Kelly Wakeman is the new head women's soccer coach at Muhlenberg College, bringing 11 years of collegiate head coaching experience, including one that resulted in a national championship.
"First and foremost, thank you to director of athletics Lynn Tubman, the members of the search committee, and the Muhlenberg College community for the incredible honor and opportunity to lead the Muhlenberg College women's soccer program," said Wakeman. "During my interview experience, I was extremely impressed with the campus, athletic facilities, academic programs and the incredible people that I met — ranging from the athletics staff and the student-athletes to the faculty and administration.
"There is a caring, inclusive environment alive and well at Muhlenberg that I am thrilled to be a part of! It is inspiring to me to be back where my college coaching career began, in an amazing conference, and close to family and friends. I am determined to build on a strong tradition within the women's soccer program and elevate the team to new heights."
In 2017, Wakeman was the head coach at Widener University, where she was named MAC Commonwealth coach of the year after leading the Pride to a 12-7 record, its first conference semifinal appearance since 1995 and its first ECAC Tournament berth since 2008.
"I want to acknowledge the amazing experience that I had at Widener University and thank athletic director Jack Shafer, the athletic and university staff and the awesome group of young women whom I was privileged to coach," said Wakeman.
For the previous five seasons, Wakeman was head coach at Ursinus College, one of Muhlenberg's Centennial Conference rivals. She coached the Bears to 38 wins and two CC playoff berths during her tenure.
Wakeman, who lives in nearby Easton, Pa., served as head coach at Montgomery (Md.) College from 2007 to 2011, developing a team that won only one game in the season before she arrived to a nationally ranked soccer program that won the 2011 NJCAA national championship. Montgomery was ranked in four of her five seasons, and Wakeman was named regional coach of the year three times and national coach of the year once.
In her first 11 years as a head coach, Wakeman compiled a record of 122-66-10 and coached five All-Americans.
A 2004 graduate of Moravian College, where she played four years as a goalkeeper, Wakeman earned her master's in education from Edinboro University in 2014. She served as goalkeeper coach at Muhlenberg in 2006 and has also been an assistant at Swarthmore College, Whitehall High School, Easton Area High School and Bethlehem Catholic High School.
Wakeman holds a United Soccer Coaches Advanced National Diploma and NSCAA Level II Regional Goalkeeping Diploma.
The fourth coach in Muhlenberg women's soccer history, Wakeman replaces Leslie Benintend-Kiernan, who resigned as the program's all-time winningest coach following the 2017 season. The Mules have earned berths in the Centennial Conference, ECAC and/or NCAA tournaments in 13 of the last 20 years, winning three CC championships.