A familiar face is patrolling the women’s soccer team sidelines. Former player Katie Reed, a fifth-year senior, signed on during the off-season to fill a vacancy in the Bulls’ coaching staff.
While officially an assistant, coach Logan Fleck said Reed fills a special role on the team.
“Right now she’s kind of like a playing coach,” Fleck said. “She does a little bit of everything for our team, from editing (game) tape (to) giving me her perspective of the game. So far, she has been right on the money on what we need to do to improve.”
Reed’s impact has translated into an immediate improvement for USF. Last season, the Bulls struggled during conference play, going 2-6-1 against Big East foes. This season, the team has already defeated No. 23 Marquette, a team that beat the Bulls 4-1 only a season ago.
Although she appreciates her coaching duties, Reed would much rather be out on the playing field.
“It’s pretty hard because I still would love to be out there with my teammates,” Reed said. “The Marquette game really reminded me of how much I missed playing. But watching the midfielders perform what we’ve practiced is definitely rewarding.”
“She would give her left leg to play right now,” Fleck said. “This kid absolutely wants to play. Those are the types of players that I’ve been recruiting to this school; (Reed) just embodies everything we expect from our players.”
Though Reed has been a success story for the USF soccer program, it almost never happened. According to Fleck, Reed’s arrival at USF was a bit of a fluke.
“(Reed) was recruited by me out of Georgia. I was scouting another player, but she really impressed me,” Fleck said. “When I watched her, I noticed her tremendous work ethic. I knew that she would be a great fit for the program.”
Fleck saw Reed grow from a freshman that made contributions to a senior serving as a team leader. In 2003 and 2005, Reed led USF in assists. Now she is trying to assist the Bulls during their second season in the Big East.
Her personal experience with USF soccer has made the transition from player to coach seem easy. Reed already had the confidence of her former teammates and that has translated into success on the field.
Reed isn’t just preparing the Bulls for gameday every week, however. She’s also attempting to launch a professional career. After graduating, Reed has the option of continuing play abroad, possibly in Denmark, Norway or Sweden.
“(Fleck) has a few connections overseas, and I’m just hoping for an opportunity to play,” Reed said. “It’s still up in the air, but I’m going to work my hardest and try to impress during tryouts.”
If playing professionally doesn’t work out, Reed is going to use her major in special education to begin teaching in August.
Even though Reed is enjoying her final year in school, her experiences on the sidelines are something that she is always going to cherish. Reed isn’t sure if she wants to continue coaching after this season, but isn’t ruling out the possibility of making a career out of it.
“My main job is working with the midfielders and trying to create (scoring) opportunities,” Reed said. “Watching them get the job done feels great. I would love to be coaching one day.”
Whether it’s teaching children in the classroom or helping instruct players on the field, Fleck knows Reed will be successful in anything she pursues.
“There is no doubt that (Reed) is going to be an excellent teacher,” Fleck said. “Honestly, anything that she would want to do she will be successful (in). If it’s coaching, teaching or playing, there is no question that she has a tremendous future.”