Trapp steps down as SSU Esports coach

PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State head coach Kyle Trapp, who became the institution’s first head coach of the budding Esports program that officially started outside competition in 2018, officially resigned from his post on Tuesday evening after leading the Bears to newfound success over the past two seasons in the gaming world.

He will be an Esports Consultant at Gravity Gaming by ByteSpeed.

Trapp — a 2011 graduate of Northwest High School in nearby McDermott — essentially built overnight success, turning the upstart program into a strong regional, and in the case of Rocket League, a national contender across various leagues.

In NACEsports (National Association of Collegiate Esports), Trapp and fellow Esports coaching dynamo Travis Lynn — along with P.J. Fiscus, Richard Randolph, Brayden Collier and Ben Snyder — led the Rocket League Blue squad to a NACEsports national semifinal appearance.

Landre Good also advanced to the Smash Brothers Grand Finals on three separate occasions in various gaming events over the course of the past year.

In addition to the program’s successes in tournament competition, the Bears have also defeated Akron, Cincinnati and Kent State on multiple occasions across various gaming platforms and have also recorded victories over Ohio State and Texas — despite competing against individuals at universities with much larger enrollments and a larger pool of gamers to choose from as a result.

To date, Trapp’s leadership allowed Shawnee State to field competitive Esports teams in Rocket League, Overwatch, Call of Duty, CS:GO, Smash Brothers, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering and Smite.

Trapp also allowed the SSU program to expand its gaming offerings by one for the upcoming season, as the Bears plan to field a competitive Esports unit in Valorant for the 2020-21 campaign.

These offerings helped the Esports program field some of the healthiest rosters, in terms of numbers, for the two seasons that Trapp served as head coach of the program — as evidenced by the 35 roster members who plan to be a part of the program this fall.

“Kyle laid the foundation for our success as an Esports program,” Shawnee State Athletic Director Jeff Hamilton said. “He has the unique ability to bridge the gap between gaming and athletics that was needed as we started Esports at a varsity level. His leadership was paramount in getting us up and running. Kyle’s knowledge of college athletics and SSU was instrumental in our initial success, and he was a fantastic recruiter who not showcased his wide knowledge of various games, the gaming industry as a whole, and the advantages SSU offers in the world of Esports.”

“I will always be grateful for the great times and opportunities that everyone here has afforded me,” Trapp said. “I was able to start an amazing Esports program, and can’t wait to see where it goes in the future. I want to thank every single student who I have known along this journey. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished together and of the goals that you’ve set for yourself in the future.”

Trapp, who also played soccer under current head coach Ron Goodson and his father — former assistant coach Mark Trapp — at SSU, earned a certification in communications and media studies from Full Sail University in 2018.

He is married to his wife, Katie.

A search for a new Esports head coach is currently ongoing.

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