant Women's Volleyball Coach

Jake Girard joins the Emerson Women’s Volleyball Coaching Staff as an Assistant Coach for the 2019 season.  Girard most recently was at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he served two season as an Assistant Volleyball Coach.  Girard has a wealth of experience in the coaching field, starting his coaching career with the Coastal Volleyball Club in 2014.  He has also held positions at the Max Performance Volleyball Club and founded his own Volleyball clinic called the Next Level Volleyball Clinic.   

Girard graduated from The University Of Massacussetts Dartmouth in 2019 with a Bachelor Of Arts in Economics.