Liberty University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw has announced the hiring of Nikki Parsley as the Lady Flames' new head field hockey coach.
Parsley joined Liberty's staff as an assistant coach on May 1 in time for Liberty's first season as a part of the BIG EAST Conference. Parsley becomes the second head coach in the history of the program, taking over for program founder Jodi Murphy, who left in December.
"Nikki will build upon the Christ-centered, championship culture of Liberty field hockey with a strong emphasis on student-athlete development," stated McCaw. "Her experiences in coaching, playing for Team USA and passion for Liberty will serve our student-athletes and program very well."
During her first season with the Lady Flames, Parsley helped Liberty post an 8-10 record and finish in second place in the BIG EAST with a 5-2 conference mark. The Lady Flames squared off against 10 nationally ranked opponents in 2016, spotlighted by a 2-1 overtime victory against No. 20 American on Oct. 6.
Parsley helped instruct five of Liberty's All-BIG EAST selections in 2016, including BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Allison Schaefer and BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year Serena Barr. Barr also went on to earn NFHCA Division I All-America second team honors, becoming the second All-American in program history.
"From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew there was something unbelievably special about Liberty University and its field hockey program," commented Parsley. "I truly believe Liberty is set apart from any other institution in the country to allow the school to glorify Jesus Christ. There is absolutely no place I would rather coach at than Liberty, and I'm blessed for the opportunity to lead such a unique group of young women."
In just six short years, the Liberty field hockey program has established itself as a nationally prominent team, competing against the top teams in the nation, and I look forward to ushering LUFH into its next chapter," continued Parsley. "My mission is to prepare players for lifelong success on and off the field by leading them closer to Christ, whilst developing a highly competitive and intense environment. After working with the team for the last year, we will look to build upon our success, continue to grow and make history."
Parsley came to Liberty after spending the 2014 and 2015 seasons as an assistant coach at Yale.
Prior to her two-year stint at Yale, Parsley concluded a standout career at Northwestern in 2014, where she earned second team All-America honors as a senior. Parsley was a four-time All-West region pick and a three-time All-Big 10 selection.
A forward/midfielder, Parsley started 76 games, totaling 33 goals and 76 points. The Wildcats went 54-27 in Parsley's playing career, earning a share of the Big Ten championship in 2014.
Parsley also has extensive experience with USA Field Hockey, including playing for the U.S. at the Four Nations Tournament in New Zealand in April 2013. She also played on the junior national team at the Junior World Cup in Germany in August 2013, helping the U.S. to a seventh-place finish, tied for the best in the team's history.
In January 2013, Parsley played in the Australian Youth Olympics, and in September 2012 she played in the Junior Pan American Games in Mexico. She helped the U.S. to a third-place finish at the Junior Pan Am Games, leading the team with eight goals.
Parsley has also played for the U.S. U-21 team (on a tour of England in April 2012) and the U.S. U-19 team (on a tour of Chile in April 2011).
Parsley received her B.S. in education and social policy from Northwestern in 2014. She earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three times, was on the Dean's List three times and was also a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.
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