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Athletics Announces Contract Extension for Head Soccer Coach Heather Cairns

Thursday, Nov. 08, 2012

USU head soccer coach Heather Cairns

Utah State University Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Thursday a contract extension for head soccer coach Heather Cairns that will run through June of 2017. (photo from Athletics website)

Utah State University Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Thursday [Nov. 1] a contract extension for head soccer coach Heather Cairns that will run through June of 2017.

“Heather has built an exemplary program in her time at Utah State University and her record speaks for itself, particularly in the last several years,” said Barnes. “She recruits a caliber of student-athlete we are all very proud of and they represent our university in a first-class manor.

“Again this is a true reflection of Heather’s leadership. We are looking forward to our women’s soccer program’s successful transition into the Mountain West Conference under Heather’s strong leadership.”

In her 10th year at Utah State, Cairns is the winningest coach in the program's 17 years with an impressive 101-77-25 (.559) record, including an incredible 42-9-8 (.780) Western Athletic Conference mark, which is the highest winning percentage among the league’s nine coaches.

“I am excited to be signing a contract extension here at Utah State University and I would like to thank Athletics Director Scott Barnes for the opportunity to continue to be an Aggie,” said Cairns. “I was excited to jump at the opportunity. I think the world of my team and we have a great future. I am really looking forward to leading them as we transition into the Mountain West Conference, and I am excited for the new landscape.”

During her tenure, Cairns has led Utah State to four regular season WAC titles in the last five years, including in each of the last three seasons. In 2011, USU also won its first-ever WAC Tournament Championship and advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament.

Cairns, who was named the WAC’s Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2011, has coached Utah State to 78 shutouts during her 10 years at the Aggies’ helm. Prior to Cairns’ appointment, USU registered just 16 shutouts in its first seven years as a program.

Under Cairns, Utah State has won 10-plus matches seven times, including six times in the last seven years, which included a school record 15 wins in 2011. Prior to Cairns being named head coach, USU had never won more than eight matches in a single season.

Utah State has also had seven student-athletes earn conference player of the year honors under Cairns, including Shantel Flanary who was named the WAC’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2011, while Natalie Norris was named the WAC’s first-ever three-time Defensive Player of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012) this season. Cairns has also coached the WAC’s Freshman of the Year three times in Lindsey Smart (2006), Flanary (2009) and Taryn Rose (2011). In all, USU has had 26 players garner all-conference accolades a total of 45 times under Cairns.

Along with all of its accomplishments on the field, Utah State has been just as successful in the classroom under Cairns as 58 student-athletes have earned academic all-conference honors a total of 127 times, while Norris became the first Aggie ever to earn NSCAA Scholar All-American honors in 2011.

Along with its individual academic accomplishments, Utah State also received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Award for the ninth-straight season in 2011.

Fans can follow USU soccer on Twitter.

Additional Aggie sports news is available at the Athletics website.

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