Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky Athletics Dept
E.A. Diddle Arena -1605 Avenue of Champions Bowling Green, KY 42101
Division 1 Kentucky Midwest
Public Large National competitor

Coaches

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Jason Neidell

Jason Neidell, the only head coach in WKU women's soccer history, enters his 18th season at the helm of WKU's soccer program in 2018. Neidell has guided the Lady Toppers program since its inception in 2001 and continues to bring the program more recognition on the national stage.


In 2016, WKU enjoyed its finest season since joining Conference USA, posting a 12-6-1 record and finishing third overall in the conference standings. Freshman Chandler Backes became just the fifth player in program history with double-digit goals in one season, and the Lady Toppers surrendered just 13 goals in 19 matches, the second-fewest allowed in a single season in program history. After being selected eighth in the preseason coaches' poll, Neidell earned C-USA Coach of the Year accolades for piloting the Lady Toppers to their third-place finish.


WKU also set a new C-USA record during a six-week stretch during the 2016 season, earning six consecutive Player of the Week awards under Neidell's watch. That streak established a new record as the longest in conference history.


Fifteen of Neidell's 17 teams have recorded winning records. Of those 15 teams, 13 have won at least 10 matches. Neidell has led WKU to at least eight wins in 11 of the last 12 seasons, including Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship appearances in 2008, 2011 and 2013. WKU finished in the top half of conference standings (Sun Belt and Conference USA) during each of Neidell's first 14 seasons.


He guided the program to its first Sun Belt Conference regular season title in 2007 and led WKU to its second conference title during the 2013 season. Neidell was named the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year during each of his championship seasons. In the past nine seasons, Neidell's Lady Toppers reached the championship game of the conference tournament three times. In his 17 seasons, Neidell has led the Lady Toppers to a 187-110-35 record. The 2009 team set a school record for conference victories with nine and he led the 2008 squad to the most victories in program history, finishing 15-2-4.


In addition, 58 student-athletes have earned all-conference honors, with 22 named to the league's all-tournament team. Excelling in the classroom is also important to Neidell and the Lady Toppers, and 19 players have been named Academic All-District a total of 39 times, while he has had 11 Conference USA All-Academic recipients in the past four seasons under his watch. WKU has had five Academic All-Americans under Neidell.


In 2009, the Lady Toppers set a school record with nine Sun Belt Conference wins and finished tied for second in the conference standings. WKU captured the University of Kentucky Tournament championship with a win over Marshall and a tie against Kentucky, and WKU earned major Sun Belt Conference wins over North Texas and Middle Tennessee. Neidell picked up his 100th career victory on October 4, 2009, at Troy, needing just 167 games to reach the milestone. Also in 2009, Kellie Walker set the new single-season and career assists records and was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, and six Lady Toppers were named to All-Sun Belt Conference teams.


Under Neidell's guidance the 2008 squad finished the season with a record of 15-2-4, the best record in school history. The Lady Toppers finished with a 7-1-3 mark in SBC play, good for third in the conference. Following the season, four players were named to the All-Sun Belt Conference First Team. Rachel Friedman and reigning SBC Player of the Year Morgan Thomas were recognized for their efforts on the defensive side of the ball, and Kellie Walker's offensive output earned her a spot on the team.


Freshman goalkeeper Libby Stout had one of the finest seasons in WKU soccer history in 2008. She was named the program's first-ever freshman All-American, as well as getting a nod on the All-SBC First Team. Stout was tremendous in goal for the Lady Toppers, allowing just nine goals the entire season. She recorded 14 shutouts in 20 matches on the season, which is a school and conference record. Her save percentage of 0.924 was second-highest in the nation, and her goals-against average of 0.426 was good for fourth-best in the country. Stout worked back-to-back shutout matches in the SBC Tournament to help the Lady Toppers reach the tournament finals for the first time in program history.


Neidell earned SBC Coach of the Year honors for leading the 2007 team to a SBC regular-season championship and a 14-3-3 overall record. Newcomers Mallory Outerbridge - the first international player for the Lady Toppers - and Amanda Buechel helped lead the squad to the top spot in the SBC. Outerbridge tied Kristin Cocchiarella for the team's lead in goals (8), while Buechel and Alicia Dalby each recorded hat-tricks on the year. Meredith Goodson led the league as the top goalkeeper, stopping 87 shots and allowing only 14 goals for a 0.73 goals-against average.


In 2001 Neidell was named the First-Year Program Coach of the Year by Soccer Buzz after WKU's 14-5 finish in its inaugural season. The 2002 squad produced the first all-Sun Belt picks in school history, as three players were named to the second team.


Neidell has made a name for himself on the international coaching scene, as well as in collegiate coaching. He piloted the United States open squad to a gold medal in the 2009 Maccabiah World Games in Israel. His team, which included former Lady Topper Catie Chase, defeated the host Israeli team 4-0 in the finals to earn the gold. In January 2004 he guided the United States junior national teams at the Pan American Maccabiah Games in Santiago, Chile, where his Under-17 club captured the gold medal and the Under-20 team brought home the silver. He also coached the junior national team in the 2005 World Maccabiah Games and the open national squad at the 2008 Maccabiah Games in Argentina.


