University of Louisiana-Lafayette

University of Louisiana Athletics Dept
Cox Com Athletics Ctr - 201 Reinhardt Dr Lafayette, LA 70504
Division 1 Louisiana South
Public Large National competitor


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Lance Key

With demonstrated success at multiple levels of professional and collegiate soccer, Lance Key has been selected as the new head coach of Louisiana Soccer, becoming the third coach in program history. The announcement was made by Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard on Dec. 6, 2018.. Key built an impressive 83.3 winning percentage as the leader of the Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) women's soccer program from 2004-16, advancing to 11 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship Tournaments and coaching 21 All-America student-athletes on the pitch.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Lance, Natalie and their children to the Ragin' Cajuns Family," Maggard said. "Lance will bring excellent experience as a head coach and a former soccer player at both the collegiate and professional levels. His commitment to developing and mentoring young women is unprecedented, and he will greatly support our efforts to compete for and win championships in the Sun Belt Conference."

Key possesses the third-ranked all-time winning percentage across NCAA Divisions I, II or II, both Men's and Women's sides, and was tabbed as the national coach of the year after both the 2009 and 2013 seasons. The Tigers went an outstanding 210-20-18 under his guidance.

Successes in all phases of a program have been hallmarks of Key's leadership, with 27 student-athletes earning Scholar All-America status under his watch. Four student-athletes went on to earn NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships during his time directing the Trinity program.

"Pursuing excellence in all facets of life is what really drives me as a coach and leader of young people," Key said. "Dr. Maggard's and Dr. Savoie's collective leadership and vision for the student-athlete experience perfectly aligns with my own. In only a short amount of time spent with them, anyone can see the exciting direction of Louisiana Athletics, the soccer program and the surrounding campus and community. The last calendar year for the Ragin' Cajuns, especially, has been on an incredible upward trajectory, and I'm thrilled that my family and I have the opportunity to be a part of it at this perfect time.

"The student component of student-athlete is very important to me. The facilities available to the Ragin' Cajuns are nothing short of first-class. From the academic support center on over to the training and competition facilities. I cannot wait to see our student-athletes thrive, firstly as human beings and then as competitors. That's the type of experience we plan to give at Louisiana."

Following the 2016 season, Key served as an assistant women's soccer coach at Texas (2016-17) before returning to Trinity as an assistant for the men's soccer program. Key began his coaching career with the program, assisting the Tigers from 2001-04 and helping the program to the 2003 NCAA National Championship. The program built an impeccable 96-6-5 record with Key providing direction from the sideline.

Key was a standout defender for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer from 2000-2001, earning 34 caps for all 34 of his appearances in two campaigns before retiring as a professional due to injury. Key was the only Division III student-athlete selected in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft.

Key was a three-time All-American at Trinity from 1996-99, earning Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Player of the Year as a senior. He was inducted into Trinity University's Athletic Hall of Fame as part of its 2015 class.

Key has received multiple coaching certifications and diplomas from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). He also served on the NSCAA Women's Soccer Advocacy Council in 2016. In addition to his work at Trinity, Key previously served as an assistant with the San Antonio Scorpions of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 2014, as the director of Trinity Soccer Academy from 2004-16 and the Director of Training at the Classics Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) from 2002-08. He has also been a broadcast analyst for Fox Sports' coverage of San Antonio Football Club broadcasts since 2017.

Key earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Trinity in 2000. He and his wife Natalie, are the parents of two daughters, Ava and Ela, and one son, Judah.

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Stephen Salas

Louisiana Soccer first-year head coach Lance Key announced, on Friday, Feb. 15, the hiring of Stephen Salas as Assistant Soccer Coach and Recruiting Coordinator making Coach Salas, Coach Key’s first new addition to his staff as the program begins to make strides towards the 2019 season.

“Stephen epitomizes the type of human being that every parent would desire their son or daughter to be led by throughout their collegiate experience," said Coach Key. "As we focus forward on building champions, in life, in the classroom, and on the soccer field, he will be integral in facilitating that growth, as he is a champion himself.

“Coach Salas has evolved as a coach under great leadership and mentorship at his previous two stops, and I have great respect for the coaches that poured into him during those tenures. Stephen played an integral role in helping to transform a program into an NCAA Division I Tournament side in his most recent position, which we are aspiring towards here.

“I am confident that Stephen’s influence on our program, institution, and community at-large will be profound. We are very blessed to be adding Stephen.”

Coach Salas has spent the previous six seasons as the Associate Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Abilene Christian. During his time at ACU (2013-18) Salas, who’s specialty was coaching the goalkeepers, was a key part of the coaching staff that helped lead the Wildcats to what was the best season in program history, a 15-6-1 2018 season that saw the Wildcats win its first-ever Southland Conference Championship.

