In 2016, Christie Chappell, a former assistant at North Dakota State and a former all-region soccer player at Minnesota-Crookston, enters her second season as the associate head coach of the NIU women's soccer program in her fifth campaign with the Huskies.
Chappell was announced as an assistant coach for the Northern Illinois women's soccer program on March 23, 2012. Chappell, a native of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, was the first hire to join the staff under Head Coach John Ross, who took over the program on Jan. 24, 2012. Also the team's recruiting coordinator, she was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2015 season.
"I am very excited to have Christie on our staff here at NIU, and she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program," said Coach Ross. "She is very energetic and a go-getter. The best part of having Christie on the staff is that she really cares about the players as individuals."
In four seasons working with the Huskies' midfielders and forwards, Chappell has helped a significant and steady improvement in the NIU attack. After scoring just seven goals as a team in 2011, the Huskie offense notched 20 goals in 2012 and improved further the following season, tallying 23 goals. In 2014, NIU reached the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2007 after beating No. 2 seed Miami in the quarterfinals on penalty kicks; the Huskies posted a fourth consecutive top-eight finish in the MAC in 2015 after finishing the season on a four-game unbeaten streak thanks to improved offense.
Under the guidance of Chappell, forward Nicole Gobbo emerged as the offensive focal point for NIU from 2012-15, scoring 16 career goals to rank in the top 10 in Huskie history. Coach Chappell also tutored First Team All-MAC midfielder Lauren Gierman, who was the first Huskie since 2010 to receive that honor when she was selected after scoring six goals and adding three assists in 2015.
Thanks to Chappell's recruiting efforts, the Huskies have produced four MAC All-Freshman team honorees over the past four seasons in Alex Elias, Amy Annala, Lauren Gierman and Taylor Sarver, more than doubling the previous total the program had prior to the new coaching staff taking over in 2012.
Prior to coming to DeKalb, Chappell was an assistant coach at NDSU for four seasons, where the Bison won a regular season Summit League championship (2009) and qualified for the NCAA Tournament (2010). In 2011, North Dakota State finished as the runner-up in the Summit League Tournament. Chappell worked primarily with the team's attack. She also coached four seasons with the Red River Soccer Club, working with U13 boy's and U10 girl's teams. In 2008, she was named the North Dakota Youth Soccer Association's Boy's Coach of the Year.
"I am so thrilled to be a Huskie and to be working with John," said Chappell (pronounced "Chapel"). "He is the kind of coach I would have played for, and I wholeheartedly believe in his vision for the program. There is tremendous support for athletics at NIU, which provides us all the tools to run a successful program."
From 2007-08, Chappell worked at Division II St. Cloud State, where the Huskies clinched their first winning season since 1995 and advanced to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament. She broke into coaching at her alma mater Minnesota-Crookston in 2006, where she starred as a player for the Golden Eagles from 2002-05.
She was twice named first team All-NSIC, as well as earning NSCAA All-Region honors and went on to shatter UMC's career record in goals (25) and points scored (62).
Chappell graduated from Minnesota-Crookston in 2006 with a degree in business management and received the NCAA's Degree Completion Award. She recently finished her master's degree in sociology from North Dakota State, while also earning a teaching certificate. She currently owns a "B" license from the United States Soccer Federation.