Courtney Sirmans became the Miami University soccer program's third head coach prior to the 2018 season and was tasked with rebuilding a Miami team that won only twice the season prior to her arrival.
While the 2018 season only saw the RedHawks win three times, they showed a good deal more confidence offensively. MU’s 17 goals nearly doubled its nine from the year prior. Freshman Lyda Bogdanovitch showed early signs of being a go-to player offensively by netting six goals in her inaugural campaign. That total was the most for a Miami player since the 2014 season.
The 2018 campaign was one of building a foundation and giving young players experience as 10 freshmen dotted the roster saw playing time. The three players with the most minutes on the pitch for the Red & White a year ago were freshmen and they are forming the nucleus of Sirman’s core going forward.
Sirmans, who spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Rice, becomes the third head coach in RedHawk history. She takes over a Miami program that has made four NCAA Tournament appearances as Mid-American Conference Tournament champions, winning three matches at the sport’s biggest stage. MU has also captured a pair of MAC regular season crowns while going 220-168-33 overall and looks to bounce back from last year’s 2-15-1 mark under Sirmans’ guidance.
During her time in Houston, Sirmans helped the Owls amass a 33-16-5 record with three-straight 10+ win seasons and a regular season Conference USA title. This fall, Rice posted a 12-4-2 campaign and went an unbeaten 9-0-1 in conference play amidst a school-record 11-match unbeaten streak to capture the Conference USA regular season crown.
Rice’s stellar and consistent play earned the Owls national recognition as they climbed as high as 18th in the national polls in late October while achieving an RPI of No. 25. More importantly, Rice received an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament and gave 23rd-ranked Baylor all it could handle in the first round, netting the first goal of the contest and sitting in a 2-2 tie late in regulation before BU advanced with a 3-2 victory.
A total of 18 Rice players garnered all-conference recognition during Sirmans’ tenure, including two-time Conference USA Midfielder of the Year Samantha Chaiken, 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Jenny Fichera and 2015 Co-Ofensive Player of the Year Lauren Hughes. Additionally, Chaiken became the first Owl to earn All-America honors from the United Soccer Coaches Association. Rice’s student-athletes also excelled in the classroom. With Sirmans monitoring the team’s academic progress, the Owls finished with a 3.2 GPA or higher in all three seasons she was in Houston.
Before arriving at Rice, Sirmans spent two seasons coaching at the University of Massachusetts where she helped the Minutewomen post back-to-back Atlantic 10 tournament appearances. She worked primarily with the defenders, and was instrumental in training centerback Rebekka Sverrisdottir to first team all-conference honors in 2014 and to the A-10 All-Tournament team in 2013.
A 2008 graduate of the University of Dayton, Sirmans spent the 2012 season coaching at her alma mater. While working with the Flyers' defense she mentored Alysha Mallon to all-region and all-conference honors.
Prior to Dayton, she served three years as an assistant at Wright State from 2009-2011 where she helped in all aspects of the program. Sirmans helped coach WSU centerback Lauren Patterson to First Team All-Horizon League and to the conference All-Tournament Team in 2010. In 2009 Patterson was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team, and as a squad the Raiders registered a steady 0.81 goals-against average for the entire season.
During her time as an undergraduate at Dayton, Sirmans appeared in 75 games with 59 starts and logged eight goals and 11 assists in her four years. She was tabbed an Honorable Mention Freshman All-American by Soccer Buzz magazine in 2004 after totaling 15 points on five goals and five assists to finish fourth on the team in scoring in her Division I debut. In addition to earning a spot on the conference All-Rookie Team during her first season with the Flyers, she collected her first of two A-10 All-Tournament team accolades. Sirmans assisted on both goals in the conference semifinals that year and set up the game winner in overtime in the championship match to help the Flyers earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Following her collegiate career, Sirmans had a trial with TSV Crailsheim, which is part of the top division German Women's Bundesliga, and was also invited to a tryout with the Women's Professional Soccer's Washington Freedom. Sirmans has extensive club coaching experience as she has worked with Ohio Galaxies since 2010, and coached one of the best teams in the Dayton area that was ranked as high as second in Ohio South.
Prior to attending Dayton, Sirmans was a five-time member of the Ohio Olympic Development Program state team. She also played year-round for the Dayton Soccer Academy after three years of high school play for the Centerville Elks. Sirmans helped lead DSA to State Cup titles in the first four years of the club's existence in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. DSA was also runner-up in the US Club Nationals in 2003.
A native of Centerville, Ohio, Sirmans graduated from Dayton in 2008 with a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science. She has her USSF B License, NSCAA Premier License and U.S. Soccer Instructor License. She is a NSCAA Associate Staff member and part of NSCAA Women's Committee. In 2015-16 Sirmans was named to NSCAA 30 under 30, which is the top 30 men and female coaches in the nation that are under the age of 30.