ECU new soccer coach adds assistant to coaching staff

ECU Pirates

Ashley Holland (ECU Sports Information photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Ashley Holland has been named an assistant coach for the East Carolina soccer program, as announced by head coach Jason Hamilton on Monday.

“We are very excited to add Ashley to our staff,” Hamilton said. “Her experience will be valuable as we continue to build something special here at ECU. Throughout the process, her excitement about the position and program aligned very closely with (assistant coach) Emily (Buccilla) and I, making her the right person to join us. She will be a great asset to our team on and off the field.”

Holland arrives in Greenville after serving as a Goalkeeper Coach for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. While working at the elite sports training academy, Holland worked with players from the U13 to U19 level, including working with goalkeepers from the US Youth National Teams and Puerto Rico Senior National Team. She also helped guide players through the collegiate recruiting process and created individual training plans.

Prior to her time at IMG, Holland served as the head coach at LSU Shreveport for three seasons. Holland helped reestablish the program which had been dormant for five years. The Pilots recorded a 26-24-5 record under Holland, highlighted by a 13-5-2 mark in 2018 which included winning the program’s first-ever Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championship and earning a berth in the NAIA National Tournament. Holland tutored the first NAIA All-American in program history when Kati-Jayde Cunningham was an Honorable Mention All-American in 2018, and nine players earned a combined 12 All-Conference honors under Holland, led by Mason Richardson being named the RRAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.

Holland started her collegiate coaching career at her alma mater, Benedictine. She served as the team’s first assistant and goalkeeper coach from 2015 to 2017. Under Holland’s watch, Benedictine went a combined 42-6-1, winning a pair of Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Regular Season and tournament championships. The Ravens made history by reaching the NAIA National Tournament Semifinals for the first time in program history in 2015.

Holland has also worked at the club and Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) levels. She was the Head Club Coach and Goalkeeper Director for FC Dallas East Texas Club from 2018 to 2020 and also served as an assistant coach for the Shreveport Lady Rafters of the WPSL, training the goalkeepers during each training session.

Holland had a successful playing career at Benedictine before moving onto the coaching staff. She appeared in 65 games as the Ravens’ goalkeeper, compiling an overall record of 45-10-5 with 24 career shutouts. She was named the HAAC Defensive Player of the Year as well as a member of the All-HAAC First-Team following a senior season in which Holland helped Benedictine to a top-10 ranking in NAIA and a berth in the NAIA Quarterfinals. She also helped the Ravens win a pair of HAAC regular-season championships and a HAAC Championship title and was named to the HAAC First-Team in 2013 and Second-Team in 2012.

Holland earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Athletic Training and Physical Education from Benedictine in 2014. She then went on to earn her Master’s in Business Administration degree from Benedictine in 2017.

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