PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation, M. Grace Calhoun, has announced that Nicole Van Dyke will be Penn’s new head coach of women’s soccer.
Entering her second stint as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level, Van Dyke has spent the last four seasons at Stanford University -- three as an assistant coach, and the fourth as the Associate Head Coach under Paul Ratcliffe. She was invaluable in helping guide the Cardinal to three NCAA College Cup berths including the 2011 national championship. Stanford went a combined 81-9-7 and won two Pac-12 titles during her four seasons on The Farm.
“There was a strong connection and sense of fit with Nicole from our first conversation,” said Calhoun. “Her charisma, grasp of Penn’s academic values, and confidence set her apart in a thorough search that yielded many impressive candidates. She is a nationally recognized coach and a proven recruiter. Nicole’s understanding of what it takes to be a national contender on the field coupled with her academic background will serve her well at Penn. We are proud to welcome her to the Quaker family.”
“I would like to thank Director of Athletics Grace Calhoun, Senior Associate Director of Athletics Tony Vecchione and the entire search committee for their diligence andsincerity throughout the hiring process,” said Van Dyke. “Penn is an incredible and historic institution, and I was so impressed by the approach and energy within the athletic department. I am thrilled to have this opportunity and excited about the future that Penn brings me both professionally and personally.
“I look forward to getting to work, and can’t wait to be a part of reaching new heights with Penn Women’s Soccer.”
During Van Dyke’s tenure at Stanford, the Cardinal produced eight All-America players including the 2011 Hermann Trophy winner (Teresa Noyola); 19 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Pacific Region selections; and 26 players who received All-Pac 12 recognition. In addition, Stanford’s 2015 recruiting class is ranked No. 1 in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com, and the Cardinal had the consensus National Freshman of the Year last fall in midfielder Andi Sullivan.
Stanford’s winning percentage of .866 over the past four years was the second-highest among any school and the highest among 2014 College Cup teams. In addition, Stanford’s differential of 71 victories over .500 was the highest in the nation during that span.
In addition to its excellence on the field, Stanford excelled in the classroom -- Stanford has had 42 selections to the Pac-12 All-Academic team during Van Dyke’s term as coach. Nine of her Stanford players have been drafted by Women’s Professional Soccer or the National Women’s Soccer League, including three going into the 2015 NWSL season. Seven already have played professionally, including three with full national teams.
Van Dyke was the head coach at her alma mater, Cal State Bakersfield, for five seasons before moving to Stanford. Before that, she was the head coach at Cal State Stanislaus from 2003-05.
Van Dyke was the first full-time women’s soccer coach at Bakersfield, overseeing a five-year transition from NCAA Division II to Division I as the team played as an independent. In 2010, the Roadrunners beat one NCAA tournament team (Sacramento State) while drawing against two others (San Diego and Fresno State).
The Roadrunners twice won the Kegley-McCall Award as the Cal State Bakersfield team with the highest grade-point average during her tenure, and were runners-up in 2010. Their scholastic achievements also earned Bakersfield recognition as an NSCAA All-Academic Team Award recipient in 2009 and 2010. Van Dyke continued that tradition at Stanford, which has won the same honor.
At the tender age of 23, Van Dyke began her collegiate head coaching career at Division II Cal State Stanislaus, leading the Warriors to a combined 35-19-7 record over three seasons and winning a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) North Division title in 2005. That team went 15-4-2 and Van Dyke, who also served as an admissions counselor, earned CCAA Coach of the Year honors.
Van Dyke played college soccer at Cal State Bakersfield from 1998-2000. In 2000, she set the school season record for goals (17), a mark that still stands. She also established career marks in goals (36) and points (88) that are still second in program history while leading the Roadrunners to the CCAA Central Division title. She earned All-CCAA first-team honors in 2000 and was a two-time second-team NSCAA All-Far West selection, in 1999 and 2000. She graduated from Cal State Bakersfield with a degree in liberal studies in 2002 and earned her master’s in education, with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction, in 2008.
Van Dyke played professionally in Sweden for Mallbacken IF, and also was Team MVP for the California Gold of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). She is active in youth soccer, having worked in the Bay Area with the Palo Alto Soccer Club, Stanford Soccer Club, and is currently with the Mountain View-Los Altos Soccer Club.
Van Dyke holds a USSF 'A' coaching license and has an NSCAA Premier Diploma.
Nicole married Jason Werner in March 2014.