02 Aug McKinney promoted to full-time assistant coach of women’s soccer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Callie McKinney has been promoted to a full-time assistant coach with the Bellarmine University women’s soccer team, Coach Chris Tinius announced Monday.
A former University of Louisville player, McKinney joined Tinius’ staff last season as a graduate assistant.
“We are very excited to be able to add Callie to the staff in a full-time status,” Tinius said. “She has done a wonderful job for us and proven to be a promising up-and-coming coach. She has a great energy and ability to connect with our players. Her perspective from her time as a player at Louisville as they transitioned into the ACC is something that we can continue to draw upon during our transition.”
Bellarmine made that transition to Division I last season, joining the ASUN Conference. A native of Franklin, Tennessee, McKinney had recently completed a four-year playing career with Louisville as a starting midfielder from 2016-19 when she became a member of Tinius’ staff as a graduate assistant.
“God truly moves in mysterious ways,” McKinney said. “I am lucky to have moved just right down the road from the University of Louisville, where I played and got involved with FCA and built many great relationships. Starting out as a GA for Bellarmine, I couldn’t have been in a better position. The opportunity to get my feet wet coaching within a transition from D2 to the D1 level in a respectable conference has been nothing short of awesome. Getting involved with Bellarmine’s FCA and building relationships with the staff and our players has made my heart grow fond of this campus. Therefore, becoming the assistant coach for this program is special and somewhere I feel I will be challenged and will grow as a person and a coach.”
Bellarmine’s first season in D1 was encouraging. While the Knights went 2-6-3, they fell by more than one goal only once while holding opponents to one goal or less in eight of 11 games. Bellarmine captured its first-ever D1 win behind a 1-0 triumph over ASUN counterpart Liberty, an NCAA Tournament team. The Knights saw two players (goalkeeper Elyssa Francis, midfielder Natalie Teo) recognized with All-Conference laurels while the team had 100-percent inclusion (26 of 26) on the conference’s Honor Roll.
McKinney appeared in 72 games with 67 starts over her four-year tenure at Louisville. The midfielder started in every game she appeared her freshman, junior and senior seasons and was a two-time ACC Academic Honor Roll selection. McKinney helped the Cardinals earn NCAA Tournament berths her final two years in the program, which included a 13-5-2 senior campaign in 2019 where she delivered the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Clemson. Playing for the Nashville Rhythm, she earned 2019 Southeast All-Conference Team accolades from the Women’s Premier Soccer League.
Coaching at Bellarmine has helped McKinney stay immersed in the game she loves.
“After suffering a knee injury, being able to come in and coach these girls in a transition really filled the void of not being able to compete on the field any longer,” McKinney said. “Our season was challenging yet rewarding as we were able to compete in every game we played. Making it to the ASUN Conference tournament in our first year was truly special. The girls worked hard on our team culture while enduring COVID protocols and put in the work on the field and in the weight room to be successful and get results on the field.”
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