Linda Hamilton, Head Coach
The University of North Florida women's soccer program has turned to a legendary figure to help guide its continuing Division I climb. Former collegiate All-American and U.S. Women's National Soccer Team member Linda Hamilton was hired as the Lady Ospreys' fourth head coach in its 10-year history in February 2007. Hamilton spent fall 2006 as an assistant women's soccer coach at Hofstra University in New York and previously served as head coach at Old Dominion University in Virginia from 1993-95. She was also head coach and director of player development for the Richmond (Va.) Strikers Soccer Club from 1997-2006. Hamilton knows a little something about success, having played at the highest levels of competitive soccer - both in college and internationally.
Hamilton's impressive playing career includes an eight-year stint on the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team from 1987-95 as a defender and marking back, when she appeared in 82 international games. She was a starter for two World Cup teams that earned medals - the 1991 gold-medal squad and the 1995 bronze-medal team. While playing for the U.S. National team, Hamilton capped her collegiate career in 1990 as a member of the University of North Carolina squad that won the fifth of nine consecutive NCAA titles. She spent the first three years of her college career at N.C. State before transferring to play for the Tar Heels. Hamilton was a four-time All-American, four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and was runner-up for the national player of the year in each of her final three collegiate seasons. She was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1988 while playing for N.C. State. After graduating from UNC in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in communications, and following the conclusion of her playing days with the U.S. National Team, Hamilton worked as the director of development for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 2002-05 and then in the same capacity for Easter Seals of Virginia from 2005-06.
She felt an urge to get back into the college game at that point, she said, which took her to Hofstra last fall and has ultimately brought her to UNF. "The truth is that I am incredibly impressed with the academics at UNF," Hamilton said. "It is easy to recruit to a school where the academic programs are strong. The facilities are also outstanding, and Florida has an incredible talent pool of players. After visiting with the administration and hearing the University's plans, all of that combined made this a wonderful opportunity. I'll have an opportunity to grow personally, and I'll have a chance to help this program grow and see where I can take it. I can't imagine a better situation." She becomes the fourth UNF women's soccer coach in the program's 10-year history and the first coach to lead the Ospreys into their first year as a full Division I member.
Morgan Church, Assistant Head Coach
Morgan Church has been on staff since 2007 as an assistant coach for the University of North Florida women's soccer program. The last six seasons with the Ospreys, Church has helped head coach Linda Hamilton. Church has coached several different organizations such as the United Soccer League's Washington Freedom Soccer Club and SoccerPlus camps. Church played college soccer at Marshall University before transferring to the University of Charleston for her sophomore and junior seasons. While at Charleston, Church was a two-time All-Conference selection after leading the team in scoring each of the two seasons she was there.
Church's career ended at Berry College, where she earned her bachelor's of science in psychology, graduating magna cum laude. In her one season at Berry, Church managed to leave a lasting impression staring in 19 of the teams 20 games, leading the Lady Vikings in goals with 12. She finished the season ranked third on the team in point with 27, adding three assists to her goal total. A native of Hagerstown, Md., Church has been a member of the USL's Washington Freedom, helping the team to its first league championship in 2007. Church is currently a director of COE for both Creeks Clash Soccer Club and Jacksonville United Soccer Club and has her US National "A" coaching license. She is on staff with both the Region 1 and Florida Olympic Development Program and has also earned her state and regional goalkeeping licenses.
Molly Schneider, Assistant Coach
Schneider joined the UNF staff in 2010 after serving as an assistant coach for Gonzaga and University of Missouri previously. Missouri reached the second round of the NCAA tournament both seasons Schneider was on staff, working primarily with the goalkeepers. Under Schneider's guidance, Missouri had its goals-against-average drop drastically both seasons and keeper Tasha Dittamore earned Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year in 2007 and Most Valuable Player of the Big 12 Tournament in 2008. The Tigers captured the Big 12 Conference tournament title and posted 12 shutouts in 2008. Prior to her stint at Missouri, Schneider spent one season as a student assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, her alma mater. She also worked with both the Minnesota and Missouri Olympic Development programs.
Schneider earned her bachelor's of science degree in kinesiology from the University of Minnesota in 2006. Schneider, who played two seasons with the Golden Gophers, earned All-Big Ten Conference first team and SoccerBuzz All-Great Lakes Region second team honors after she posted a school record 0.84 GAA her senior season in 2005. She finished her career with the school-record for GAA (1.12), is third in total wins (17) and is in the top five of all other Minnesota goalkeeping records. Prior to transferring to Minnesota, Schneider spent two seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee earning All-Horizon League first team honors her freshman season. Schneider is a native of Rochester, Minn. and has a NSCAA GK 1 Diploma and a USSF National "C" License.