KU Associate Head Coach Miller to Assist FC Kansas City
April 11, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas soccer’s associate head coach, Kelly Miller, was named the goalkeeping coach for the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) FC Kansas City, it was announced by the club Thursday. Miller, who will maintain his responsibilities at KU, will help the team open its inaugural season Saturday, April 13 when the Blues take on the Portland Thorns in Overland Park, Kan.
“This is a great opportunity for me to get to work with some of the top players in the U.S.,” said Miller. “I’m excited to work with (Head Coach) Vlatko (Andonovski) and (Assistant) Huw (Williams). The chance to train and coach this caliber of athlete, there’s no doubt I’ll able to use it to my advantage as I continue to work with the student-athletes here at KU.”
Miller, who completed his 14th season as a member of KU’s staff last fall, joins FC Kansas City on the verge of the team’s inaugural season with the NWSL, also in its first season. Miller will spend the majority of his time coaching goalkeeping veteran, Nicole Barnhart, who has been a mainstay for the U.S. Women’s National Team over the past decade. She was the backup goalkeeper on USA’s past four world championship teams, at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2012 Olympics.
“This is just a reflection of Kelly’s abilities as a coach,” said KU head coach Mark Francis. “Obviously, having someone that is working in the U.S.’s premier women’s league who is also associated with our program will help us in recruiting players with professional aspirations. This is definitely a plus for us and for Coach Miller.”
At KU, Miller has coached a number of conference-leading keepers and defenders. He trained one of the best goalkeepers in KU soccer history in Meghan Miller from 2001-04. Meghan, who owns a school record 0.98 goals against average, capped an outstanding career earning All-America second team honors in 2004. She was also a two-time All-Big 12 First Team performer. In 2006 sophomore keeper Julie Hanley posted a 0.98 goals against average with seven shutouts. Hanley was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for two consecutive weeks while senior goalkeeper Colleen Quinn earned the honor three-straight times in 2007. Three seasons ago, Kat Liebetrau led the Big 12 Conference with 113 saves, while her .796 save percentage was the fifth-best mark in the league and second-best in school history.
Miller also trained defenders Holly Gault and Estelle Johnson during his time at KU. Gault (2003-06) was a two-time All-American and was eventually named to the 13-person Big 12 10th Anniversary Team in 2005-06. Miller’s back field contingents have garnered conference defensive player of the week accolades 16 times in the 12-year history of the award.
FC Kansas City will kick off the season on Saturday, April 13, as it takes on the Portland Thorns FC inside Shawnee Mission North Stadium in Overland Park, Kan. Kickoff is slated for 7:35 p.m. For ticket information, visit the club’s website at FCKansascity.com.
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