Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University Athletics
590 Cobb Avenue Mailbox 0201 Kennesaw, GA 30144
Division 1 Georgia Southeast
Public Very Large National competitor


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Benji Walton

A veteran with more than 13 years coaching experience at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels, Benji Walton was named the second head coach in Kennesaw State women's soccer history on Dec. 18. He assumed his new role on Jan. 4.

Walton joins Owl Nation after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana. In his first season under new head coach Amy Berbary, Walton helped helped guide the Hoosiers to a 2013 NCAA Tournament appearance and a 15-7-1 record, establishing the best winning percentage (.674) in IU women's soccer history.

"We are excited to welcome Benji Walton to the Owl family and look forward to him leading the women's soccer program," Katie Egloff, associate athletics director/Senior Woman's Administrator (SWA), said. "He will bring a passion and energy that will register with our student-athletes both on the field and in the classroom, and we are excited to see him lead the program forward in the coming years."

Walton also has 10 years of head coaching experience after leading programs at Birmingham-Southern College (2007-12) and Limestone College (2003-06).

"I want to personally thank Vaughn Williams, Katie Egloff, and the search committee for inviting me to be a part of the Kennesaw State University family as the head women's soccer coach," Walton said. "The energy and enthusiasm that surrounds this athletics department and the women's soccer program is infectious and I am thrilled that I can be a part of such an exciting athletic community.

"Kennesaw State women's soccer has a tremendous tradition of success," Walton added. "I look forward to leading this team into the next chapter of women's soccer at KSU and continuing to build on that tradition."

Walton joined the Indiana program with Berbary in 2013 and served as offensive coordinator for two seasons before assuming the role of director of set pieces and technical development prior to the 2015 season. He served as liaison between the coaching staff and academic staff, monitoring the academic progress of the program's student-athletes.

In his first season at IU, Walton helped establish program single-season records for goals (43), assists (46) and wins (15). The record-breaking season continued as the Hoosiers earned their first Big Ten Conference and NCAA Tournament appearances since 2007.After advancing to the semifinals of the conference tournament, Indiana earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and reached the second round.

In his three years at Indiana, Walton mentored two National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) All-Region players, one All-Big Ten Conference second team honoree, 45 Big Ten Conference All-Academic selections and four Capital One Academic All-District V picks. The Hoosiers also were honored with the NSCAA Team Academic Award each season and the 2014 team posted a 3.561 grade-point average, the highest GPA among IU's 24 sports.

Prior to his arrival in Bloomington, Walton served six seasons as head coach at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama. During his tenure, Walton led the program through the transition from NCAA Division I to NCAA Division III. His teams won at least 10 games each season and totaled an overall record 69-38-5 (.638) as he became the program's all-time winningest coach. In 2012, BSC shared the Southern Collegiate Athletic Association (SCAC) regular season championship.

During Walton's tenure at Birmingham College, four players earned NSCAA All-Region honors and five student-athletes were recognized as NSCAA All-Region Scholars, including two that went on to be named NSCAA Scholar All-Americans.

Walton's first head coaching job came at Limestone College where he coached four seasons and turned around a struggling Division II program. After the team posted a total of 11 wins in his first two seasons, Walton led the Saints to a 17-16-5 record over the next two seasons, posting a pair of fifth-place finishes in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference.

A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Walton spent time as a volunteer assistant coach at Georgia for two seasons (2002-03) while earning a master's degree in Education with a focus on sports administration.

Walton played collegiately at Reinhardt College (1997-2001) where he helped the Eagles to a 21-1-1 record and trip to the NJCAA National Championship game as sophomore. He was named second team all-conference and received NCCAA All-America Honorable Mention as a senior.

Walton earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Reinhardt in 2001.

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Chevy Chevalier

KENNESAW, Ga. – Chevy Chevalier, who has coaching experience at three different levels, begins his first season assistant women's soccer coach after being named to the position on January 21.

"I am very excited to add Chevy to our staff here at Kennesaw State. He is a coach that has a next-level understanding of the game of soccer," first-year head coach Benji Walton said. "I believe his knowledge, combined with his experience as a professional player, will prove to be a valuable resource in helping me establish a culture that demands the absolute best from our players both on and off the field."

Chevalier most recently served as an assistant coach at North Georgia where he worked under head coach Chris Adams and helped the Nighthawks to a 16-4-1 overall record and second-round appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

"I am both thrilled and extremely grateful for this amazing opportunity. Between the college, the facilities, Benji and the current team you can quickly see the overwhelming potential and opportunity the women's program has to be a tremendous success," Chevalier said. "I am eager to get started and look forward to seeing KSU women's soccer capitalize on all of its potential."

Prior to joining the North Georgia staff, Chevalier coached Michigan Jaguars boys and girls youth teams from 2012-15 following a two-year stint as an assistant with the Atlanta Silverbacks women's semi-pro team. He also spent three years (2010-12) as a youth coach with the Atlanta Spurs.

Chevalier entered the coaching ranks after a four-year professional career in the United Soccer League with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2006-07) and Atlanta Silverbacks (2008-09). He also spent two seasons with the Premier Development League's Albany Blackwatch Highlanders (2002-03).

A four-year letter winner and two-year captain at the University of Albany, Chevalier earned second team All-American East Conference honors as a senior in 2002 after leading the Great Danes in points and goals as a senior.

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Lauren Sestak

Lauren Sestak begins her second season as graduate assistant coach after being named to the position by Kennesaw State head coach Benji Walton in June of 2016.

A 2016 graduate of McNeese State, Sestak works primarily with the goalkeepers while assisting the program in its daily activities.

In her first season as an assistant coach at KSU, Sestak helped guide the Owls to a 10-8-1 overall record and an appearance in the ASUN Conference Tournament semifinals.

The solid play on the field resulted in four players – Isabella Contreras, Kim Fincher, Brittney Reed and Abby Roth – earning ASUN Conference second team all-conference honors. Contreras was also named to the all-freshman team, while Roth was selected to the all-academic team.

Sestak also aided the program’s recruiting efforts as Kennesaw State signed 12 Georgia recruits, including six from Cobb County, this past spring.

Sestak's mentoring of the KSU goalkeepers helped the Owls record a 1.25 goals-against average that ranked fourth in the eight-team ASUN Conference.

A four-year letter winner at McNeese State, Sestak appeared in 31 games, started 29 and posted 11 victories in goal for the Cowgirls. She was a four-time Southland Conference Goalkeeper of the Week and named to the Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four years.

While at McNeese State, Sestak served as vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and assumed a position on the Fellowship of Christian Athlete leadership team in 2013.

Sestak joins Kennesaw State after serving as head goalkeeper coach at A.M. Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La., in 2015. She also held the position of assistant head coach for A.M. Barbe’s junior varsity team.

A native of Spring, Texas, Sestak earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from McNeese State this past spring. She is currently working towards a master’s degree in special education at Kennesaw State.

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