Veteran Division III head coach is newest addition to Fighting Irish staff for 2013.
Corey Holton, one of the nation's top young coaches, is in her first season as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, following seven seasons as a coach at the NCAA Division III level, the past four as a head coach and most recently following one season at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass.
"I had the opportunity to instruct at an NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) coaching course in Germany during the 2011 Women's World Cup," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "Corey was one of the candidates in the course and I came away so impressed with her field presence, as well as her passion and knowledge of the game. She's done an amazing job of turning around two different programs in her career as a head coach, and that is a difficult thing to do, even once, considering the resources she had to work with.
"Corey is an up-and-coming coach, and I believe she will help continue the growth of women's soccer in this country as a role model for other young women who decide to enter the coaching ranks." Waldrum added. "We welcome her to the Notre Dame family and I'm ecstatic to have her joining our staff."
"I'm excited to be working with one of the top women's soccer programs in the country," Holton said. "I'm also honored to be coaching alongside Randy (Waldrum) and (assistant coach) Dawn (Greathouse), both of whom are talented coaches and amazing people. Notre Dame is an exceptional institution and I'm thrilled to be a part of the Fighting Irish community."
Last year, Holton was selected as the first full-time head coach in the 17-year history of the WPI women's soccer program, taking over a squad that won just four matches the year before and lost five starters from that club. What's more, WPI entered the 2012 campaign with a 22-player roster that featured 13 underclassmen, including seven freshmen. Yet, under Holton's steady and encouraging hand, the Engineers showed significant improvement in nearly all statistical categories in 2012, and finished one win better than the year before her arrival.
Holton came to WPI after a successful three-year stint as head coach at Concordia University in Austin, Texas, where she led the Tornados to heights never before seen in that program's history. In the nine years prior to Holton's arrival, Concordia had just 19 wins and 13 shutouts, but in her three-year run from 2009-11, Concordia went 29-21-6 and recorded 25 clean sheets while setting school records for wins in a season in all three campaigns.
In her final season with the Tornados in 2011, Holton was named the American Southwest Conference Coach of the Year after leading her team to a school-record 14 wins (and school-best 10 victories in ASC play). Concordia also earned its first-ever postseason win, advancing to the semifinals of the ASC Championship for the first time, and the Tornados cracked the regional rankings for the first time in program history.
Holton coached seven all-conference players (a school record) while at Concordia, along with two Capital One/CoSIDA Division III Academic All-District honorees. While at the school, she also served as the athletic department's academic liaison (her squads compiled a team GPA of 3.0 or better during each of her three seasons) and co-advisor for the Concordia Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Holton began her coaching career as an assistant coach from 2006-08 at Greensboro College in Greensboro, N.C. In those three seasons, she helped the Pride to a 30-21-6 record, including a school-best 14-4-1 mark in 2007. What's more, she coached seven all-conference players, including two all-region selections while on the GC staff. In that role, Holton served as Greensboro's recruiting coordinator and also assisted with academic counseling, scheduling, team travel and scouting. In addition, she taught in the school's kinesiology department, worked in disability services and was assistant manager of the campus recreation center.
Originally hailing from Wilmington, Vt., Holton graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Elmira College in 2005 with her bachelor of arts degree in psychology. She also was a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain for the Elmira soccer program, helping the Soaring Eagles to a 42-27-5 record during her career.
Following her graduation from Elmira, Holton earned the prestigious Asa S. Bushnell Internship from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), spending the 2005-06 academic year with that league. As part of her internship, she served as a communication assistant for the conference, focusing on organization of NCAA Division II and III soccer championships, as well as the Division I Soccer Jamboree, and she also wrote for the Cape Cod Times.
Holton went on to earn her master's degree in sports studies from High Point University in 2008. She also holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National "C" coaching license, along with a state goalkeeper license.