North Dakota coach hired at Buena Vista
Buena Vista athletic director Christyn Abaray has announced that Kristen Gay will become the university’s next head women’s soccer coach.
For the past five seasons, Gay has been head women’s soccer coach at North Dakota where she led the program through its Division I transition in 2008. Her squads improved their overall winning percentage in four of her five seasons. In 2010, the Sioux went 4-2 in the Great West Conference and advanced into the conference tournament championship game before falling short on penalty kicks.
She replaces Tony Tommasi, who compiled a 25-28-2 record in three seasons with the Beavers. Tommasi was recently hired as head women's coach at Division I Chicago State, a new program which takes the field in 2014. Before Tommasi's arrival in 2010 Buena Vista had won just 29 games in the previous 13 years.
“I am thrilled to announce the hiring of coach Kristen Gay as our head women’s soccer coach,” says Abaray. She impressed all with whom she came in contact, including the student-athletes. With her breadth of experience both playing and coaching, her commitment to our student-athletes’ development and success, and her enthusiasm for taking our women’s soccer program to the next level, I feel confident in the direction of the program for years to come.”
Gay is eager to join the BVU family and is extremely excited about the direction of the program she is taking over.
“I want to thank president Moore, Dr. McKeon, the search committee, and especially Christyn Abaray for the opportunity to lead the BVU women's soccer program,” says Gay. “I am really excited about joining the staff at BVU. The first thing I noticed was that it feels like a family atmosphere with the entire athletics department, as well as campus. The passion and excitement coming from those I spoke with is something I want to be a part of.”
Before taking over as head coach of the Sioux in February 2008, she had served as an assistant coach for the program since 2006. Prior to arriving at UND, Gay was the first assistant coach at Indiana State for two seasons and helped guide the Sycamores to their best two seasons in the program’s history. Before that, she spent two years as head coach at Dana College, an NAIA school in Blair, Neb., where she led the Vikings to a 27-12-2 mark and was named GPAC Co-Coach of the Year. She helped coach 14 all-conference performers during her tenure and a pair of All-Americans.
Gay will be taking over a Beaver program beginning this year that has set numerous school records in each of the last three seasons. That is something she looks to continue building upon while helping the program reach the next level.
“We are hoping to build on that success as we change the culture at BVU,” adds Gay. “I believe this team has shown a tremendous amount of resiliency and improvement the last few seasons. I am committed to doing everything I can to help build a championship program, and our team will continue to be successful in the classroom and extend our exposure throughout the community.”
Gay began her career in coaching following a stellar playing career herself, primarily as a midfielder, at Nebraska. She played for the Cornhuskers from 1995-98 and led the program to a Big 8 championship, along with Big XII regular season titles in both 1996 and 1997. The team advanced into the Sweet Sixteen twice and made an Elite Eight appearance in 1996. As a freshman, she led the team in scoring and was an all-conference and all-region selection in 1996. She served as a team co-captain in 1998.
Gay received her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and special education from Nebraska and her master’s degree in physical education/coaching from Indiana State.