University of Minnesota hires Erin Chastain as head soccer coach
Chastain comes to Minnesota with more than 20 years of coaching experience, which includes the last 14 as head coach at DePaul. Prior to her time with the Blue Demons, she previously was an assistant coach at Santa Clara and Northwestern.
Chastain, who was a four-year starter and three-year captain for the Gophers in the 1990s, is the fifth head coach in program history. The Plymouth, Minn., native earned her bachelor’s degree from the Carlson School of Management in International Business in 1997.
“I am excited to welcome Erin and her family back home to Minnesota,” said Coyle. “Erin has a proven track record of success when it comes to recruiting, developing and coaching student-athletes, and I am thrilled for her to lead her alma mater. She is one of the pioneers of our program and as a former captain and Gopher student-athlete, she understands Minnesota soccer and its importance to the community. I know she is ready to get to work, and I am looking forward to seeing her team compete in a few months.”
DePaul achieved tremendous success during Chastain’s tenure, which included more than 100 wins and an impressive record of 78-44-26 during the last eight seasons. While at DePaul, Chastain’s squad won the Big East regular season championship in 2014 and 2016, claimed the Big East tournament title in 2014, qualified for seven straight conference tournaments and earned berths in the NCAA tournament in 2013 and 2014. The Blue Demons were ranked for the first time in program history under Chastain (No. 20 in 2009) and climbed to a program record No. 7 in 2014.
“I could not be more excited to be named head coach of the Minnesota soccer program,” said Chastain. “I am so thankful to President Joan Gabel, director of athletics Mark Coyle, senior associate athletics director Tom McGinnis and the entire search committee for believing in me and trusting me to lead my alma mater. The University of Minnesota is a world-class institution, and I was so fortunate to be a Gopher student-athlete. This program and the entire state of Minnesota mean so much to me, so this really is a dream opportunity for me and my family. I can’t wait to meet the team and look forward to getting to work.”
Chastain led the Blue Demons to the best season in program history in 2014. That year, DePaul won the Big East regular season championship, was the Big East Tournament Champion and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. DePaul ended the season with a 16-1-4 record and the fifth-best winning percentage in the country. The Blue Demons set a school record with a 20-game undefeated streak and ended the regular season without a loss.
Chastain was named Big East Coach of the Year in 2014 and was also honored as the NSCAA Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2014.
Chastain, who serves on the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship Committee, recruited and developed five conference players of the year at DePaul. She also coached one All-American, four Academic All-Americans, one MAC Herman candidate and one CoSIDA Senior Class Finalist.
Chastain has developed professional players as well, as numerous individuals have gone on to play in the National Women’s Soccer League or overseas. Her teams also excel in the classroom, as DePaul earned 13 straight United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Awards.
Prior to taking over the DePaul program, Chastain spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Santa Clara. During her tenure with the Broncos, the program reached the NCAA championship game in 2002, the semifinals in 2004 and the quarterfinals in 2005. She also helped guide the program to West Coast Conference titles in four of her five seasons. As the lead recruiter, she landed three classes from 2002-06 that ranked in the nation’s top four by Soccer America.
Prior to Santa Clara, Chastain was the top assistant coach at Northwestern for three seasons.
Chastain (then Hussey) was a four-year starter at Minnesota from 1993-96 and three-year captain for the Gophers. She played in all 82 matches during her career and ranks seventh in program history in points (83), eighth in goals (29), tied for seventh in assists (25), tied for sixth in game-winning goals (10) and tied for tenth in shots (178).
She earned second team All-Big Ten honors in 1995 and was a first team honoree in 1996. She was also named third team All-Great Lakes Region in 1996 by the NSCAA and helped lead Minnesota to the 1995 Big Ten Championship and NCAA tournament berths in 1995 and 1996.
Off the field, Chastain was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection from 1994-96, and earned Academic All-District honors in 1996.
Chastain and her husband, Chad, have two daughters, Harper and Brooklyn. Chad’s sister, Brandi, is one of USA Soccer’s all-time greats, having led the United States to the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.