Two players from last season’s football team — quarterback Chris Brown and linebacker Burton De Koning — and four former soccer players — forward Elise Krieghoff, midfielder Chase Minter, defender Kip Colvey and goalkeeper Wade Hamilton — have moved on from Cal Poly athletics to the world of professional sports.
Brown was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent shortly after the National Football League draft. The former quarterback passed and rushed for more than 3,000 yards in his career, but was practicing at wide receiver during his tryout for the NFL squad. While Brown was unable to secure a spot on the team, head coach Jason Garrett told him that he was “an elite athlete,” and to “be by the phone and they’ll be contacting our agents and contacting us if something was to work out,” according to a report by The Tribune.
De Koning, the football team’s most valuable defensive player last season, was signed by the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League. Last season the Redblacks lost the Grey Cup, the CFL’s version of the Super Bowl, to the Edmonton Eskimos. Last season the 6-foot-2, 235 lb. linebacker recorded 82 tackles, three sacks and four quarterback hurries and earned an All-Big Sky honorable mention.
The Cal Poly women’s soccer team’s all-time goal leader, Elise Krieghoff, was signed by the Boston Breakers of the National Women’s Soccer League. In her time with the Mustangs, Krieghoff was the Big West Freshman of the Year in 2012 and helped Cal Poly win the conference championship in 2013. She also was one of five finalists for the Senior Class Award in 2015. Krieghoff will play alongside the Breakers’ defender and captain Whitney Engen, a member of the 2015 World Cup championship team. So far, the 5-foot-8 forward’s skills seem to have transitioned well to the next level, according to Breakers head coach Matt Beard.
“Elise has come in and done very well during our preseason. She is a natural goal scorer, which is hard to find,” Beard said in a press release. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how she will progress over the course of the season and I’m confident she can have an impact.”
Three players from last season’s Cal Poly men’s soccer team, Minter, Colvey and Hamilton, were drafted in the Major League Soccer Superdraft. Taken 21st overall by the Columbus Crew, Minter became the highest selection ever taken from Cal Poly in the draft, while Colvey was drafted 49th by the San Jose Earthquakes and Hamilton was picked 61st by the defending champion Portland Timbers.
Colvey and Hamilton both signed contracts with the MLS teams that drafted them, but Minter instead signed with Sacramento Republic FC of the United Soccer League. There he will join former college teammates Mackenzie Pridham, two-time Big West Offensive Player of the Year, and Matt LaGrassa, three-time All-Big West selection.
While playing for the Mustangs, Minter was selected twice as the Big West Midfielder of the Year and recorded the most assists (21), second most appearances (77) and fifth most points (53) in school history. Colvey ranks sixth in appearances (74) in school history and was earned a spot on the all-conference first team in 2015. Hamilton was the only one to play goalkeeper for the past three seasons and recorded 293 saves, good for second in Cal Poly history. Hamilton was also a three-time All-Conference selection.
After last season’s team matched the school’s regular-season win record, the three Mustangs drafted in the MLS SuperDraft are the most that Cal Poly has had in school history in a single draft. Despite losing so much talent this offseason, the team’s schedule next season is loaded, featuring games against North Carolina, Wake Forest, UCLA and Stanford.