IUP has found its new women’s football coach. Noreen Herlihy became the fifth coach in the history of the program.

Here is the release from IUP Athletics:

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) hired Noreen Herlihy, who became the fifth women’s soccer head coach in the program’s history, as director of athletics. Todd Garzarelli announced on Monday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Noreen to our IUP family and can’t wait to see her continue the tradition of women’s football,” said Garzarelli. “We had an extensive national search and Noreen quickly rose to the top of a highly qualified pool of candidates with her championship-level resume. We were drawn to her exceptional career experience in both Division I and Division II, which included building a winning culture within the Penn State Athletic Conference.

“She truly embodies the student-athlete experience and I am confident that under her leadership, Noreen will take our women’s soccer program to the next level.”

Herlihy comes to Indiana with 325 wins in 32 years as head coach at the collegiate level. Most recently, she led the women’s soccer program at the University of Akron from 2015-21, leading Zips to three Mid-American Conference tournament appearances.

“I am thrilled to be joining the IUP Athletics family,” said Herlihy. “I would like to thank President Michael Driscoll, Director of Athletics Todd Garzarelli, and to all who are in the process of being hired for trusting me to host the women’s football program. From day one, Todd’s sincere concern and support in striving for the best for the Crimson Hawks program was evident. I am grateful for the opportunity and excited to start.”

“I really look forward to meeting the players in person in pre-season. I know Coach Heather and he has done a great job over the years being the backbone of this program. I humbly take the reins and add my own flair as I move forward. It’s a league that I’m familiar with, that I’ve been successful in, and now really want to join the team in August.” Herlihy has spent the past seven seasons in Ohio rebuilding Akron’s program, with three MAC tournament appearances during her tenure doubling the number of teams the team has had in its history. In their first year in 2015, the Zips advanced to the semi-finals of the MAC for the first time in the program’s history. Herlihy brought Akron back to the postseason in 2018, finishing sixth in the league standings with the best MAC record in more than a decade, and then made more progress finishing fourth and making it to the postseason once more in 2019.

Herlihy joined the Zips after 20 seasons as head coach at Slippery Rock University, where she led the women’s program to a 250-113-30 record with 19 consecutive winning seasons. At the time of her move to Akron, she was one of only 11 coaches in NCAA Division II history with 250 wins and ranked eighth in DII history for 19 consecutive winning seasons.

During her first trip through the PSAC, Herlihy turned The Rock into a conference, regional and national authority. During her tenure, she led Slippery Rock to three PSAC tournament titles (2003, 2005, 2012), nine NCAA tournament berths, three regional championship appearances, and the 2013 Atlantic title. SRU has won at least 10 games 18 times under Herlihy. , including the top 17 wins in the program to that point in the 2007 season. SRU has finished the season in the top 25 eight times, finishing the 2013 season in 6th place in the NSCAA Division II poll.

Herlihy has proven to be a terrific talent recruiter and developer at SRU, with nine rock players collectively winning 13 All-American awards and 20 collectively winning 61 regional-wide awards in her 20 seasons. The three-time PSAC Coach of the Year (1996, 2003, 2012) has seen its players win four PSAC Athlete and three Rookie/Freshman of the Year awards, as well as 81 all-league awards.

“I will start with a clean slate and the first steps will be to come up with a pre-season plan, get to work with them, assess the squad and implement our strategy over time,” Herlihy said. “Everyone will be 100% dedicated and will work hard every day to give the Crimson Hawks the best possible chance of success. We want to win, but I also realistically understand that there will be an adjustment period that will require patience, so we will go game by game in our first season as we get to know each other and implement our strategy.”

In addition to being a women’s coach, Herlihy also coached the men’s team The Rock for five seasons (1997–2001). After a successful 1996 season on the women’s field, she was asked to accept a dual role and become the first woman to lead the SRU men’s football program. In those five years, she won 41 matches, including a 10-8 debut season in 1997, when The Rock doubled their total wins from the previous year.

In addition to her coaching efforts, Herlihy also oversaw the SRU Athletes for Forgotten Angels group. The Forgotten Angels Project is an impressive community service group of student-athletes from several Slippery Rock sports teams. The group traveled twice to Haiti to deliver school supplies and conduct training at youth sports centres. He also traveled to New Orleans to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, took valuable teaching materials and taught at sports camps in St. Lucia, and in January 2014 traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to work at Hekima Place, a girls’ Kenya. orphaned mainly due to HIV/AIDS.

Before joining the Slippery Rock team in 1995, Herlihy worked for two seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater Mercyhurst. She helped the Lakers to two consecutive NCAA Division II National Semifinals in 1993 and 1994.

Herlihy joined the coaching career after a successful playing career, headlined by her selection to the Republic of Ireland squad from 1985 to 1988, where she played in European qualifiers against the likes of England, Scotland, Holland and Sweden.

Herlihy began her undergraduate work at Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts, where she played basketball and football before earning an associate degree in liberal arts. She then transferred to Mercyhurst, graduating in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine. She has also been recognized with a couple of All-American awards, selected as an All-American Academician, and received four All-Regional awards at Mercyhurst.

She later received her M.S. in Sports Administration from Slippery Rock in 2004.

Herlihy’s contribution to every program she has been associated with has been recognized as an inductee into the Mercyhurst University Hall of Fame in 2005. She was also inducted into the Massasoit Hall of Fame in the class of 2011 and was most recently inducted. University Hall of Fame in 2017.


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