Angela Kelly leaving UT soccer for Texas

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Dave Hart has a coach to hire, his first as Tennessee’s athletic director.

Angela Kelly was announced Saturday as the new women’s soccer coach at the University of Texas.

She leaves the Lady Vols after 16 years, the past 12 as head coach during which she elevated the program from fledgling status to a perennial SEC contender.

“Dave Hart promised me he will take beautiful care of this program and I believe that,’’ Kelly said Saturday night.

“The Tennessee soccer program is in premier shape. Whoever gets this job will be stepping into a gold mine.’’

Kelly leaves behind a legacy of 160-84-20 (.664), including 15-7 in 2011.

After serving as assistant coach to Charlie McCabe for four years Kelly was promoted in 1999 to become the program’s second head coach.

The Lady Vols on Kelly’s watch appeared in nine NCAA tournaments, including five Sweet 16 berths. They won three regular-season SEC titles (2003-05) and four SEC tournament crowns, the most recent in 2008. She was a three-time SEC coach of the year.

“We would like to thank Ange for her leadership, dedication and hard work during her 16 years at the University of Tennessee,’’ Hart said in a UT release. “Much was accomplished during her tenure.’’

Kelly is a native of Scotland who grew up in Ontario. She played soccer at North Carolina from 1991-94 under the legendary coach Anson Dorrance, helping the Tar Heels go 97-1-1 during her term.

She is bringing Tennessee assistant coach and former Lady Vol star Keeley Dowling with her to the Longhorns. Mia Hamm, a former UNC teammate and close friend, lives in Austin.

“Texas is an unbelievable athletic department,’’ Kelly said.

Kelly has a five-and-a-half year “understanding” at Texas.

She replaces Chris Petrucelli, who was reassigned within the department on Dec. 3.

Texas has appeared in 10 of the past 11 NCAA tournaments, including 2011.

To Kelly, leaving behind mentors Joan Cronan and Pat Summitt was not a call to make lightly.

“I don’t go forward at all or make any major decision without the acceptance and understanding of Coach Summitt,’’ Kelly said. “She was so incredibly supportive.

“I can’t say enough wonderful things about both programs.’’

Hart took over at UT in September. He has made a couple of administrative hires, but soccer will be his first coaching search.

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Comments » 12

voloffaith writes:

Merry Christmas gift to UT saying goodbye now. Season over and what of current recruiting class effect. Thanks Coach Kelly for the 'Good Times'.

voloffaith writes:

Did we see this coming? Had there been hints by the coach that she wanted to go elsewhere? Losing Cronan in the merging a perceived weakness down the road?

GreerVol22 writes:

Leaving for money? Not sure how you are bettering your career unless its the cash. Nice going athletic dept, letting another good coach get a way.

LJS1984 writes:

This has been posted on utladyvols.com since about noon.

IdahoVol writes:

We need to find a way to keep good coaches like Coach Kelly. Very disappointing, as she obviously had made Lady Vols soccer very competitive.

Vol_Air_Force writes:

16 years with the Lady Vols. I guess her orange blood is "burnt" out! Good luck Coach K at ut!

GBOEngineer writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

women's soccer...double don't care.

kazoo writes:

Kelley was good for the program--but it had been sliding, less successful in the last three/four years than in the four years prior. Her recruiting was not great--and the team was very inconsistent and underachieved lately. Played a lower ranked ohio state team in this year's tourney and lost--at home--0-3. A fresh voice will be good--but need to make a good hire here. Soccer is increasingly a prestige sport, despite what a few of the blockheads on this thread are saying.

madmax22 writes:

Good program in SEC play but has never moved on to the next level. Always seemed to lose in post season play to lesser teams.

FearlessFreep writes:

Sounds like a mutual parting. Hart will make a good hire. Twelve years, it was probably time for a change.
Some coaches view the merger as a threat. No sense in her staying if she wouldn't put 100% into UT.

VOLsince68 writes:

in response to GBOEngineer:

women's soccer...double don't care.

Then you guys aren't true UT fans if you don't care equally about all of our sports!!

I want to see us win Championships in ALL sports. I'm not necessarily going to keep up with them all, but I still want them to win.

GO VOLS!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

It seems I am not the only one who feels her departure is a good thing. she took the Lady Vol soccer team as far as she could and now it is time to hire someone who will take the team to higher places.

Mr. Hart, the pressure is on to hit a home run here.

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