Stefanie Golan Named Head Women's Soccer Coach
June 27, 2012
Director of athletics Norwood Teague announced Wednesday that Stefanie Golan has been selected to lead the University of Minnesota women's soccer program as its next head coach.
Golan replaces Mikki Denney Wright, who resigned on May 22 after eight years as the Gophers' head coach to devote more time to her family. Golan comes to Minnesota from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she spent the past three seasons as the Black Knights' head coach.
"Stefanie is an outstanding coach and I am excited that she has agreed to lead our women's soccer program," Teague said. "Stefanie is one of the most respected young coaches in the country and throughout the search process, her vision, passion, work ethic and track record of developing student-athletes clearly set her apart. I am confident she will provide great leadership for our program and build on the successful tradition of Gopher soccer."
While at Army, Golan, 33, served two seasons as the program's associate head coach before being named the head coach in January 2009. In her three seasons in charge, Golan led Army to an impressive 33-18-10 overall record.
"I am excited about the opportunity at Minnesota and honored to be selected as the Gophers' head coach, said Golan. "Spending time there last week showed me the commitment that the university has to women's athletics and more specifically toward the women's soccer program. Everything is in place to be a contender on the national scene and that is something that is really exciting for me and my family to come in and be a part of. It's difficult to walk away from a great situation here at West Point, but the University of Minnesota is a special opportunity."
In just her second season at the helm, Golan led the Black Knights to the 2010 Patriot League regular season crown. Last fall, the program took another big step forward as Golan guided Army to the 2011 Patriot League tournament title and just its second-ever NCAA tournament berth.
The 2010 Patriot League Coach of the Year, Golan's players have shined under her guidance. In three seasons, Golan coached two Patriot League Defensive Players of the Year and one Rookie of the Year. She has also had players selected All-Region four times, with one being named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List in 2011. Golan has had a total of 11 cadet-athletes garner All-League honors and 21 players placed on the Patriot League Honor Roll.
The St. Louis, Mo., native has proven to be a defensive mastermind as a head coach, with the Black Knights recording 38 total shutouts the past three seasons. Army has also ranked Top 10 in the NCAA the past two years in shutout percentage, goals against average and save percentage.
Last season, Golan guided the Black Knights to a 12-4-5 overall record and won the Patriot League Conference Tournament to receive the program's second-ever NCAA berth. Army would drop a 1-0 decision to Big Ten Conference regular season champion Penn State in the opening round.
Golan takes over a Golden Gopher soccer program that has reached the Sweet 16 in two of the past four seasons. Minnesota returns 14 players, eight of which played over 1,000 minutes during a 2011 season that saw the Gophers post a 9-10-2 record. Along with those returning, the Gophers add seven players to the active roster, which includes fifth-year senior Tamara Strahota, who sat out all of 2011 due to a leg injury, and six incoming freshmen.
Before being named the head coach at West Point, Golan spent two seasons as the Black Knights' associate head coach. During that time, she led Army's recruiting efforts and assisted with all aspects of running a Division I program.
From 2005-07, Golan served as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. During her time at Pittsburgh, she helped to recruit a highly regarded group of athletes to the Panthers' program. Prior to her stay at Pittsburgh, Golan served a two-year stint on the coaching staff at the University of Evansville, where she played an integral part in its recruiting efforts.
Golan's first coaching appointment came as a graduate assistant at Mercer University in 2002.
A 2001 graduate of Duke University, Golan lettered as a defender for the Blue Devils for four years. She was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week in 1998 and to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Tournament team in 2000. The Blue Devils earned bids to the NCAA Tournament three of her four playing years, compiling an overall record of 43-35-5 during her tenure in Durham, N.C. She graduated with a degree in political science with an emphasis on International Relations.
Golan will guide the Golden Gopher soccer program into its 20th season in program history this coming fall. The 2012 schedule features six opponents that reached the NCAA Tournament last season and a school record 12 home matches. Minnesota kicks off on August 17 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against NCAA College Cup participant Florida State.
THE GOLAN FILE
Born: April 26, 1979, Rome, N.Y.
2010 Army 14-4-3
2011 Army 12-4-5