The first Men’s NCAA Division I Soccer National Championship took place in 1959, while the first women’s tournament was not held until 1982. That year, Kim Wyant, current head coach of the NYU Men’s Soccer team, was a freshman goalkeeper at the University of Central Florida. Her team made it all the way to the championship match and were set to play the University of North Carolina. Despite losing 1–0 to the Tarheels (who would go on to win the title 20 more times), she was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Wyant is currently the only female head coach of a NCAA men’s soccer team. The team, for which she has coached the past three seasons, competes in the University Athletic Association alongside UR Men’s Soccer. Despite failing to collect a conference win this season, there is something to be said about her breaking the glass ceiling that exists for female coaches in male sports.

Upon graduating in 1985, Wyant took to playing soccer at an international level and became the goalkeeper for the first United States Women’s National Soccer Team. In the program’s first year, the roster was far from star-studded, practices were held infrequently, and equipment was lacking. Overcoming all odds, Wyant helped the team to their first shutout and win in July 1986 against Canada. In 2008, she was the recipient of the “Special Recognition Award” by the National Soccer Hall of Fame for her contribution to the program.

In 1994, Wyant played professionally for the Orlando Lions before moving to the Long Island Lady Riders a year later, where she played until 2003. In nine seasons, Wyant played almost 9,000 minutes and is currently the team’s all-time leader in minutes and is second in games played with 99. Upon retiring in late 2003, Wyant was named general manager of the Long Island Lady Riders and was inducted into the United Soccer League’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

Wyant was a pioneer as a player and in celebrating many firsts for women in soccer. At NYU, she continues to demonstrate her commitment to furthering the women’s game by taking on a head coaching position of a men’s team. Last season, the Violets finished 9–8–2 overall and picked up three wins in the UAA, enough for a postseason bid into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship. Last season, two members of her team were named Second Team All-UAA, including midfielder Tristan Medios-Simon, who led the team in points with eight goals and four assists.

Notably, her team was selected to win the Sportsmanship Award from the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Official Association, and 11 players earned UAA Fall Sport All-Academic honors.

On top of coaching at NYU, she was the head coach at Florida Atlantic University for three seasons starting in 1994 and for two seasons at Dowling College from 2003 to 2004.

Tagged: Soccer

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