February 1, 2012

Macalester hires former D-I coach

More news about: Macalester women's team

Macalester announces the hiring of Michele Cornish as women's soccer coach. Cornish takes over the program from interim coach Jemma Perkins, who directed the team during the 2011 season.

Cornish, a former Macalester assistant, was head women's soccer coach at NCAA Division I UNC-Asheville from 1994 to 2010 and since 2010 has been girls' soccer head coach at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault, Minn. She was an assistant under John Leaney at Macalester in 1991.

She will begin her duties at Macalester on April 2.

“Coming back to Macalester is truly a full-circle experience for me,” said Cornish. “Without my time, as an assistant coach, under former head coach, John Leaney, I would not have had the opportunity to coach at UNC Asheville for so many years. The Mac program gave me my start, and I intend to continue the tradition of success that Macalester has come to expect from its women's soccer program. I'm looking forward to joining a closely knit community of students, faculty, and staff, and to embracing all that Macalester has to offer."

Cornish became head coach of the UNC-Asheville program in 1994, and at the age of 26, was one of the youngest coaches in the nation upon her hiring. However, she quickly made an impact with the young Asheville program that was in its third year of existence.

In 1995, she led the Bulldogs to the Big South Conference championships and school-record 16-5 mark. Asheville finished the season in second place in the league standings and advanced to the league title game for the first time. Cornish led the Bulldogs to back-to-back Big South Conference regular-season titles in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, she guided Asheville to the Big South Conference title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The women's soccer team became the first female team at Asheville to ever go to the NCAA championships. She finished her Bulldog career with 134 victories, making her not just the all-time winningest coach at UNC Asheville but the Big South, as well. Cornish led Asheville to the Big South Conference title game seven different times and was a two-time Big South Conference Coach of the Year.

As a student-athlete, she played at George Mason and won the Division I national championship in 1985 by defeating UNC Chapel Hill. Prior to her college career, she was selected to the first U.S. representative women's soccer team to play in China, and was the team's youngest player and leading scorer during the tour.

Cornish and her husband Steve have two children, Cameron 18, and Cheyney 13.

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