Gustavus Adolphus College has named Laura Burnett-Kurie the new head coach of its women’s soccer program. Burnett-Kurie, a 2008 graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges (N.Y.), is replacing Mike Stehlik, who resigned at the conclusion of the 2011 season after serving as the head coach of the women’s soccer program for 22 years.
“This is a tremendous honor and I feel fortunate to be part of this great Gustavus community,” stated Burnett-Kurie. “After my time on campus, it is evident a strong winning environment has been established within the athletic department and I look forward to building on the previous successes of the women’s soccer program as we work our way back to competing for MIAC championships.”
Burnett-Kurie added, “I would like to thank Al Molde, Tom Brown and the rest of the staff for providing me with this opportunity and making Gustavus such a desirable place to work. I am looking forward to new challenges and continued growth.”
A licensed member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Burnett-Kurie brings a great deal of energy and passion to the Gustavus women’s soccer program. Most recently, she has been the assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif. since August of 2010. In addition to her coaching responsibilities, she is pursuing a master’s degree in higher education. While on staff for the Bulldogs, Burnett-Kurie served as the team’s director of recruiting and assisted in all aspects of the day-to-day operation of running a high caliber NCAA women’s soccer program. Redlands compiled a mark of 22-15-1 overall and 13-11-0 within the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) during her two seasons with the program. The Bulldogs qualified for the SCIAC Post-Season Tournament both years following fourth place league finishes.
Before taking the job at Redlands, Laura served as an assistant coach for the Gettysburg College (Pa.) women’s soccer program from June 2008-2010. At Gettysburg, Burnett-Kurie assisted in all aspects of team management and was specifically responsible for the in-season and off-season strength and conditioning programs for the team. She also prepared and facilitated the basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse off-season workout programs, utilizing SPARQ training sessions to improve speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness.
As a college player, Burnett-Kurie epitomized an elite NCAA Division III student-athlete, excelling both on the pitch and in the classroom. Attending William Smith College located in Geneva, N.Y., Laura was a four-year starter and captain (2007) for the Heron women’s soccer program from 2004-2007. During her tenure on the field, she helped lead the team to the program’s first Liberty League Championship, one ECAC Championship, and two NCAA Tournament appearances. William Smith went a combined 56-13-8 within that time, as Burnett-Kurie became just the fifth women’s soccer player in Heron history to reach the 100-point milestone, registering 42 goals and 18 assists over her career. After being named Liberty League Rookie-of-the Year in 2004, she went on to be a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Third Team All-American (2006, 2007), and the Liberty League’s Player of the Year in 2006.
In addition to her accomplishments on the field, the Durham, N.H. native also garnered numerous academic honors. Laura was an ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America honoree in 2005, a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree (2005-07), and a three-time Liberty League All-Academic performer.
After graduating cum laude with a degree in psychology in May of 2008, Laura continued to play soccer at a competitive level for the Adirondack Lynx, a semi-pro team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), during the summer of 2009. She helped the team to the playoffs for the second time in the squad’s four-year history and garnered WPSL All-Eastern First Team honors.
“We are extremely pleased that Laura has accepted our offer to become our new head women’s soccer coach,” said Gustavus Director of Athletics Al Molde. “She is bright, articulate, and talented. Coupled with her excellent soccer skills and high energy level, we believe she will be an outstanding head coach. We look forward to working with Laura to take Gustavus women’s soccer to the next level.”
Laura Burnett-Kurie becomes the fifth head coach in the 30-year history of the Gustavus women’s soccer program. The Gusties have compiled an all-time record of 305-201-47 (.558), winning five Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and making eight NCAA Tournament appearances.
In addition to her responsibilities as the head coach, Burnett-Kurie will also teach in the Health and Exercise Science Department. She will begin her new duties immediately.