Courtesy of Yale Athletics

Holly Hein has been named the new assistant coach for the Yale women’s soccer team and is expected to start training with the team as practice resumes in the spring.

With years of experience playing both collegiate and professional soccer, Hein brings a strong resume to the program. Hein — whose position was announced at the beginning of January — leaves her position as a volunteer assistant coach at Michigan, where she played as an undergraduate, to take this position with the Bulldogs.

“Holly is a very good young coach,” Michigan head coach Jennifer Klein said. “She has a great soccer mind, enthusiasm to teach and develop young women, and is a competitor. All qualities that I believe will be great for the Bulldogs’ soccer program.”

As a volunteer assistant coach, Hein helped Michigan advance to the third round of the 2019 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament. Earlier in her career, she played on the college’s soccer team for five years as a defender, leading the Wolverines as captain in her final two years and making the All-Big Ten First Team in 2012 and 2013 and the NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team in 2012, then First Team in 2013. Under Hein’s leadership, the defensive line for the Wolverines set a new school record with only 12 goals conceded in the 2013 season.

After taking a professional tour through the National Women’s Soccer League with the Houston Dash and the Seattle Reign FC, Hein took her talents to Åland, Finland, where she played for the team Åland United in the Naisten Liiga for several seasons. On each of these teams, Hein was a strong defensive player. In her career abroad, Hein improved her game, while also preparing herself for a career in soccer coaching; she returned to Michigan as a volunteer assistant coach in 2018.

“One of Holly’s responsibilities while on our staff was to help our student-athletes with their individual player development through video and individual training, and she did a fantastic job of connecting with our young women and helping them grow as soccer players,” Klein said. “We are very excited for Holly and this opportunity to be an assistant coach for the Yale women’s soccer program. She is ready and prepared for this role and we know that she has the skill set to thrive.”

After a successful season, Hein was ready to move on to a full-time position as an assistant coach, and after interviewing with several DI schools across the country, eventually signed with Yale in January.

Yale women’s soccer Head Coach Sarah Martinez, cited Hein’s extensive experience as both a player and a coach as her greatest potential to lead the Bulldogs.

“The decision to bring in Holly was an easy one for me,” Martinez said. “I knew Holly previously and she has always been on my short list of coaches I wanted for my staff whenever this opportunity came for me.”

Mary Berdo, deputy director of Yale Athletics and supervisor of women’s soccer, seconded Martinez’s confidence in Hein’s potential, noting that Hein demonstrated passion about teaching, empowering the team and being a mentor during her interview.

After only a month with the Bulldogs, Hein has already shown a great amount of promise for contributing to the team’s dynamic — as a younger assistant coach with professional experience in playing, Hein has a lot to offer the team over the next several seasons.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the Yale women’s soccer program and am looking forward to begin working with the team,” Hein said. “On the field I will primarily be focusing on team defending and coaching our back six.”

Hein comes to the Yale women’s soccer team after its third-place finish in the Ivy League standings this fall.

Alessa Kim-Panero |

Andrew Bellah |