From the University of Illinois women’s soccer program – Illini Name Jeff Freeman As Assistant Coach
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and head women’s soccer coach Janet Rayfield announced the hiring of Jeff Freeman as an assistant coach on Wednesday, effective immediately.
“I am excited to add Jeff to our staff,” Rayfield said. “We share a common vision about where this program is and where it can be and he is ready to lend his experience and his expertise to help us get there. His positive energy will be felt immediately and his impact on the program will be long lasting.”
Freeman brings a wealth of soccer experience to Champaign, Ill., after serving as a member of the University of Miami (FL) women’s soccer staff for the previous seven seasons, including three as the associate head coach. While with the Hurricanes, Freeman played a prominent role in Miami earning conference and national recognition with top-25 rankings and back-to-back appearances in the 2007-08 NCAA Tournaments as he assisted in all aspects of recruiting and team administration. As the recruiting coordinator, Freeman was responsible for the Hurricanes’ 2007 top-25 recruiting class, which included ACC Freshman of the Year Brittney Steinbruch, and fellow U20 National Team member Brittney Macdonald.
“The tradition of success with Illinois soccer speaks for itself,” Freeman said. “Everything is in place for this program to be great; it is an ideal fit for my professional goals and me. Illinois expects nothing less than success both on and off the field for our program and our student-athletes.
“I am definitely thankful for the opportunity to be here, and want to thank Janet Rayfield, [assistant coach] Leisha Alcia and the Illinois administration for believing in me.”
Prior to earning the associate head coaching position, Freeman developed Miami’s goalkeeping squads with amazing results. Freeman was responsible for molding four-year starter Lauren McAdam into one of the most lauded goalies in program history, having earned recognition from Soccer America, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Soccer Buzz and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), before training All-American Vikki Alonzo as McAdam’s replacement.
Freeman joined the Hurricanes’ staff after serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Missouri State, for four years. The Bears’ goalkeeping units earned Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Defensive Player of the Year and conference tournament MVP honors in addition to weekly MVC defensive accolades under Freeman’s tutelage, while Missouri State won the MVC crown and earned its first NCAA Tournament appearance with Freeman’s guidance.
As a student-athlete at Missouri State, Freeman earned academic all-conference recognition as a goalkeeper with the Bears and was a member of the 1997 squad that made the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance after earning a top-10 national ranking and the MVC regular season title.
Freeman, who earned a bachelor’s and master’s in education from Missouri State, is accredited as a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) `A’ Licensed Coach and holds a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.