Stanczyk Joins DePaul Women's Soccer Coaching Staff
Feb. 11, 2014
CHICAGO – Looking to build on the momentum from last fall’s historic season, DePaul women’s soccer has added Sarah Stanczyk to its staff as an assistant coach.
For the last two seasons, Stanczyk has been a volunteer assistant coach at Michigan where she helped the Wolverines advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals last fall while finishing with a record of 18-4-1.
At DePaul, Stanczyk will enhance a program that advanced to the NCAA tournament last November and went 13-6-2 for the best winning percentage in school history. The Blue Demons led the nation in save percentage and competed in its first BIG EAST Championship title game.
“Sarah is going to be an outstanding addition to our staff,” said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. “Right when we met her, we knew she would be the right fit to help our program continue to reach its goals.
“She really set herself apart from an incredibly competitive pool of candidates with her ability to communicate ideas and show a passion for the sport. Her experience at Michigan as a player and coach has really prepared her for this next step in her career path. She has been an integral part in the growth of Michigan’s highly successful program.
“Sarah is extremely bright, driven and confident and will set a wonderful example for our student-athletes and really add to our team culture.”
Stanczyk said she felt totally positive about landing the position after her interview at DePaul last month.
“Right before I began boarding the plane after my interview, I called my dad and said I was going to get the job,” Stanczyk said. “The connection just felt so right with Erin and Michele (assistant coach Michele O’Brien) and we had such similar philosophies and views.
“Never in my life have I felt more confident that this was the right fit. It was like a love-at-first-sight kind of moment where you just know it will end up in marriage.
“The next day I got the call from Erin and I was ecstatic. This was the best place for me to start as a full-time assistant coach and with a head coach I can definitely learn from. It’s nice to have a completely female staff. That is rare in women’s college soccer.”
A native of Grosse Pointe, Mich., Stanczyk played for Michigan in the 2009 and 2010 seasons after beginning her collegiate playing career at Connecticut. Primarily a defender, Stanczyk played in 37 matches (35 starts) during her two years, scoring one goal and recording an assist.
She was an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2010, and two-time recipient of the U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award. Stanczyk graduated with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science. She has a master’s degree in exercise physiology/sports psychology from Eastern Michigan.
“With my degree in exercise physiology, I’m looking forward to working with the strength and conditioning staff on stuff like recovery time for our student-athletes,” Stanczyk said. “Soccer is such a short, high-intensity season.
“Sports psychology is a passion of mine. You have to understand the individuals on a team in order to lead them. Find out what motivates them. My role as a volunteer coach at Michigan allowed me to become closer to the athletes, and getting to know the players helped make me a better coach.”
Stanczyk left her mark at Michigan, both as a player and a coach.
"Sarah leaves Michigan having helped us rebuild our team both on and off the field,” said Michigan coach Greg Ryan as the Wolverines went a combined 34-9-4 the last two seasons. “Sarah communicates exceptionally well with players and helps them with anything they need. She helps players become successful and competent and is great at instilling confidence.
“I believe Sarah will be a great addition to the DePaul women's soccer staff. We are very proud of her at Michigan and look forward to seeing great things from her at DePaul."
After graduating from Michigan, Stanczyk played semipro soccer with Indiana FC before injuries ended her career. She has volunteered at various Michigan summer camps, and coached with the Olympic Development Program (ODP) and at Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School.
At Grosse Pointe South High School, Stanczyk was a three-time All-State, All-Region and All-Conference selection, and the MAC-Red Conference MVP in 2007. The three-time Grosse Point South captain also played club soccer with the Bloomfield Force '89 Premier (2001-08), and was a member of the Michigan state ODP '89 team (2003-07) and Region II ODP team pool (2003-04).
“Erin and Michele are former offensive players and I’m a defensive specialist,” Stanczyk said. “I can bring a different perspective to the coaching staff. I can see this really is a team effort and that Erin is into sharing responsibilities.
“DePaul has such a family feel about it with the athletic director (Jean Lenti Ponsetto) having been here so long and being so invested in the women’s soccer program and its growth. Everybody knows each other, and it is a comfortable environment for my own personal growth as a coach.”