Monaca, PA -- Penn State Beaver announces that Jim Van Kirk will head the women's soccer program for the 2016 season.
Van Kirk, who currently heads the men's soccer program on campus, will also be taking on the role of women's head coach in the 2016 season. Jim, who started his career with Penn State Beaver in 2012 as the women's coach, moved to the men's side in the 2013 season. In his time as the men's head coach he has led the team to the post season in each of the last three seasons and to the conference championship two of the last three seasons, claiming his first championship title in 2015. The 2015 season also marked the programs first trip to the USCAA Soccer National Tournament.
The women's program has grown significantly in the past three seasons as well under former head coach Shaun Schetka, who resigned earlier in the week to pursue a Division II position. In the 2015 season under Schetka, the women's program also claimed their first PSUAC Conference Championship with an overtime win over rival Penn State Brandywine.
For the 2016 season, the women's program will be returning a large core group of players and they have a solid freshman class coming in as well. Van Kirk, who is no stranger to coaching women's soccer, is confident that he can continue the success of the women's program and elevate the players to the next level just as he has done with the men especially with the current group of players.
Coach VanKirk, who has nearly 20 years of coaching experience, began his coaching career in 1997 at his alma mater, South Allegheny High School, coaching the girls program. In 2000 he was hired at Keystone Oaks High School as an assistant for the boys team and was later the head coach at West Mifflin Area High School for the boys soccer team for three seasons.
Currently Coach VanKirk is a head coach for the Pittsburgh Football Club, which is a classic organization within Western Pennsylvania. He is also the director of Junior Academy. Prior to joining PFC, Coach VanKirk was with 3 Rivers Soccer Club. VanKirk is a member of National Soccer Coaches Association of America and currently holds a National level license with the NSCAA.