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Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

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NCAA Title–Winning Soccer Coach Julianne Sitch to Leave Maroons for University of Denver

Sitch, who joined the team in April 2022, became the first woman to coach a men’s team to a national championship in NCAA history last year.
Sitch+on+the+touchline+in+November+2022.
Eric Fang
Sitch on the touchline in November 2022.

University of Chicago Head Men’s Soccer Coach Julianne Sitch has been named the head women’s soccer coach at the University of Denver.

Sitch, who joined the team as head coach in April 2022, made national headlines last year after becoming the first woman to lead a men’s NCAA team to a national championship when the Maroons beat Williams College to capture the Division III National Championship.

The Maroons’ impressive campaign included a 16-0-1 regular season record, with their lone draw coming from a 0-0 match against the New York University Violets on October 28.

“We knew that there was the potential and opportunity for the team to be very successful this year, and while working with them throughout the season, there were certain moments where I just knew this team was special,” Sitch told *The Maroon*. “To win a championship, you really need a lot of things to be aligned and to fall into place, and this team was just unbelievable with their culture, their work ethic, and their identity.”

Having grown up in the Chicago area, attended DePaul University, and played professional soccer for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League, Sitch said that leaving the Windy City would be bittersweet.

“I was not looking to leave UChicago. I was very happy. I really enjoyed the athletics department and I loved the team,” Sitch said. “But Denver is a place that I’ve always wanted to live and I have family there, and the opportunity to move into a Division I position made it too good to not consider.”

The Denver Pioneers play in Division I’s Summit League along with eight other colleges and universities in the Midwest.

“I knew eventually at some point in my career I’d like to go back to the women’s game. I didn’t expect it was going to be this quick and I didn’t expect to only be in Chicago for a year, but I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have a really incredible job at a great university in a dream place to live.”

Sitch didn’t let the pressure of national headlines get to her, and she hopes her accomplishments are one more step towards equality in how men and women are portrayed in sports media.

“I do believe that it won’t be the headline anymore. It will be the norm that women are coaching men and being extremely successful. And I know since my hire, there’s been a lot of women in coaching on the men’s side, and that’s phenomenal,” Sitch said. “I hope that soon, it won’t be a story that a woman led a men’s team and that the story will just be that a men’s program won the national championship.”

The University of Chicago Department of Athletics and Recreation declined to comment on a potential successor for the men’s soccer head coach position.

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About the Contributors
Austin Zeglis
Austin Zeglis, Senior News Reporter, Senior Sports Reporter
Austin is a member of the class of 2024 who hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He studies economics and music in the College and contributes to the Sports and News sections of The Maroon.
Eric Fang
Eric Fang, News Editor, Photo Editor, Design Associate
Eric Fang is a third-year in the College majoring in economics and public policy. He is a news and photo editor for The Maroon with an interest in local housing, campus security, and politics. In his free time, he enjoys biking, listening to music, and exploring Chicago food.
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