Teamwork is a central part of Steve Simmons' philosophy, and that is reflected on the sideline, where assistant coach Kylie Stannard is in his fourth campaign as part of the Northern Illinois University coaching team.
Stannard, who has a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National "A" Coaching License, came to Northern Illinois after four letterwinning NCAA campaigns with Creighton University.
The Bluejays were ranked No. 1 during his 1999 senior campaign before an 11-5-2 season ended in a first-round NCAA tournament setback. Creighton was ranked No. 25 in that year's final regular-season balloting. His junior season saw Creighton reach the NCAA Elite Eight and the 16-4-2 year ended with Creighton rated seventh.
As a sophomore, he was part of the Bluejay squad which went 16-5-1 before a second-round NCAA tourney exit and No. 15 final ranking. As a freshman, he played for Creighton's Final Four unit which compiled a 17-5-2 ledger and was rated No. 3 in the year's final poll.
"Coming from a Final Four program, Kylie has firsthand knowledge of what it takes to compete at the highest collegiate level," Simmons said. "And as a four-year member of the staff, he's familiar with NIU and the type of work ethic and core values that are the cornerstone for our men's soccer program."
Coinciding with his stay in Omaha, he logged a five-year stint with Nebraska FC, which included three state titles and two runner-up finishes. His time in Nebraska also saw him start as an assistant coach from 2001-03 before being elevated to head coach until June of 2005. From 2003-04, he doubled as co-director of the organization. Stannard is currently the trainer for Northern Illinois FC U-13 boys and U-15 girls teams and is working with the Illinois and Region II Olympic Developmental Program.
A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the first-team all-state, all-metro, and all-distict standout for Washington High School was also the MVP of the 1995 Iowa ODP State Championship tournament. He was inducted into the Washington High School Hall of Fame in February, 2009.
Stannard, who earned accountancy and finance degrees from Creighton in 2001, is currently pursuing his master's degree in sports management at NIU. He is married to the former Alicja Czajka, who holds seven NIU track and field records, and was named the Huskie Female Athlete of the Year in 2005.