Contract Extension Retains Chastain Through 2019-20
May 27, 2014
CHICAGO – DePaul Athletics has announced a five-year contract extension for women’s soccer coach Erin Chastain who led the Blue Demons to the NCAA tournament last fall.
Chastain’s leadership resulted in the program’s best overall winning percentage for a season and its first appearance in the BIG EAST Championship title game. With one year left on her current contract, she will now head up the program through the 2019-20 academic year.
Chastain was named Northeast Region Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) while two of her players---Kylie Nordness and Alex Godinez---were chosen for the NSCAA All-Northeast Region Second Team.
“I’m really excited about the direction our program is headed, and we will continue to set high goals and expectations for our student-athletes,” Chastain said. “Last year was real successful, and we’re looking to build on that success. There is still room for growth, and I want to see this program reach its potential.
“I love our team, and I love my job. DePaul is the place where I want to be. I’m excited that Jeanne (Athletics Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto), Kathryn (Associate Athletics Director Kathryn Statz) and DePaul have made this commitment to me.
“When I first got here in 2007, Jeanne had a vision for the women’s soccer program. That was one of the things I was most excited about when I took the job. She had a vision and expectations, and DePaul is a wonderful academic institution in an awesome city.”
Chastain watched with pride as Godinez was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year while Nordness was chosen All-BIG EAST First Team. Elise Wyatt and Rebekah Roller made All-BIG EAST Second Team and Rachel Pitman was named All-BIG EAST Third Team.
The Blue Demons got off to the best start in school history and went on to lead the nation in save percentage. They have advanced to the BIG EAST tournament four of the last five years.
“We’re really excited about coach Chastain’s contract extension,” Ponsetto said. “We take great pride at DePaul in giving young coaches their first opportunity and watching them develop into talented head coaches.
"Coach Chastain has really come into her own during the seven years she has been here. This is an affirmation of the outstanding work she has done in mentoring and teaching the young women in her program.”
That has continued through the spring season as the Blue Demons began preparing for the fall.
“We saw some good things in the spring exhibition season,” Chastain said. “We focused on keeping the ball and creating more opportunities in the attacking end. That culminated in a 3-1 win at Northwestern where we scored three very good goals. We came away feeling good about the opportunities we created.
“A lot of players got lots of minutes, and I’m excited about the team going into the fall season. Our core group is really strong and fired up about building on the success of last year.
“This is a confident group that got a taste of the postseason finishing second in the BIG EAST tournament and competing in the NCAA tournament. That’s addicting, and now you want to be in the NCAA tournament every year.”
Chastain’s coaching style and philosophy dovetails with what DePaul is all about.
“DePaul genuinely cares about its student-athletes, who are surrounded by an amazing support system of coaches and staff members,” Chastain said. “Academically, they are taught by an outstanding faculty. All of that makes it easier for me to recruit prospective student-athletes.
"As coaches, we really need to invest in our student-athletes and genuinely care about them. We can do that and still be competitive, tough and provide critical feedback. You create a culture of pride and discipline and do it in a positive and inspiring way.
“We challenge this group every year about doing better than ever before. Next year’s team will be different, a little younger with less experience. We will find the identity of that group and challenge them in different ways. Hopefully we’ll be successful again."