Kim Kriese is understandably excited. Just 25 years old, the former college soccer star has been given the keys to Lakeland’s women’s soccer program.
“I’m a little nervous, but I’m confident in my knowledge of the game and how to pass that knowledge along,” she says. “I know I’ll make a few mistakes along the way, but I’m really, really excited.”
She knows recruiting is the lifeblood of any successful program, and establishing strong relationships is the key to great recruiting. One of her core recruiting philosophies is focusing on Sheboygan County student-athletes.
“I want to build the program around local talent,” she says. “You look around this county, and there’s talent all over the place. I want Sheboygan-area kids. I want their parents and grandparents to be able to watch them play right here at Lakeland College.”
Kim is a pioneer, blazing a new trail for Lakeland soccer. The women’s soccer program had a part-time head coach for its first three year, but this marks the first time in the program’s 21-year history that it has its own full-time head coach. For the past two years, Adam Galla ran both the men’s and women’s programs. He will now focus exclusively on the men’s program while Kim takes over the women’s on a full-time basis.
Kim came to Lakeland as a graduate assistant in 2011 after a sensational playing career at Marian University in Fond du Lac. She left Marian after setting school records for matches started (75), goals scored (66) and game-winning goals (18), among other marks. After her senior year, she was named conference Offensive Player of the Year.
She credits Galla for “teaching me the ropes” and mentoring her to the point where she’s ready to run a program. After her two years as a graduate assistant, Kim served last season as a full-time assistant coach.
Lakeland's women's soccer team opens its 2014 season on Aug. 29 at home against Ripon College.