Assistant named to prestigious coaching program

Krystle Seidel is the lone Big Ten representative in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's 30 Under 30 Program.

Gophers assistant soccer coach Krystle Seidel directs players at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, on Sept. 4, 2011. Seidel was selected to participate in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's 30 Under 30 program.

Courtesy of Christopher Mitchell

Gophers assistant soccer coach Krystle Seidel directs players at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, on Sept. 4, 2011. Seidel was selected to participate in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's 30 Under 30 program.

Joe Perovich

Krystle Seidel has aspirations of coaching her own college soccer program in the future. But until then, the Gophers assistant coach is taking the necessary steps to reach that level.

Seidel was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s 30 Under 30 program in late June. She is the lone Big Ten representative in this year’s program.

The 30 Under 30 program is a one-year education and mentorship program aiming to cultivate 30 of the nation’s brightest and youngest collegiate soccer coaches.

While the NSCAA just launched the program in 2013, it has already risen rapidly in credibility and popularity among soccer’s college circuit, Seidel said.

“I believe the growth [of the 30 Under 30 program] is a cause of the amount of young coaches breaking into the sport,” she said. “Everybody’s hungry to learn, and we’re young professionals that want to make [coaching] a bigger part of our lives. I think it’s getting more and more interest because you’re finding help to grow in your profession.”

Prior to gaining membership, those eager for entry have to submit an application to the NSCAA containing a coach’s references, a case for inclusion and how the candidate would go about using new knowledge to advance the soccer community.

For Seidel, a family holiday card might have fit all the qualifications.

Seidel, whose maiden name is Kallman, is one of five children in her family who played Division I collegiate soccer.

Prior to joining Minnesota for her senior season, Seidel played three seasons at West Virginia University. Her leadership and defensive prowess assisted the 2008 Gophers to a 22-4-0 record en route to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Two of her brothers, Brian and Brent Kallman, are teammates on Minnesota United Football Club, the professional soccer team based out of Blaine, Minn.

Seidel and her sister, Kylie Kallman, both played at Minnesota, and younger sister Kassey was a defender for the Florida State Seminoles.

It’s a soccer family, and Seidel wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I feel bad for our spouses who aren’t interested in soccer, because that’s all we talk about on holidays and such,” she said. “We try to talk about other things, but then the sport just comes back around because that’s what my family is passionate about.”

Gophers senior defender Becca Roberts said the players sense that passion. She said Seidel’s experience helps her relate to the on-field scenarios that players have questions about.

“She’s really smart about positioning,” Roberts said of Seidel. “We play kind of a different back line than other schools do. We try to have a higher press and higher lining.”

One of Seidel’s strengths is the ability to coach players of varying skill levels.

In addition to her job with the Gophers, Seidel coaches a group of teenage girls for the Woodbury Soccer Club.

Peter Rivard, director of coaching for the club, said Seidel’s unique value is her understanding that coaching soccer is as much about things unrelated to soccer as it is about the sport itself.

“She is a great role model for our young women,” Rivard said. “I think in youth soccer … part of what the job involves is helping them grow up to be good people, and she’s great at that. … It’s probably not enough to just do soccer when you’re working with young people.”

While Seidel thoroughly enjoys her jobs, she still has her ultimate goal in mind.

“At some point, I’m going to want to push myself and have my own program,” Seidel said. “I will take that step at one point.”