After a disappointing first season at UC Irvine, April Heinrichs resigned her post as head coach of the women’s soccer team and accepted a job with the United States Olympic Committee. Heinrichs led the women’s team to a 3-13-1 overall record, including a 0-7 record in the Big West Conference.
Scott Juniper, who was the lead assistant with the women’s team last season, will take over for Heinrichs as head coach.
Heinrichs’ resignation is the latest set back for the women’s program. They will now have their third head coach in as many years.
In 2005, Marine Cano resigned as head coach of the women’s team amidst frustrations with the administration over funding and what he described as a lack of a long-term commitment from Athletic Director Bob Chichester.
Heinrichs was named Player of the Decade in the 1980s following her successful career at the University of North Carolina and was the first woman inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame.
While serving as head coach of the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team, Heinrichs led the United States’ women’s team to a gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
‘The timing of leaving UCI is terrible and I didn’t fulfill my commitment, but the USOC job allows me to transition into the next phase of my career,’ Heinrichs said in a press release. ‘The decision is indicative of me and not a reflection of UC Irvine. The administration and Bob Chichester have been great to work with and the support services have been what are needed to succeed at UC Irvine.’
Heinrichs was one of UCI’s biggest signings last season, given her tenure on the National Team and previous collegiate coaching experience.
From 1991 to 1995, Heinrichs complied a 56-40-7 record as head coach at the University of Maryland. She then went on to accept the head coach position at the University of Virginia, leading the women’s team to a 52-27-7 mark from 1996 to 1999. She led both teams to appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
The team’s biggest struggle a year ago was on the offensive side of the ball, with Irvine scoring only six goals during the season while being shutout 12 times.
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