Feb. 20, 2018
Nate Norman, a former University of Notre Dame soccer player, Irish women’s soccer assistant coach and head women’s soccer coach at Western Michigan and Liberty for five combined seasons, has been named the women’s soccer head coach for the University.
Norman joined the Irish coaching staff in January 2017 and last fall helped Notre Dame to a 10-7-5 overall mark, including a 5-3-2 record (tied for fifth place) in Atlantic Coast Conference play. That Irish squad defeated IUPUI 5-0 in the first round of the NCAA Championship and eliminated sixth-ranked Texas A&M in the second round before falling to 23rd-rated Baylor in overtime in the Sweet 16 round. Notre Dame ended up 18th in the final United Soccer Coaches poll.
“Being named head coach at your alma mater, especially at a place that did so much for me, is certainly a dream come true,” says Norman. “It’s always been my dream job to come back and coach here, and I’m so humbled and excited to have this opportunity to serve this program, serve these players and serve this school. It’s a wonderful platform to be able to make a huge impact and also be impacted by others. This program has a tremendous tradition and history of success, and I look forward to finding new ways to engage all those who have been a part of that elite level of achievement.
“I want to thank Father John Jenkins, Jack Swarbrick, Mike Harrity, Bobby Clark and Theresa Romagnolo for everything they have done for me and giving me the opportunity to be the head coach of our women’s soccer program.”
Norman replaces Theresa Romagnolo, who resigned last month after four seasons as Irish head coach, and becomes the fifth head coach in program history.
“It is a testament to the strength of our women’s soccer program that after conducting a national search for a head coach we concluded that the best candidate is already a member of the program,” said Notre Dame vice president and James E. Rohr director of athletics Jack Swarbrick. “Nate Norman is a talented coach with a history of success, but even more importantly he will be a great mentor to our students because he embodies the values of our University.”
In his one season at the helm of the Liberty program Norman led the Flames to a 14-8 record (7-2 in league play) and a Big South Tournament Championship in 2016. He saw five student-athletes named to the All-Big South first and second teams, four selected for the conference all-tournament team and two picked for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) all-region squad. The Flames in 2016 earned an NCAA Championship incitation, falling 3-0 to North Carolina in the first round.
Prior to his time at Liberty, Norman spent four seasons as head coach at Western Michigan, where he led the Broncos to a 44-27-14 (.600) record. He guided the program to two Mid-American Conference tournament titles in 2013 and 2015, and he was named the MAC Coach of the Year and the NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year in 2015. Additionally, he saw 16 players named to all-conference squads during his tenure and placed a league-best 17 players on the MAC All-Academic Team in 2015.
His 2013 Bronco team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship via an attention-getting 1-0 upset victory over eighth-rated Marquette, before dropping a second-round match against Notre Dame. Norman’s 2015 Bronco team also played in the NCAA Championship, falling 1-0 to Florida in the first round.
The former midfielder was a four-year monogram winner for former Notre Dame men’s soccer head coach Bobby Clark from 2003-06, helping the Irish to the 2003 BIG EAST Conference Tournament title, the 2004 BIG EAST regular-season championship and the 2006 NCAA Championship quarterfinals. Norman was a college teammate and roommate of recently-named new Irish men’s soccer head coach Chad Riley. As both a player and coach combined, Norman has been a part of 11 teams that qualified for postseason play.
Norman was selected 21st overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and spent one season in Chicago before one-year stints with the United Soccer League’s (USL) Charleston Battery (2008) and Carolina RailHawks (2009). It was during this time that Norman began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant with the Irish men’s program for the 2007 season.
In 2009 Norman began as the assistant coach for the men’s program at Division III Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, Georgia). He also spent one season each as the women’s assistant at Western Michigan in 2010 and Miami (Florida) in 2011 (including the Hurricanes’ first NCAA victory) before taking the head coaching position with the Broncos.
Norman earned a bachelor of arts degree in theology from Notre Dame in 2007. He holds both a national diploma and advanced national diploma from United Soccer Coaches.
Norman is a native of Rochester, Michigan, and is married to Rachel Norman, assistant director of sports nutrition for Notre Dame athletics. They are parents of a daughter, Kinsley, born Saturday.
Year by Year with Nate Norman
Year by Year with Nate Norman
Total as Western Michigan head coach (four seasons): 44-27-14 (.600)
Total as Liberty head coach (one season): 14-8 (.636)
Head Coaching Career Record: 58-35-14 (.607)
Note: Notre Dame BIG EAST finishes beginning in 2005 were based on divisional standings.
|2003 Notre Dame player:||16-3-4||6-3-1, 3rd in BIG EAST *||Round of 16|
|2004 Notre Dame player:||13-3-3||8-1-1, 1st in BIG EAST||Round of 32|
|2005 Notre Dame player:||12-8-3||6-4-1, t3rd in BIG EAST||Round of 16|
|2006 Notre Dame player:||15-6-2||8-3, 3rd in BIG EAST||Elite Eight|
|* BIG EAST Championship winner|
|2007 Notre Dame men’s volunteer assistant coach:||14-5-5||7-0-4, t1st in BIG EAST||Elite Eight|
|2009 Covenant men’s assistant coach:||13-6-2||NA||Final Four @|
|@ National Christian College Athletic Association Championship|
|2010 Western Michigan women’s assistant coach:||11-7-5||5-2-4, 4th in MAC West||—|
|2011 Miami (Fla.) women’s assistant coach:||10-8-1||3-6-1, 9th in ACC||Round of 32|
|2012 Western Michigan women’s head coach:||5-9-4||1-5-4, 6th in MAC West||—|
|2013 Western Michigan women’s head coach:||12-6-5||7-2-2, 3rd in MAC West||Round of 32|
|2014 Western Michigan women’s head coach:||13-8-1||5-5-1, 3rd in MAC West||—|
|2015 Western Michigan women’s head coach:||14-4-4||8-1-2, 2nd in MAC West||First Round|
|+ Mid-American Conference Championship winner|
|2016 Liberty women’s head coach:||14-8||7-2, 1st in Big South||First Round|
|2017 Notre Dame women’s assistant coach:||10-7-5||5-3-2, 5th in ACC||Round of 16|