Wendy Dillinger, new UMSL women's soccer coach

Wendy Dillinger has been named the head women’s soccer coach at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Dillinger comes to UMSL from Iowa State University, where she guided the Cyclones to more overall victories in each of her six seasons at the helm of the program.

“We are thrilled to name Wendy as our women’s soccer coach and welcome her and her family to UMSL,” said Lori Flanagan, director of athletics at UMSL. “She is an outstanding coach who has proven herself. We believe her knowledge of and passion for the game of soccer will benefit our student-athletes and will take this program to the next level.”

Before her appointment at Iowa State, Dillinger produced historic achievements as the head coach at Washington University in St. Louis and had a highly successful professional and collegiate playing career. The St. Charles, Mo., native is regarded as the top women’s soccer player in Indiana University history. In 12 seasons as a head coach, she owns a career record of 134-83-19 (.608).

“It is a tremendous honor to be named the head women’s soccer coach at UMSL, and I am looking forward to re-establishing this program,” said Dillinger. “It’s also an honor to be back in the St. Louis area where there is a rich soccer community.

“I am excited to start working with the student-athletes and to start implementing what we need to do to be competitive in the top half of the conference right away. From the start, we will be getting ready for the fall by working in the weight room and bettering our strength, fitness and speed.”

In her six years at Iowa State, Dillinger coached the Cyclones to multiple victories over nationally ranked teams, wins over NCAA Championship bound squads and triumphs over teams that were defending Big 12 Conference regular-season and post-season champions. She compiled a 48-58-11 overall record, including a 9-8-2 mark this season, in which Dillinger’s Cyclones placed fourth in the Big 12 and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since 2007.

During her time in Ames, Dillinger also guided the Cyclones to impressive accomplishments off the field. Iowa State accumulated 68 Academic All-Big 12 honorees under Dillinger, highlighted by a program-record 18 in 2012 and an impressive 14 of 15 eligible soccer student-athletes receiving the honor this fall. Additionally, her squads won the Cyclone Challenge Cup three out of five years, an honor that goes to the top Iowa State athletics team for community service.

When hired at Iowa State, Dillinger ranked 14th among NCAA Division III active coaches with a .756 winning percentage at Washington University. In six seasons on the Danforth Campus, she guided the Bears to an 86-25-8 overall record, which included four University Athletic Association (UAA) conference championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Round of 16 twice and the Round of Eight once. Twice, her and her coaching staffs were named UAA Coaching Staff of the Year.

Exhibiting the balance between athletic excellence and academic excellence, her student-athletes at Washington U. earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors four times, academic all-district recognition 10 times and All-UAA academic honors 68 times in a conference that includes several of the nation’s premier academic institutions. Dillinger also recruited and coached three UAA Player-of-the-Year honorees, two UAA Newcomer-of-the-Year recipients, two All-America award winners and the D3Kicks.com National Player of the Year, Meghan Marie Fowler-Finn.

A 1993 graduate of St. Charles West High School, Dillinger moved to Washington University after serving as the assistant women’s soccer coach at Indiana in Bloomington, Ind., for four seasons. During her tenure, she helped guide the Hoosiers to 36 wins, including an NCAA Tournament berth and the first NCAA Tournament win in school history in 1998.

Prior to her stint as an assistant coach at Indiana, Dillinger played four seasons for IU, establishing herself as one of the top players in school history. Jerry Yeagley (former Indiana men’s soccer coach, six-time NCAA champ and the sport’s all-time winningest coach) referred to Dillinger as the greatest player in IU women’s soccer history. A three-time All-Mideast Region selection and a two-time All-Big Ten pick, she set 25 team records and still owns school records for career goals (37), assists (24) and points (98). In Indiana’s inaugural season and the Hoosiers’ first-ever conference match, Dillinger scored three goals against Northwestern.

Following her collegiate career, Dillinger became the first Hoosier to participate in the professional women’s soccer league, playing with the Atlanta Beat of the WUSA in the league’s inaugural season in 2001.

Dillinger graduated from Indiana in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a biology emphasis. She then spent one season playing for Fredericksburg in Denmark of the European Soccer League, helping her club reach Elite Team status after a season in the first division. She also played four seasons for the Indiana Blaze.

Dillinger is married to Chris Sellers. The couple has a son, Braydon King, and a daughter, Kayla Marie Sellers.

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Mary Ann Mitchell

Mary Ann Mitchell

Eye on UMSL: A day in the life
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Eye on UMSL: A day in the life

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