Laura Burnett-Kurie ’08 was recently named the head coach of the women’s soccer team at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., where, in addition to her coaching duties, she will be teaching in the Health and Exercise Science Department.
“This is tremendous honor and I feel fortunate to be part of the Gustavus community,” says Burnett-Kurie. “Being able to inspire students to strive for excellence and watching them succeed, not only on the soccer field but also in classrooms, internships and study abroad programs, is why I love what I do.”
The appointment comes after two seasons as assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif., where she helped the team compile a record of 22-15-1 overall. Within the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, she helped them attain a record of 13-11-0, which qualified them for the post-season tournament both years following fourth place league finishes.
Prior to taking the job at Redlands, she served for two years as an assistant women’s soccer coach at Gettysburg College, where she assisted in all aspects of team management and was responsible for the in-season and off-season strength and conditioning programs for the team.
However, she explains, she would not be a coach today without William Smith and the Herons. “While becoming a collegiate soccer coach had always been my ‘dream’ job, I never considered the possibility of fulfilling that dream until the spring of my senior year,” explains Burnett-Kurie. “When I was struggling with the concept that my competitive soccer career was over, my mentor and coach, Aliceann Wilber, inspired me to start applying for collegiate coaching experiences. Once I was in the field of coaching, I knew it was a place I wanted to stay.”
As a member of the William Smith varsity soccer team, Burnett-Kurie was the epitome of an elite NCAA Division III student-athlete, excelling both on the pitch and in the classroom. A four-year starter and the 2007 captain, she helped lead the team to the program’s first Liberty League Championship, one ECAC Championship, and two NCAA Tournament appearances. In the course of her four years, she became just the fifth women’s soccer player in Heron history to reach the 100-point milestone, registering 42 goals and 18 assists over her career. After being named Liberty League Rookie-of-the Year in 2004, she went on to be a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America Third Team All-American (2006, 2007), and the Liberty League’s Player of the Year in 2006.
As a student, she garnered numerous academic honors, including being named an ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America honoree in 2005, a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and a three-time Liberty League All-Academic performer.
She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in psychology with a double minor in child advocacy and education. After graduation, she continued to play soccer at a competitive level for the Adirondack Lynx, a semi-pro team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League, during the summer of 2009. She helped the team to the playoffs for the second time in the squad’s four-year history and garnered WPSL All-Eastern First Team honors.