Kylie Stannard, who helped guide Michigan State to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament as the associate head coach this fall, has been named the head coach of men’s soccer at Yale.
Stannard, who spent a total of six years at Michigan State as a member of Damon Rensing’s staff, brings impressive credentials to New Haven. The Spartans made five NCAA Tournament appearances during Stannard’s tenure, including runs to the Elite Eight in each of the last two years, the Sweet 16 in 2010 (where MSU fell to North Carolina on penalty kicks) and a Big Ten Tournament title and appearance in the round of 32 in 2012. MSU also reached the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament in 2013, posted an overall record of 69-43-18 in his six seasons and has led the nation in shutouts over the past two years with a total of 26.
“Yale University is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am extremely honored and humbled to be named the next head coach to lead a program that has an excellent history and tradition dating back to 1908,” said Stannard, who was promoted to associate head coach at MSU prior to the start of the 2014 season. “It is a great privilege to be involved with such a world-class institution and that is something that will be emphasized on a daily basis. I want to express sincere gratitude to [Athletic Director] Tom Beckett for entrusting me to lead this program. I also want to thank [Associate AD] Jeremy Makins and the rest of the search committee for all of their time and work in a very thorough process, and I look forward to working with all of them. Additionally, I wouldn't have this opportunity if not for the incredible leadership I have been so fortunate to work for at Michigan State under President Simon, Mark Hollis, Shelley Appelbaum, and one of the best coaches in the nation, Damon Rensing.”
This fall, Stannard helped Michigan State earn the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and advance to the Elite Eight for the second straight year, one of only two teams in the nation to make back-to-back appearances in the quarterfinals.
In 2013, Stannard was instrumental in helping MSU in a record-breaking season. The Spartans won a program record 14 games en route to the NCAA quarterfinals, their first appearance in the round of eight since 1968. In addition, the team led the Big Ten and was in the top 10 nationally in nearly every defensive category, including posting a record-tying 13 shutouts. The Spartans also led the Big Ten and was in the top 15 nationally in assists and assists per game.
Following the season, Stannard was named the 2013 Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and was named one of the Top-15 assistant coaches in the nation by College Soccer News for the second consecutive year.
Several players under Stannard’s tutelage earned individual accolades, including Jay Chapman, who this fall was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the NSCAA’s highest individual honor, and was named the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. Stannard also coached three All-Americans – Chapman (2014), Fatai Alashe (2014) and Kevin Cope (2013).
Stannard consistently recruited the nation’s top players to Michigan State. During his tenure, the Spartans had four top-40 nationally ranked recruiting classes, including the No. 8 class in 2012.
Michigan State also enjoyed tremendous success in the classroom in Stannard’s six years. The Spartans were honored with three NSCAA Team Academic Awards, and posted a team GPA of 3.0 or higher every year since 2011, including 3.45 this fall and 3.37 in the fall of 2013, which was the highest of any men’s sport at the school. Stannard coached a Senior CLASS Award finalist (Kevin Cope, 2013), a first team Capital One Academic All-American (Ryan Keener, 2014) and two NSCAA Scholar All-Americans (Cope – 1st team, 2013, 2nd team, 2012; Tim Kreutz – 3rd team, 2012). In addition, Michigan State has had 15 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars since 2009, including five in 2013, which led the Big Ten. The Spartans also led the league with 16 Academic All-Big Ten selections in 2014 and tied for the league lead with 15 in 2013.
Stannard also assisted the school’s marketing efforts and helped found the men’s soccer student section – the Red Cedar Rowdies.
“Kylie is an outstanding coach, who has had success wherever he has been,” said Yale Director of Athletics Tom Beckett. “We are thrilled that he will be leading our men’s soccer program.”
Prior to Michigan State, Stannard spent four years as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois where he worked under two-time MAC Coach of the Year Steve Simmons. The Huskies won a total of 44 games in the four seasons of Stannard’s tenure, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2006 and were nationally ranked in each of his four years. NIU was the 2006 MAC regular season and tournament champions and also had a pair of second-place finishes. In 2006, the team posted a school-record 14 shutouts, which tied for the most in the nation, and in 2007, NIU had a top-40 nationally ranked recruiting class.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Stannard has served as a US Soccer scout for the Great Lakes Region since 2012. In addition, he was the head coach for the National Premier Soccer League’s Detroit City FC, leading the team to a second-place finish and a 5-2-5 overall record in its first year.
Stannard, who holds a USSF National “A” Coaching License and an NSCAA Premier Diploma, also has worked with the Region II (Midwest) Olympic Development Program, the Illinois and Nebraska ODP programs and was the co-director of coaching for Nebraska FC. In addition, he has several years of head coaching experience at the club level.
Stannard is a 2001 graduate of Creighton University where he played soccer for four years. With the Bluejays, Stannard became accustomed to success as Creighton reached the NCAA quarterfinals twice and advanced to the Final Four in his freshman season. In all, the Bluejays won 60 games in his four-year career.
Stannard is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he earned first team all-state, all-metro and all-district honors while at Washington High School and is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.
He earned his master’s degree is sports management from Northern Illinois.
Stannard is married to the former Alicja Czajka, a former track & field standout at Northern Illinois who set seven school records. She is currently pursuing her PhD in kinesiology from Michigan State.
Stannard takes over for Brian Tompkins, who announced in August that the 2014 season would be his last as the head coach of the Bulldogs.
“I am grateful to Brian for his outstanding service to Yale and for being a tremendous mentor to our student athletes,” Beckett said.
Added Stannard, “I also want to thank Coach Brian Tompkins for his 20 years of hard work and service to this great university. There is a very good foundation here and I can't wait to get to work and start serving the entire Yale community. We have a lot of work ahead of us but our goals and expectations will be very high from the start and I know the players are hungry and driven to compete for championships.”
Suzuki, who captained the 1999 Bulldogs to a school-record 13 wins, returns for his fourth year as an assistant coach in 2014.
Suzuki has had an immediate impact on the Yale program. In his first year, the Bulldogs won five more games overall than the previous season and three more Ivy games.
As a player at Yale, Suzuki had a key role in one of the most successful stretches in the long history of Yale Soccer. During his four years, the Bulldogs won 44 games, including posting a 17-9-2 mark in Ivy League play. As a senior, he helped Yale to a thrilling victory over Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He was a second team All-Ivy selection as a sophomore and senior and earned first team recognition in his junior year. In all, he started 65 games for the Bulldogs, scored 10 goals and added 15 assists.
Suzuki also excelled off the field. He was the recipient of the Yale Athletic Department’s 2000 Thomas W. Ford Community Outreach Award and participated in the NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference in 1999. In addition, he was a two-time Academic All-Ivy selection.
Suzuki served as a volunteer assistant coach under head coach Brian Tompkins in 2001, and also has coaching experience with the San Diego Soccer Club Pegasus and with PQ Premier.
He earned an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in 2006.
“Hiro was a fantastic player and leader during his time at Yale and brings outstanding creativity and charisma both on and off the field,” head coach Brian Tompkins said. “He is one of the best soccer-thinkers that I have coached in my time at Yale and brings a tremendous amount of first-hand experience to the playing and academic environments. His affable personality, drive and enthusiasm are infectious.”