Four-time NCAA champion and US national player Keri Sanchez named women’s soccer coach

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Courtesy Colorado College Athletics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – Colorado College Vice President and Head of Athletics Lesley Irvine has called Keri Sanchez the eighth head coach in the history of the school’s Division I women’s football program.

Sanchez, who won four NCAA national championships as a player at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and made 13 international appearances for the US women’s national team, brings 25 years of coaching experience in divisions I and III with her.

“We are very excited to have Keri on our team,” said Irvine. “She’s a winner as both a student athlete and a coach. Her passion is working with student athletes who are masters on the court and in the classroom, and she deeply understands the tradition and potential for success here at Colorado College. Keri is a dedicated and dynamic team leader who will be successful here at CC. “

During her outstanding professional career, Sanchez played at the highest level. She played 13 international matches with the US women’s national team and played in the very first World Cup qualifying tournament in 1991. She also played for the California Storm and Silicon Valley Red Devils of the WPSL as well as the Boston Breakers of the WUSA (2001-02) and San Jose Cyberrays (2003) before ending her professional career at the Los Angeles Sol of the WPS in 2009.

A four-year letter winner at UNC from 1991-94, Sanchez was part of four consecutive NCAA Division I National Championships and four Atlantic Coast Conference title teams that set a combined 97-1-1 record under legendary head coach Anson Dorrance. During her time at Chapel Hill, Sanchez completed a total of 32 career assists, while she had an All-American nicking from Soccer News (1993), a pair of All-ACC selections (1991, ’94), three NCAA All-Tournaments ( 1991, ’92, ’94) and three Academic All-American selections. She also recorded the most accurate hits in consecutive national championship games with goals against Duke (1992) and George Mason (1993).

Sanchez, the most successful head coach in the history of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s football program with 148 career wins (2004-17), spent the 2021 season as the women’s football coach at Illinois Wesleyan University, leading the Titans to a 9-8-1 overall record and a Tie for first place in the Illinois and Wisconsin College Conference with a 7-1 league mark.

“I would like to thank President Nugent, Mike Wagner, and the Illinois Wesleyan University community for welcoming me as a coach last season. It was an honor,” said Sanchez. “I want to thank you too Lesley Irvine and the Selection Committee for the Privilege of Being the Next Women’s Soccer Coach at Colorado College. With the program’s rich history, from before the NCAA sponsored women’s football, to battling the Tigers as a player, to the championship seasons in Conference USA, I’m humble to be selected to build on the legacy of CC women’s football. “

During her 13 years as the head coach at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Sanchez set an overall record of 148-92-30 with a 102-49-15 mark in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). It led the Athenas to three SCIAC regular season titles (2007, ’09, ’14), five SCIAC tournament titles (2006, ’08, ’09, ’13, ’16) and five NCAA tournament bids, including one NCAA Sweet ranked 16th in 2008 while ranking the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) final rankings 23rd in 2008 and 18th in 2009.

She individually trained athletes in Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who secured 58 All-SCIAC, 34 NSCAA All-Region and 38 NSCAA Scholar All-Region awards.

In addition to her efforts at CMS, Sanchez previously served as the US Soccer Training Center coordinator for the Southern California-Inland Empire (2013-17), helping develop technical and tactical players ages 10-14. She also worked as a staff coach for the Team First Soccer Academy (2011-17) and worked with US soccer legends and former UNC teammates Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Tisha Venturini-Hoch.

From 2017 to 21, Sanchez was an assistant coach at the University of Texas under her former college teammate Angela Kelly. During her time with the Longhorns, UT set a 45-22-12 record and achieved a national rank up to 6th in two of the three Division I polls. She was instrumental in developing the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year 2018 Cyera Hintzen involved.

Sanchez’s college coaching career began at the University of Oregon, where she was an assistant coach from 1996 to 2003.

In addition to her soccer successes as a student athlete in North Carolina, Sanchez was also part of three ACC championship athletics teams (one indoor, two outdoor teams) and received all conference awards in the 400-meter hurdles.

She was inducted into the San Jose Sports Authority Hall of Fame in 2010 and the East Side Union High School District Education Foundation Thomas P. Ryan Hall of Fame in 2012.

Sanchez earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a concentration in health and fitness in North Carolina (1995) and a master’s degree in exercise physiology in Oregon (1999). She also holds a B license from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), a US soccer A license, and is a graduate of the NCAA Women’s Coaching Academy and the NCAA Women’s Coaching Academy 2.0.


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