Seidel grows as coach and former teammate

The associate head coach is in her eighth season with Minnesota

by Dominic Davis

Associate head coach Krystle Seidel has evolved from a Gophers player to having a significant coaching role with the team.

Seidel developed a love and passion for soccer at an early age, but she never imagined she’d make a career out of the sport.

“I never thought coaching was going to be my profession,” Seidel said. “I always thought I was going to coach on the side.”

Once she received the offer and joined the Minnesota coaching staff, she couldn’t picture doing anything else.

In her one year playing for Minnesota after transferring from West Virginia, Seidel helped lead the 2008 Minnesota team to 17 shutouts as a defender.

She was a part of both of Minnesota’s NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances, once as a player in 2008 and again as a coach in 2010.

Seidel said going from being a teammate to a coach is a tricky thing to do. This transition was especially tough for her because she went from playing on a team with her sister to coaching her sister the next year.

Director of soccer operations Tam Warnke also experienced Seidel’s transition from player to coach.

“She was a defender, and I was a forward my freshman year, so I was against her in every training session,” Warnke said. “She kind of taught me the ways of Minnesota soccer. She was just so coachable as a player. It was a fun experience to get to learn from someone of that caliber.”

Seidel coached Warnke the next season when Seidel joined the coaching staff after her senior season.

“She knew everything about that defensive system, but she has grown so much in the attacking mind too,” Warnke said. “She has become such an overall coach.”

Seidel said all the different aspects of coaching are difficult to learn. She had a smaller role for her first few years on the staff, but her responsibilities took off when Stefanie Golan became head coach.

“I learn from [Golan] every year,” Seidel said. “The soccer piece is certainly a huge part, but all that off-the-field stuff that nobody knows going into coaching is some of the trickiest stuff to get.”

Tactics have changed during the years she’s been with the program. Seidel said the culture has remained the same, but she thinks that this team has more unity because of Golan.

“Team unity is something [Golan] specializes in,” Seidel said. “I think that this is the closest-knit team we’ve ever had. Hard work and [a] competitive mentality have always been part of the program’s culture.”

Freshman defender Nikki Albrecht has benefitted greatly from Seidel’s coaching in her first season in Minnesota.

“She always tells me ‘Nikki, I believe in the player that you are,’” Albrecht said. “That is the biggest confidence boost. She always gives us this sense that we belong on this team, and we are here for a reason.”

Albrecht said players, especially the defense, love Seidel as a coach and a person. She has a positive impact on the team.“[Playing soccer] is hard to give up at any stage,” Seidel said. “Certainly right after college, it was really difficult. I am just glad I get to be a part of it in a way.”