IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa soccer head coach Dave DiIanni wants to intertwine former and current Hawkeyes. That has led to the seventh-year Hawkeye coach to establish the Iowa Soccer Alumnae Committee.
The nine-player committee is comprised of student-athletes dating back to 1997 — the first year of the program. It consists of Morgan Kemerling (2015-18), Kirsten Wander (1997-99), Stephanie Swanson (2007-10), Kelsie Full (2004-07), Sarah (Langlas) Kinman (2008-11), Alexandria Seydel (2006-09), Anne Marie Thomas (2011-14), Teesa (Price) Vitense (1999-2001) and Gabe Mauren (1997-98).
“We were looking for a bridge to connect the program, coaching staff, and current student-athletes with alumnae who enjoyed their experience in the program,” said DiIanni. “We identified active, engaged alumnae in three-to-four-year increments across the program’s history.”
DiIanni identified alumnae who were connected and engaged through attendance at games during the fall. He also looked at geographic location to coincide with pockets where many Hawkeye alumnae reside.
“By continuing to invest in alumnae and their experiences, our current players will have a better understanding of the history of the program and what it took to build this program. The more they have an appreciation of our history, the more unified our program will be.”Head Coach Dave DiIanni
“(The alumnae) are excited,” said DiIanni. “There has been a warm reception of what we have been able to do to engage the alumnae to create a sense of pride, ownership and connection between past and current Hawkeyes.”
The committee’s role is to increase attendance during the annual Alumnae Weekend each fall to make it an important part of the schedule.
“We want former players to come back and join fellow Hawkeyes to reminisce about the good times,” said DiIanni.
DiIanni also wants the committee to connect graduates with professional women across the country, while also helping with engagement financially.
“(Our alumnae) have been receptive and excited to have their voices heard,” said DiIanni. “They want to advance the connection beyond the playing field with professional jobs and help current Hawkeyes beyond their four years in the program.”
DiIanni believes the alumnae committee will be beneficial for all Hawkeyes.
“By continuing to invest in alumnae and their experiences, our current players will have a better understanding of the history of the program and what it took to build this program,” said DiIanni. “The more they have an appreciation of our history, the more unified our program will be.”