Former Central Connecticut women's soccer standout, Kelly Shimmin, has been hired as the head women's soccer coach at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT, USJ Athletic Director, Bill Cardarelli, announced earlier this month. Shimmin takes over as the fourth head coach in the history of the Blue Jays women's soccer program, who competes at the Division III level in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).
Shimmin, a native of Merseyside, United Kingdom, spent the past seven years as the Associate Head Coach at the University of Hartford. Her responsibilities there included practice and game-day preparations, travel arrangements and assisting with the recruiting process. She was part of the staff that earned back-to-back America East Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
"We're very excited to have Kelly as the new women's soccer coach," University of Saint Joseph Athletic Director Bill Cardarelli said. "She comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience and was an integral part of the success at the University of Hartford. Her background as a player, coach and recruiter make her and USJ an ideal match."
Prior to coaching at Hartford, Shimmin's coaching experience included stints with the Connecticut Football Club U15 and U13 Girls Premier teams and a year at CCSU as a graduate assistant coach for the women's soccer team. She has also coached professional teams in England and Iceland.
Shimmin enjoyed an illustrious playing career as a Blue Devil, where she graduated in 2004 and went on to earn a master's degree in 2007. She led Central to three consecutive Northeast Conference titles as a player and another as a graduate assistant coach. A two-time NEC Player of the Year (2002, 2003), she ranks second in school history in scoring with 40 goals and 28 assists for 108 points in 72 games.
Shimmin also raked in honors from the New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association (First Team All-Northeast), the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (First Team All-Northeast), and Soccer Buzz (Honorable Mention All-American) before recently being inducted into the NEC Hall of Fame just this past winter.
In 2003, Shimmin finished third in the nation in assists per game and 25th in points per game, while setting a CCSU school-record with 16 assists. She also scored the game-winning goal in the Blue Devils first-ever NCAA Championship victory, a 1-0 win over Boston College.
Prior to her collegiate career, Shimmin played for the Everton Ladies Football Club of the Premier League. She also represented England as a member of both the U19 and the full national teams and played in Iceland.