JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Following a national search, Jacksonville University Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert announced that NCAA All-American Laura Kane will take over the women's soccer program, effective immediately.
Tabbed as the sixth head coach in program history, Kane brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience at many levels to the River City, having competed professionally and held coaching positions with several collegiate and developmental programs.
"I feel incredibly honored and grateful to be joining the JU family," Kane said. "I would like to thank Alex Ricker-Gilbert and the rest of the athletic department for giving me this opportunity to coach the women's soccer program. The future is bright for our team, and I can't wait to begin leading this amazing group of ladies on and off the field."
"I am excited to announce the hiring of Laura Kane as our next head women's soccer coach," Ricker-Gilbert said. "Coach Kane has had success playing and coaching at all levels. She will be a great fit for Jacksonville University and a wonderful mentor to our young women."
Kane joins the Dolphins following a stint at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where she was the assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator during the 2017 season, handling coaching, video analysis, scouting and travel planning duties. A member of the 2017 Regional Staff of the Year, she helped the program turn a 3-12-1 record from the previous season into a 17-5-1 showing and a trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament. After winning the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament, the Mountain Lions hosted contests in the first and second round for the first time in school history, winning three matches to advance to their first-ever Division II Final Four appearance.
A successful collegiate athlete, she continued her playing career professionally in 2008, spending time in Sweden and with F.C. Indiana of the W-League. Kane again saw time on the field from 2012-15, competing with the W-League's Colorado Pride and the ASA Chesapeake Charge Women's Professional Soccer League. She received the 2013 WPSL All-East Player of the Year award.
Following her time in Colorado, Kane began serving as the Director of Programming for the Florida Elite Soccer Academy in Jacksonville in 2018, and has also spent the beginning of the year working with the U.S. Soccer Federation as a National Team Coordinator, assisting in the training of U14-U20 players across the country.
Prior to her return to the collegiate ranks, Kane held administrative roles with multiple club soccer teams, contributing to the growth and foundation to the teams she was a part of. She served as the Youth Academy Director for the Orange County Strikers of Irvine, Calif. From 2016-17, and was the Developmental Director for the Pride Soccer Club of Colorado Springs for the 2015-16 season. Kane stepped into her first directorial position with the Soccer Shots Children's Soccer Experience, working her way from a coach in 2009 to a District Manager across Virginia and Maryland. She took over her own branch in 2013, serving as the Owner and Executive Director of Soccer Shots in Colorado Springs for three years.
Prior to moving to the club soccer circuit, Kane was the top assistant coach at Bucknell University from 2009-2011. Under her direction, the Bison saw 11 players earn All-Patriot League honors, including Christa Matlock, who earned a pair of NSCAA Scholar All-American honors, and was the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year in 2010.
Kane's first coaching experience came with Purdue University, where she served as an assistant coach from 2006-08. The Boilermakers posted a 34-8-6 record in her two seasons with the team, capturing the Big Ten Tournament title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament both years.
Kane was a four-year letterwinner at West Virginia University from 2001-2004 under coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, serving as a team captain her senior year. Helping her team qualify for the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons on the field, she received First-Team Big East and NSCAA Scholar All-American honors her following her junior and senior campaigns, and was a Third-Team NSCAA All-American her senior year. She recieved a bachelor's degree in physical education and health, and later a master's degree in athletic coaching education from WVU.
Coach Kane will retain current assistant coach Kat Crump, and is currently conducting a search for the other assistant position on staff.