If Kristen St. Clair wanted to make a grand entrance onto the collegiate coaching stage, she certainly has done so.
Hired March 27, 2007, the four-time NAIA All-American has wasted little time making a name for herself and her program. In five seasons, she has led the Lancers to the most wins in program history, three straight NAIA Tournament appearances and most recently PacWest and NCCAA championships.
Now entering her sixth season, she won more games in her first five seasons than any previous coach in program history and on Sept. 17, 2010, with a 2-1 win over No. 7-ranked Martin Methodist, she picked up her 51st career victory becoming the winningest coach in program history.
Her career record is 79-23-7 (.725). She is the only coach in program history to win more than 70 percent of her games.
This past season, the Lancers set a new program wins mark, going 18-2-1 and winning a first ever NCCAA National Title. St. Clair also led CBU to a PacWest conference title with a 10-1-1 record in the program's first year in the NCAA Division II conference. Through four games of NCCAA regional and national tournament play the Lancers outscored opponents 12-1 to win the title.
St. Clair was named NCCAA National Coach of the Year and PacWest Coach of the Year. Three CBU players earned NCCAA All-American honors and five were named to the All-PacWest first team, including PacWest Newcomer of the Year Kylee Nicassio, Freshman of the Year Kimberly Allard and Co-PacWest Goalkeeper of the Year Nicoline Jorgensen.
In 2010, St. Clair led the Lancers to a 15-6-2 mark, their third in a streak of four consecutive 15-win seasons. The Lancers spent the entire season in the top 15 of the NAIA, finishing at No. 11. They qualified for their third straight NAIA National Tournament, advancing to the quarterfinals for the second straight year and were 8-4-1 against nationally-ranked teams.
Two players--Fabiola Zanella da Silva and Kylee Nicassio--earned NAIA All-American honors, and four players were named All-GSAC, including three-time recipient Jacquelyn Witz.
In 2009, St. Clair led the Lancers to a 17-5-1 overall mark and a 7-3 GSAC mark, giving the Lancers their third straight scond place finish in the conference. The Lancers were ranked eighth or better the entire season and spent five weeks as the NAIA's No. 1-ranked team for the first time ever. The Lancers started the season 10-0-1 with wins over four nationally-ranked teams, including No. 1 and eventual national champion Lee (Tenn.), No. 2 Concordia (Ore.) and No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.). They advanced to the NAIA Tournament as the third seed and beat Grand View (Iowa), 5-0, and No. 14 Auburn-Montgomery (Ala.), 3-2, before falling to sixth-seed Concordia (Ore.), 3-1, in the quarterfinals. It was just the program's second appearance ever in the quarterfinals.
CBU also had a program-best three players--da Silva, Jenna Oltmanns and Kitra Walters--earn NAIA All-American honors, and it had five players named All-GSAC for the third straight year.
In 2008, St. Clair led the Lancers to a 16-5-1 season, which at the time was their best record ever, an 8-1-1 second place finish in the GSAC and the program’s first national tournament berth since 2003. Along the way, the Lancers were ranked as high as No. 6 and had five wins against nationally-ranked teams.
In her first season in 2007, she guided the Lancers to a 13-5-2 mark, the second highest win total in program history. The Lancers finished second in the GSAC (7-2-1) for the first time since 2002, picked up three wins against nationally-ranked teams, finished the season ranked No. 8 in the NAIA and advanced to the regional final for just the second time in program history. The Lancers were the highest-ranked team left out of the national tournament field.
Prior to CBU, St. Clair spent the 2006 season as an assistant at NCAA Division I Wisconsin-Milwaukee, serving as the recuiting coordinator, assisting in match management, training session preparation, player development and assisting in travel organization.
In her one season with the Panthers, St. Clair was part of a program that finished 16-4-2, won their seventh straight Horizon League title and earned a second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament where they fell to No. 1 Notre Dame, 1-0, in the second round. Along the way, the Panthers set school-records for wins (16), winning percentage (.773), shutouts (16), goals allowed (10) and goals against average (0.44), which was the fourth best average in the nation. Additionally, the Panthers were third in the nation in shutout percentage (.730).
Prior to her accepting the CBU position, she helped piece together UWM’s incoming 2007 recruiting class, which was ranked No. 1 in the Horizon League, No. 9 in the Great Lakes Region and in the Top 70 nationally.
She was also a team coach for F.C. Milwaukee during the 2006-07 season. In 2006, she served as a team head coach for the Wisconsin Girls’ Olympic Development Program (ODP).
Prior to her time at UWM, St. Clair spent two seasons as an assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara fulfilling several responsibilities, which included recruiting, training development and implementation, player development and working with the goalkeepers. In her first season (2004), St. Clair’s keepers posted 10 shutouts, saw their save percentage rise above 80 percent, went 13-6-2 and won the Big West Conference championship.
St. Clair spent the 2003 season as an assistant coach at her alma mater Westmont. The Warriors won the NAIA National Championship that year and set a school record with a 0.48 goals against average. She also was a team coach and director of goalkeeping for the Futbol Club of Santa Barbara from 2003-06.
One of the finest keepers in the history of the NAIA, St. Clair earned NAIA All-American first team honors twice (1998-99) along with second team honors in 2000. She received All-American honorable mention as a 1997 freshman. Her 40 career shutouts rank fourth on the NAIA’s all-time list and her 0.62 career goals against average is seventh. In 1999, she posted 14 shutouts and a 0.50 goals against average while leading the Warriors to the NAIA National Championship and earning the tournament’s Outstanding Defensive Player award. Both of those totals still rank among the all-time single-season leaders in the history of the NAIA.
During her career at Westmont, the Warriors made four NAIA Tournament appearances, going 8-1-2 in tournament games. Westmont reached the Final Four during her 1997 freshman campaign. She was also a four-time All-GSAC honoree.
She also played with the Silicon Valley Red Devils of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) and was the only NAIA player invited to participate in the Umbro Senior All-Star game/WUSA Combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
St. Clair, who works in various summer camps both regionally and nationally, including the University of Notre Dame, holds an NSCAA Premier License and NSCAA Goalkeeper License. She earned her USSF “A” Coaching License in the summer of 2010.
She graduated from Westmont in 2001 with a degree in kinesiology and currently resides in Riverside.