Updated May 2, 2004 16:47:06
Soileau Named Tech Soccer Coach
RUSTON, La. -- Louisiana Tech University has named Jennifer Soileau as head coach of its newly formed women's soccer program, which starts play in September of 2004.
Soileau was a four-year MVP playing at the University of Mississippi from 1997 through 2001, earning first team All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Following her collegiate career, Soileau played professionally for the Philadelphia Charge of the Women's United Soccer Association in 2001.
She received her bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2001 from the University of Mississippi and will earn her master's degree in education next month from Southeastern Louisiana University.
"I'm very excited about becoming the first soccer coach at Louisiana Tech," Soileau said. "I think it's a big challenge, but I'm ready. My ultimate goal has always been to become a college coach and at (age) 25, I'm going to get my chance."
Soileau served as an assistant for the SLU program in the fall of 2002 and was the head coach at Bishop Sullivan High School in Baton Rouge, La., during the 2003-04 season. The 25-year-old also served as a volunteer assistant at Mississippi in 2001.
"We believe that Jennifer has the perfect soccer background combined with the youth and energy needed to get our new program off to a solid start," Tech Associate Director of Athletics Mary Kay Hungate said. "We visited with numerous college and club coaches during the interview process and all of them recommended Jennifer to us. We're pleased to add someone of her caliber to our staff."
Soileau is the all-time leading point scorer at Mississippi with 99 career points and was an all-region selection in 1998, 1999 and 2000. She was also a member of the National B team pool in 1999.
The Baton Rouge native excelled in the classroom as well as on the field, earning Academic All-SEC accolades in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
"There's a lot of hard work involved in coaching, and it'll be even harder starting a new program," Soileau said. "But I love it. Starting a new program I can come in and do things the way I want to without worrying about the transition of changing things up some from the way another coach did things. This is great situation, and I'm very proud to join the Louisiana Tech athletic department."
Soileau's hiring is pending approval by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System.