LINDSBORG — The Bethany College women's soccer program has added Melissa Kuhar to the Swedes’ coaching staff for the upcoming season. Kuhar recently graduated from NCAA Division II Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind., with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management.
"I would like to thank coach (Justin) Olson for the opportunity to start my college coaching career," Kuhar said. "Bethany's family atmosphere and close-knit community were easy selling points for me. I look forward to the opportunity to share my passion and knowledge of the game with the student-athletes. I would also like to thank my family and former coaches for giving me the ability to pursue my dreams throughout the years. I can't wait to arrive in Lindsborg and get started."
Kuhar had an outstanding playing career. In high school, she led her team to three state Final Four appearances and a 2010 IHSAA State Championship. As a goalkeeper, she had 43 career shutouts, which led the state of Indiana. Kuhar was All-Conference, All-District and All-State three times, she was also the team captain. Kuhar's club team was a three-time Indiana State Cup runner-up.
During her collegiate career, Kuhar attended NCAA Division I Western Illinois University as a redshirt freshman before transferring to Saint Joseph's College to finish out her career. While at SJC, Kuhar played in 37 games, starting in 33 of those matches. She had 233 saves during her time at SJC. In the 2016 season, shehad six games with nine or more saves including 19 saves versus Rockhurst University. This led the GLVC for most saves in a single game. Melissa also earned academic all-conference honors all four years of her collegiate career.
"Melissa was a force to be reckoned with in the net. She was an outstanding player for us and was always one of the hardest workers out there. More importantly, Melissa's leadership qualities and character always impressed me the most and that is why her transition to college coaching will be seamless. She will help make our team better and our players will respect her instantly. She has an amazing personality and always has a positive outlook on things. Melissa has a very high soccer IQ and understands the game well. I know she will do well here at Bethany College and I'm very proud to have her join our staff," said Olson.
Kuhar currently has her USSF National E License and her NSCAA Goalkeeping Diplomas. She has been coaching and doing goalkeeper training for the Elkhart Flames Soccer Club and Elkhart County United. She has also been coaching at Saint Joseph's High School in South Bend, Ind.