With just over a month remaining before the start of the 2010 regular season, head coach Brian Lee hit a “home run” when he announced the hiring of former College of Charleston women’s soccer head coach Kevin Dempsey to complete the Tigers’ coaching staff before the start of the fall season.
It was an addition that paid immediate dividends for the Tigers as Dempsey coached the premier defensive unit in program history as they matched a program record for fewest goals allowed in a season with 16 and nearly set a school record with a 0.72 goals against average in 21 matches in 2010. In fact, the Tigers finished the season tied for the No. 1 spot in the SEC in goals allowed and wrapped up the season ranked No. 2 for goals against average among the league’s 12 programs with their performance.
Dempsey was instrumental in Canadian international Allysha Chapman earning her first career First-Team All-SEC selection as one of the leading defenders in the Southeastern Conference.
Chapman made history as a senior in 2011 when she became the first Tiger in program history to be named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year while also earning her second First-Team All-SEC honor as one of the elite performers in all of college soccer. Chapman was joined on the All-SEC squad by a pair of rookie defenders in Texas natives Alex Arlitt and Jodi Calloway, who each earned selections to the SEC All-Freshman Team as two of the SEC’s emerging talents.
Dempsey’s defensive unit was a catalyst in the Tigers winning their fourth SEC Western Division championship in five seasons and earning a return trip to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the team’s history during the 2011 campaign. They finished the 2011 season with a 13-8-1 overall record and an 8-3 mark in league play for their third second-place finish on the SEC table in four seasons.
The LSU Soccer program has certainly been on the cusp of winning its first SEC championship as the club finished runner-up in the final conference standings in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Dempsey has also hit the ground running on the recruiting trail while making an immediate impact for the Tigers, highlighted by a pair of recruiting classes in 2012 and 2013 considered among the Top 15 classes in the country in each of the last two years. Widely respected as one of the top recruiters in all of college soccer both nationally and internationally, Dempsey will continue to be a driving force with the addition of world-class talent from across the globe for many years to come.
In just the last two seasons, Dempsey has help sign nine athletes to National Letters of Intent who have earned international experience at the youth level with the national team systems in Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States.
Their class certainly showed during the 2013 season as LSU’s international trio of Summer Clarke (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada), Emma Fletcher (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) and Megan Lee (Massey, Auckland, New Zealand) each earned Second-Team All-SEC honors with both Clarke and Fletcher also being named to the SEC All-Freshman Team while leading the Tiger attack last season.
The Tigers made history as it marked the first time in SEC history that three freshmen from the same team were named to the All-SEC team while receiving first-team, second-team or honorable mention honors.
Each were also named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Freshman Best XI team while being ranked among the Top 20 freshmen in the country for the 2013 season by the online publication. Fletcher ended the season as the No. 8-ranked freshman nationally, while Clarke followed at No. 13 and Lee trailed at No. 17 in the national rankings for the top freshmen in NCAA women’s soccer.
Dempsey joined the LSU program following an outstanding nine-year stint as the head coach at the College of Charleston, where he led the Cougars to an 99-78-22 overall record and a 54-32-8 mark in Southern Conference play since 2001. That included an overall record of 24-12-6 in his final two seasons.
The Cougars flourished in nine seasons under Dempsey’s direction as they reached the postseason in each with nine appearances in the SoCon Tournament, including runner-up finishes in 2002 and 2009. The side earned 28 All-SoCon and All-SoCon Tournament selections under Dempsey.
The Cougars were also outstanding in the classroom during Dempsey’s tenure while winning the NSCAA Team Academic Award in each of his nine seasons while posting a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. In addition, six Cougars were named NSCAA All-Region Scholar Athletes in his final two seasons at the College of Charleston, demonstrating his commitment to success both on and off the pitch.
“We are excited to have the experience that Kevin provides our program at LSU,” Lee said. “He’s already had a tremendous impact on our team and this community in his three years here. That is especially true with his ability to recruit world-class talent and attract the caliber of athlete we will need to challenge for SEC and national championships for years to come.
“I approach the staff just like the team with a goal to go out and recruit the best. Having Kevin as a member of our staff has been a homerun hire for our program. With Kevin joining Debbie (Hensley) and the rest of our staff, we’re fortunate to have a staff in place that will continue to recruit and develop the best players and people in all of college soccer.”
Dempsey boasts 16 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate level during which he compiled an overall record of 179-123-29 since 1994. Prior to his appointment at the College of Charleston, Dempsey served as the head coach of the women’s program at Catawba College of NCAA Division II for seven seasons from 1994-2000 while compiling an overall record of 80-46-7, including a 34-13-3 mark in the South Atlantic Conference.
After helping the Indians win South Atlantic Conference regular season and tournament titles as an assistant coach in 1993, the team captured four SAC Tournament titles in his seven seasons as a head coach in 1994, 1997, 1998 and 1999. He also led Catawba College to the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championship in 1997, giving the program seven championships in his eight seasons in the program. They also earned a place in the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament to cap the 1997 season.
In all, Dempsey coached 10 NCAA Division II All-Americans, 17 All-South Region selections, four SAC Players of the Year and four SAC Freshmen of the Year during his seven-year tenure while the head coach at Catawba College.
In addition to his experience as a head coach at the collegiate level, Dempsey also served as head coach of the Under-15 Region III Olympic Development Program Team for seven years from 2003-09.
Dempsey graduated from Catawba College in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He and his wife, Krista, have an 9-year-old son named Jack.
Years, Capacity, School
1993-2001, Head Coach, Catawba College
2001-10, Head Coach, College of Charleston
2010-Present, Assistant Coach, LSU
Head Coaching Records
Year, School, Record
1994, Catawba College, 12-5-2*
1995, Catawba College, 6-8-2
1996, Catawba College, 12-6-0
1997, Catawba College, 13-10-0*
1998, Catawba College, 13-6-1*
1999, Catawba College, 13-4-2*
2000, Catawba College, 11-7-0
2001, College of Charleston, 6-11-1
2002, College of Charleston, 9-9-3#
2003, College of Charleston, 11-7-2
2004, College of Charleston, 12-5-3
2005, College of Charleston, 7-9-2
2006, College of Charleston, 8-9-2
2007, College of Charleston, 9-8-3
2008, College of Charleston, 12-5-4
2009, College of Charleston, 12-7-2#
Total, 16 Years, 166-116-29
* - South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship
# - Southern Conference Tournament Runner-Up