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Coaching May 18, 2023

Ole Miss hires Molly Rouse as head coach of women’s soccer program

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter has announced the hiring of Molly Rouse as the third head women’s soccer coach in program history.

“Molly is a rising star in the coaching profession, and we are elated for her to join the Ole Miss family,” Carter said. “As a player and coach, we were immediately impressed with the depth of her knowledge, experience, and willingness to face any challenge head on, including guiding a team through the transition to D1. Once we spoke with her, we realized she has the passion and drive to compete for and win championships. Molly has remarkable vision, and we look forward to providing her the support and tools necessary to lead Rebel Soccer to an elite level.”

Rouse comes to Oxford from St. George, Utah where she had been the head coach of the Utah Tech women’s soccer program for three seasons. Rouse was brought on to guide the program as Utah Tech made the transition from Division II to Division I, becoming the first head coach at the Division I level in program history.

During her three seasons at the helm of the program, Rouse won 19 games and picked up the program’s first Division I win on March 11, 2021 as they beat Chicago State 4-0. In 2022, Rouse led the Trailblazers to their first winning Division I season in program history, finishing 10-6-2. Utah Tech went 6-3-2 in WAC play and earned a No. 4 seed in the WAC Soccer Tournament, their highest seed since joining the conference.

The 2022 edition of the Trailblazers led the Western Athletic Conference in Goals Against Average and Goals Allowed. They allowed just 14 goals in 18 games for a 0.78 GAA. Utah Tech also posted nine shutouts in 18 games, including a stretch of seven-straight clean sheets. Rouse developed four All-WAC players in three seasons, including three in 2022: forward Karli Nyland and defenders Gracie Knutzen and Ella Carmody.

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to work with the outstanding student-athletes at Ole Miss and to be part of an institution and athletic department with a rich history of success. I want to express my gratitude to Keith Carter, Jennifer Saxon, and Bob Baker for their belief in me to lead the Rebel Soccer team,” Rouse said. “Our primary focus during this time is to ensure a seamless transition and foster a sense of unity among our talented women, as we believe they have the potential to achieve greatness together.

“Reflecting on my previous experiences, I am thankful for the opportunity to play for and work with exceptional coaches who have shaped my coaching philosophy. Each institution I have been a part of has prepared me for this moment, and I am ready to make a significant impact in the highly competitive SEC. I am confident that our collective efforts will yield great results and create a legacy of achievement at Ole Miss.”

Before beginning her career as a head coach, Rouse served two seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, the University of Minnesota. In 2018, she was a part of a Golden Gophers team that won the Big Ten Tournament title over No. 15 Penn State and beat Auburn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for their first postseason road win in program history.

Rouse also made stops as an assistant coach at four other Division I programs, including Iowa, Nebraska-Omaha, Buffalo, and Alabama State.

“I carry deep appreciation for the support and guidance I received from Ken Beazer and Jason Boothe during my time at Utah Tech. Over the last three years, I have had the invaluable opportunity to refine and perfect the process of player and team development,” Rouse said. “The Trailblazer’s unwavering dedication to growth has been instrumental in the success we experienced. As I embark on this new chapter at Ole Miss, I am enthusiastic about implementing a similar process that has proven effective.”

Rouse played her collegiate soccer at Minnesota for four seasons from 2007-10. She appeared in 88 career matches for the Golden Gophers and scored 18 total goals with 17 assists, including an assist in a school record tying five-straight matches in 2008. In 2008, Rouse started all 26 games for a Minnesota team that would earn a share of the Big Ten Regular Season Title. That team would win a program-record 22 games and make it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

After finishing her career as a Golden Gopher, Rouse played professional soccer for the Minnesota Kings and Vancouver Whitecaps in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.

Rouse graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Minnesota in 2010. She currently holds a U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) National “A-Senior” Coaching License.