Soccer tabs UNLV's Mertz as assistant coach
June 9, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas head soccer coach Chris Petrucelli has announced the hiring of Katherine 'Kat' Mertz as an assistant coach on Thursday. Mertz will be involved in every aspect of the program.
"We're really excited to have Kat join our staff," said Petrucelli. "She brings a great deal of experience and expertise to our program. This was an exhaustive search and once we came across Kat, the search ended immediately. There isn't a person more prepared for this job than Kat and her passion for the game is clear the moment you meet her."
Mertz will be replacing Matt Mott, who took the head coach position as the University of Mississippi in May. Mott served an assistant for the Longhorns for four seasons (2005-09).
Mertz comes to Texas after five seasons at the helm of the UNLV soccer program (2005-2009). While in Las Vegas, Mertz turned the Rebels squad into one of the premiere teams in the Mountain West Conference (MWC). She posted an overall record off 49-39-19 while picking up three-straight MWC championships (two tournament titles, one regular-season crown) and making two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Mertz led UNLV to a series of program firsts, as her teams posted 11 or more wins in five of her seasons, recorded a school-best 13 wins in 2005, guided the team to its first national ranking, and posted the program's first win over a ranked opponent. The Rebels squad also tied the school's single-season shut out record in 2007 (11) and posted the program's first ever perfect home record (7-0-3). Mertz was also named the MWC Coach of the Year in 2007.
Prior to arriving in Las Vegas, Mertz was an assistant coach at UCLA for five seasons (2000-2004). While on the Bruins staff, she helped guide them to three trips to the College Cup and two NCAA championship game appearances (2000, lost to North Carolina 2-1, 2004, lost to Notre Dame on penalty kicks). UCLA advanced to the NCAA third round all five of her years on the staff, while the Bruins also won three Pac-10 Conference titles.
Mertz served as an assistant coach with the U-20 National Team in 2007 and 2008 during their qualifying tournaments and then was with the team when it won the FIFA World Cup gold medal in Chile in December of 2008.
She also was on the coaching staff as an assistant coach for the U-15 Women's National Team in the summers of 2004 and 2005. In the summer of 2007, Mertz was assistant and goalkeeper coach for the U-20 National Training Camp in Maryland that trained the U-20 National Team for the Pan American Games in Brazil. Currently, she is a head coach in the Region IV Olympic Development Program.
Mertz was a four-year starting goalkeeper at North Carolina State from 1994-97, and helped the Wolfpack advance to the NCAA Tournament her first three years, including the NCAA Quarterfinals in 1995. She set the conference mark with 436 saves, and finished with 24 career shutouts. Mertz graduated from the school in 1998 with a degree in natural resources.
Following a year as an undergraduate assistant for NC State in 1998, she continued her soccer career in the W-League as the goalkeeper for the Raleigh Wings, which won the USISL Championship in 1998 and 1999. Mertz then served a year as assistant coach at Virginia in 1999 under former national team head coach April Heinrichs before moving to UCLA in 2000.