Arizona soccer has tabbed Kyle Venter as an assistant coach, it announced Friday. The 29-year-old is a familiar face, as he moonlighted as a volunteer assistant last season while he was a team captain for FC Tucson.
The Aurora, Colorado native replaces Paul Nagy, who stepped down this summer after seven seasons as Tony Amato’s top assistant. The Wildcats also have second-year assistant Sandy Davison on staff.
“Kyle was on our staff last year and his work ethic and knowledge of the game really helped us be successful,” Amato said in a statement. “He understands what our program is about and is 100% in support of that philosophy, mission, and vision. Kyle knows what it takes to make a Final Four, get drafted, and play professionally, and that experience will be a great resource for our players.”
A former defender, Venter was a three-time All-American at New Mexico and drafted 23rd overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by the Los Angeles Galaxy. Venter also played for the Tulsa Roughnecks, Ottawa Fury, Penn FC and Richmond Kickers.
He graduated from UNM in 2014 with a Business Degree in HR Management and Organizational Leadership.
“The University of Arizona is a special place and I am both humbled and excited to be a part of the Arizona Soccer program,” Venter said in a statement. “I witnessed first-hand what Tony values and how the team operates as the volunteer assistant in the fall of 2019, so it made this an easy decision. Tony and his staff have worked tirelessly to put Arizona on the map in the Pac-12 as well as nationally, and I am looking forward to playing my role in furthering the success of this program in all aspects. I can’t wait to work with our student-athletes and do what I can to help them grow and succeed both on and off the field.”
The Wildcats have also added Katie Coleman as a volunteer assistant. The Tucson native has been an assistant coach at Delaware State for the past three seasons and used to coach for Pima Community College and FC Tucson.
“I am incredibly grateful to Tony Amato, Sandy Davison and the University of Arizona Athletics Administration for the work they’ve done to make this happen,” she said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to coach in the Pac-12 and help contribute to the success the program has achieved under Tony’s tenure. As a Tucson native, I grew up as an Arizona Soccer fan and I can’t think of a greater honor than the opportunity to work with such high class coaches and student-athletes.”
A former goalkeeper at Butler, Coleman was the director of goalkeeping at FC Tucson and the Tanque Verde Soccer Club, so her expertise should help make up for what the Wildcats lost when Nagy, a former goalkeeper, resigned.
“We have had the opportunity to work with Katie previously at our summer camps,” Amato said. “Her ability to communicate clearly to the players and the energy and excitement she brings to each training session is impressive and I know she will be totally invested in her role.”
He added: “We set out to find two coaches who would be a great fit for the program at this time. After months of evaluating where we can grow, countless conversations, and a formal national hiring search, it was clear that both Kyle and Katie are what we were looking for. It is great to have them on board and I am really excited about the direction we are headed.”
The NCAA soccer season was postponed to February due to the coronavirus pandemic.