This Women’s History Month article was written by Dani Vaughn. Dani is a Women Coaches Community member and a coach at FC Dallas Girls Academy. To learn more about the Women Coaches Community, click here.
History defined by Dictionary.com as, “the study of past events, particularly humans.” Throughout time, history’s definition has evolved into becoming the “first to achieve.” When you’re living and working in the present, the past is your baseline on how to be great. We seem to only remember the ones who were the “first to” yet we don’t acknowledge the ones who also contributed to being great and making the career continuously competitive. This blog post is about the history of ALL the women who were the “first to’s” and who made our line of work competitive. So here’s to all the women who are dominating the present so we have a good baseline to measure our future.
Aliceann Wilbur (William Smith College)
The only soccer coach William Smith has ever known, Aliceann Wilber built the Herons from the ground up into one of the most successful and widely respected programs in the nation. Along the way, she has solidified her place among the legendary names of collegiate soccer coaches. Including the 1988 and 2013 national championships, Wilber’s career record with the Herons stands at 626-142-66. She is the first woman in collegiate soccer history to earn 600 career wins, and her 626 wins put her in first place on the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer all-time list and second among coaches in all divisions of women’s soccer.
Paula Wilkins (University of Wisconsin)
One of the most accomplished women’s college soccer head coaches in the country, Paula Wilkins, the winningest coach in UW program history, is in her 16th season as head coach of the Wisconsin women’s soccer program in 2022. Wilkins, known in part for helping out with the career of Rose Lavelle, has another midfielder making national headlines in Victoria Pickett. The Canadian native was a MAC Hermann semifinalist in 2018 and was named First Team All-Big Ten, First Team All-Region, and First Team All-American.
Brittany Cameron (Wake Forest)
Cameron became the only Black woman at the Power Five level to hold the title of either Associate Head Coach or Head Coach, as her trailblazing path has and continues to serve as an inspiration for others. Cameron was announced as the new goalkeeper coach for the United States U-20 Youth National Team as they won the gold medal at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic.
Angela Staveskie (Loyola University Chicago)
Angela Staveskie has concluded her second season with the Loyola University Chicago women’s soccer program in 2022. Staveskie’s impact was immediate in her first season in Rogers Park, as she helped guide Maddie Hausmann to one of the top campaigns by a netminder in program history.
Kristin Williams (Boswell High School)
In a rebuilding year for Boswell High School in Saginaw, Texas; Boswell elected to hire Kristin Williams from Solar SC who won a national championship with the U14 ECNL team in the 20-21 season. This hire has already seen immediate results in her first 8 months with a record for the 22-23 season of 3-16-1 with a -40 goal differential vs last year’s 0-20 with a -94 goal differential. This a coach who is on the rise and someone to watch for years to come.
Dallas Sting 1984 Team
The U.S. Soccer Federation had committed to sending a team to the first-ever FIFA tournament for women’s national teams. However, the United States had no women’s national team at the time. The successful U19 Sting Soccer team was chosen to travel as the first-ever Women’s National Team to represent the United States in Xi-an, China.
They beat Australia, Japan, and China before facing and defeating the women’s soccer powerhouse at the time, Italy, in the championship game. The Sting Soccer U19 team was the first American team, male or female, to win a major international tournament.
The reason I’ve chosen these women is because their ability to come in and make IMMEDIATE change for the better is astounding and they’ve made their mark in history, regardless of if they were the first to accomplish or just added more quality female coaches to the ranks. For Dallas Sting, they trailblazed and were the team that STARTED USWNT that we know so well today. So personally, I thank those women for creating a platform for all the of current coaches/players.
After reading about these women and putting this list for Women’s History Month, who are some women who make your list in history?