The Wildcats rode their conference championship to a berth in the NCAA Tournament which was not only the first appearance for the soccer program but the first time an ACU athletic program has ever appeared in a NCAA Tournament at the Division I level. During ACU’s historic run to the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats ripped off seven-straight wins to finish the season, during a stretch where ACU outscored its opponents 15-2.

Prior to his time at ACU, Salas spent six seasons as a player and eventually assistant coach at his alma mater Hardin-Simmons. He was the Cowboys' goalkeeper from 2008 to 2011 and helped his squad win the 2009 American Southwest Conference Tournament and reach the NCAA Championships' Sweet 16 behind an overall record of 12-3-6.

Salas eventually became an assistant and goalkeeping coach on the HSU women’s soccer team, joining the staff prior to the start of the 2011 season, and in two years he helped lead them to 38 wins, a pair of conference regular season and tournament championships, and an appearance in the 2012 NCAA Sweet 16. His goalkeepers also allowed just eight goals (0.36 GAA) in each season and combined for 33 shutouts as HSU extended its regular-season conference unbeaten streak to a NCAA-record 157 matches.

During Salas' two years on the Cowgirls' bench, HSU finished with a No. 12 national ranking in 2011 by the NSCAA, seventh in 2012, and received two NSCAA/adidas team academic awards. The program also produced a national player of the year, five all-Americas, four academic all-Americas, 11 all-region selections and 14 all-conference honorees.

Salas' additional experience includes working at the Texas A&M and University of Texas summer soccer camps and coaching the Region III (girls) Olympic Development Program. He also served as the Director of Coaching, Academy Director, and Head Coach for the Abilene Soccer Club along with being the area director for FC Dallas WTX in Abilene, Texas.

Salas did have a professional career as well, playing two summers for the DFW Tornados of the USL Professional Development League. He received his Bachelor’s of Behavioral Science in Education from Hardin-Simmons in December of 2012.

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Cheyenne Spade

Cheyenne Spade, a former women’s soccer letterwinner at both North Carolina State and Tennessee, begins her first season as an assistant coach for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Before her arrival at Louisiana, Spade played the past two seasons in the women’s soccer professional ranks in Sweden where she was a midfielder for Enköping SK UK and Sandvikens IF.

Before embarking on her professional soccer career, Spade served as an assistant coach at both Towson University (2017) and Susquehanna (2016). During her lone season at Towson, Spade played a part in the development of All-Colonial Athletic Association players Maddie Bove and Taylor Sebolao.

Spade joined the Susquehanna coaching staff in 2016 and helped guide the River Hawks to a 12-6 overall record and a 4-3 finish in the Landmark Conference, earning a berth in the league tournament. Spade's duties included recruiting and meeting with prospective student-athletes, creating and running up-to-date drills and reviewing game film. Additionally, Spade organized a season timetable and scouted opposing teams. She motivated and encouraged student-athletes to achieve their goals both in practice and on the game field.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Spade held a legal internship at the Lycoming County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas. She summarized and presented cases to Judge Marc Lovecchio, in addition to reviewing legal documents within criminal, family and business law. She appeared for status and settlement conferences and specifically addressed strategic issues with each case.

As a student-athlete, Spade spent two seasons at North Carolina State where she appeared in 39 games from 2011-12. Spade scored a pair of goals and adding three assists as a second-year student-athlete and earned ACC Student-Athlete academic honors.

Spade then transferred to the University of Tennessee for her final two seasons beginning in 2014. She appeared in 40 games for the Vols, scoring seven goals, including five in her final campaign. Spade logged the first goal for the Volunteers in the SEC Quarterfinals, scoring on a loose ball just three minutes into the match. Spade later scored the final Tennessee penalty kick, helping the Volunteers advance 5-4 on PKs to the SEC Semifinals.

The Richfield, Pa., native appeared in 79 games during her collegiate career, finishing with 28 total points on nine goals and 10 helpers. Spade graduated in May 2015 from Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.

During her time in Knoxville, Spade logged more than 75 hours of community service. She worked closely with the Boys and Girls Club, the Knoxville Color Run and the Top Drawer Soccer Club. While she was in Raleigh, she contributed more than 100 hours of community service to the surrounding area, including Habitat for Humanity.

In 2014, Spade played for the Knoxville Force in the Women's Premier Soccer League. She was named First-Team Southeast Conference.

Spade's stint at Susquehanna was not her first time coaching as she was a coach with the FC Alliance from in 2015-16. She communicated effectively with parents and children, including organizing and leading practice. She planned and created relevant up-to-date drills to aid in team building and success. She also handled game file and statistical reports for game operations.

Spade obtained a U.S. Soccer 11v11 Coaching License in 2019.

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