CHICAGO - Loyola University Chicago head women’s soccer coach Barry Bimbi announced the hiring of Katie Berkopec to his coaching staff on Thursday morning. Berkopec, a native of Apple Valley, Minn., will serve as an assistant coach and will work with the team’s goalkeepers.
“After an extensive interview process, I truly believe that we have found the right fit for both our women and our program in Katie,” Bimbi said. “She is a very motivated and energetic coach that will push our goalkeepers every day. I have no doubt that she is going to hit the ground running and will contribute to our program from day one.”
Berkopec arrives in Rogers Park following a two-year stint at Winona State as a graduate assistant coach. In 2015, she was part of a staff that helped guide the Warriors to a third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Central Region Tournament. Berkopec assisted in the development of goalkeeper Rachel Oleson, who posted 11 shutouts and sported a 0.69 goals against average that ranked 26th nationally in 2015.
Prior to a one-year stint at Ripon College as an assistant coach, Berkopec enjoyed a successful stay at UW-Oshkosh as both a player and coach. As a senior, she posted an impressive 1.12 goals against average and held a 0.817 save percentage en route to finishing the year with a 9-6-2 record that included seven shutout performances. Following graduation, Berkopec remained at the school as a goalkeeper trainer during the spring of 2014.
Berkopec earned her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from UW-Oshkosh in 2015 before earning a Master’s degree in Education Leadership at Winona State.
“I am very excited to be joining the team here at Loyola University Chicago,” Berkopec commented. “With Coach Bimbi and Coach (Franky) Pelaez, I am looking forward to building on the success of previous years and helping to take the team to a championship level. It will be a thrill to be training with a such great group of women both on and off the field.”
Loyola is set to return 20 letterwinners, including a pair of All-Missouri Valley Conference selections, from last season’s team that advanced to the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Soccer Championship.