A 1994 graduate of Yale, Neidell helped lead the Bulldogs to a NCAA Final Eight appearance and the New England and Ivy League titles in 1991. He was an Academic All-Ivy League selection in 1993 and won the school's Walter Leeman Award, presented to the student-athlete who best exemplifies leadership, sportsmanship and team play.


After graduation, Neidell played professionally for two seasons with the Tulsa Roughnecks of the United States Professional Soccer League, and one season with the Harrisburg Heat of the National Professional Soccer League. An injury with the Heat led him into the coaching ranks. From 1996-98 he served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Tulsa. He earned his bachelor's degree in history from Yale and a master's degree in Public Administration from WKU. He and his wife, Kara, were married on May 9, 2009, and welcomed their daughter Quinn to the world in February 2013.

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Katie Nimitz

Katie Nimitz is in her first season on The Hill in 2018-19 as an assistant coach, where her primary duty will be the training, mentorship and development of the team's goalkeepers. Nimitz is joining the Lady Toppers after two years as an assistant coach at Quincy University in Quincy, Ill.


While at Quincy, Nimitz worked primarily with the Hawks' goalkeepers. Over that same time frame, Nimitz has also served as the head coach of Florida Sol FC, a WPSL side based in Jacksonville, Fla.


While at Quincy, Nimitz's goalkeepers collected 22 shutouts across 40 matches, including a school-record streak of eight consecutive shutouts by Megan Swanson during the 2017 campaign. During her two seasons, the Hawks put together a 27-10-3 record and finished the 2017 season ranked No. 11 in the nation after reaching the Division II Sweet 16.


Nimitz was part of the Quincy staff recognized as a Division II Regional Coaching Staff of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches in 2017. In just two seasons, she helped to coach a First Team All-American, a First Team Scholar All-American, five All-Region selections and 13 All-Conference picks, including the 2017 Great Lakes Valley Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year and 2018 Co-Freshman of the Year.


In addition to her collegiate experience, Nimitz has worked extensively as the Camp Director of Beast Mode Soccer based in Los Angeles, CA. Working under the founder of the program and one of the top technical trainers in the world, David Copeland Smith, Nimitz has worked with elite players from across the nation, helping to develop their technical abilities while improving weaker areas of their game in the process.


Nimitz is in the process of earning her United Soccer Coaches Association Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma and was a presenter for the organization in January 2018 at the Philadelphia Coaching Convention. She owns her USSF “E” and “F” coaching licenses and will acquire her “D” license prior to the 2019 season in June. Since May 2013, Nimitz has also served as a staff member for SoccerPlus, working with United States Youth National Team prospects.


Prior to her coaching career, Nimitz was a two-year student-athlete at Lynn University, a Division II program in Boca Raton, Fla. While there, she was named to the Sunshine State Conference Academic Honor Roll in both of her seasons. Nimitz earned her Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Lynn in 2017 and is on track to earn her Master of Science degree in educational leadership in 2019.

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Roman DuChateau

Roman DuChateau is in his first year as an assistant coach with WKU in 2018-19, arriving on The Hill following a stint as the head coach at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan.


DuChateau’s primary duties will include acting as the program’s recruiting coordinator and training the field players. DuChateau arrives on The Hill following three head coaching stops at Lassen Community College (Susanville, Calif.), Antelope Valley (Lancaster, Calif.) and most recently at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan. A two-time conference Coach of the Year selection in 2015 and 2016, DuChateau owns a 55-18-3 record as a head coach across five seasons.


In his one season at Ottawa, DuChateau coached the Braves to a 15-4-1 overall record while being ranked as high as No. 14 in the nation at the NAIA level. DuChateau's side featured two First Team All-Conference selections, four Second Team picks and two Honorable Mention players, a group that included Reighna Walker, the KCAC Freshman of the Year. The Ottawa squad also had a 2018 NAIA Women's Soccer All-America Honorable Mention Selection (Brooke Mays) and a 2018 United Soccer Coaches NAIA Women's All Region Selection (Leigh Anne Bartlett)


DuChateau also brings championship experience to the Lady Toppers from his two seasons (2014 and 2015) at Lassen Community College. In his second campaign, he led Lassen to the Golden Valley Conference championship en route to his first Coach of the Year selection. After moving to the University of Antelope Valley, he claimed California Pacific Conference Coach of the Year honors in his first season at the helm while reaching the finals of the conference tournament.


Prior to his head coaching career, DuChateau spent nearly three and a half years as a senior staff coach with Shenzhen United in Shenzhen, China, while helping to develop technical and tactical development for the club’s youth academy players. DuChateau developed a goalkeeping curriculum that was adopted across the club and was also responsible for the team’s scouting and post-match performance analysis.


DuChateau earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal State Stanislaus in 2009 before earning a Master of Science degree from American Military University in 2016.

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Dustin Downey

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