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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

New assistant coaches both have Hoosier pasts

When IU Coach Mick Lyon learned both of his assistant coaches would be leaving the women’s soccer program merely weeks before the start of the 2012 season, a bit of anxiety set in.

“I spent a couple of restless weeks wondering how the heck it was all going to come together in such a short period of time,” Lyon said.

Despite the overwhelming stacks of résumés before him, Lyons said he knew what he wanted from his future sidekicks. He said assistant coaches Chloe McKay and Megan Reinhardt embody the values he was looking for.

Passion for soccer? Check.

Personality? Check.

An understanding and appreciation for the IU women’s soccer program? Check.

“They both have got big personalities, and in a very positive way,” Lyon said. “They’re outgoing, they can communicate, they’re good thinkers. The more I looked at it, it looked like a great thing to do.”

It helped that both McKay and Reinhardt played for Lyon during their college careers and knew his coaching style well, he said.

McKay, a 2010 graduate, has coached at IU summer camps since her stint at IU and volunteered with the team in spring 2011. The transition into assistant coach was fairly easy, she said.  

“I feel like it was just an easy fit,” McKay said. “I didn’t really skip a beat. It just kind of fell into place.”  

The main difficulty she faced was establishing herself as a coach, she said, since she was previously a teammate to some of the current junior and senior players.

“At first I was kind of nervous about it, just how they would perceive me,” McKay said.
“But that group has been awesome about it, just respectful the whole time. It’s actually made it easier to talk to them and converse with them about everything.”

Reinhardt, on the other hand, faced different adversities, as she had been away from the program for five years and had to gain the team’s trust. Lyon said it wasn’t a difficult adjustment.

“Megan’s got such a fun personality,” he said. “She made an immediate impact on the players, I think, because she’s just a nice, friendly person, she’s always got a smile, and she can talk to any of the girls.”

Reinhardt said she has enjoyed every minute of it, particularly interacting with the team.

“It’s so much fun to be around them, and they’re so lively,” she said. “They’re at their prime. They’re in college at this wonderful institution. To be around the girls is just the best part of the job, in my opinion.”

Ensuring the players are having just as much fun with the game is a crucial aspect of her coaching tactic, she said.

“A lot of coaches and players at this level can lose sight that it’s a game,” Reinhardt said. “It’s not the end of the world at the end of the day. There might be disappointments and frustrations along the way, but I try to put the fun back in the game.”

So far, Lyon said he is pleased with the work both McKay and Reinhardt have done for the team.

“I’m not saying it’s perfect right now, but it’s pretty darn close,” he said.

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