ELON, N.C. – Elon University women’s soccer head coach Neil Payne has completed the program’s new coaching staff with the hiring of former Duke University and professional women’s soccer standout Kim DeCesare.
“Kim DeCesare brings with her a history of success from the highest levels of the game and we’re thrilled to add her to our coaching staff in this new cycle of the program,” said Payne. “It is easy to get a sense of Kim’s desire for success and her winning mentality will be the perfect fit for our culture moving forward. She joins our program on the back of a distinguished playing career and it is clear that the dedication and standards she has expected of herself will spill over into the team. Kim has shown great enthusiasm in starting her new role here and her ambition, along with her knowledge and experience, will have a great influence on elevating the program moving forward.”
DeCesare joins the coaching staff after spending last season playing professionally in the Netherlands for PSV Eindhoven. Prior to her time overseas, DeCesare a two-time All-ACC selection and two-time tri-captain for the Duke University Blue Devils.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to join the Elon women’s soccer staff,” said DeCesare. “I am excited to be able to work with Neil [Payne] and Paul [Babba] and to get to know the team. I will be sure to give the women’s soccer program everything I have and bring what I’ve learned from my playing experience to help the team succeed.”
While playing for Duke, DeCesare was a two-time All-ACC selection, played in 93 career matches and was a tri-captain in her final two seasons with the Blue Devils. During her career, she tallied 29 goals, including nine game-winners and recorded 15 assists. Her 29 goals ranks sixth on Duke’s career goals list and her 73 points and her nine game-winning goals each rank ninth all-time. DeCesare also ranks second in both goals and points in the Duke NCAA Tournament record book.
Robbie Church, who is currently Duke University women’s soccer’s head coach, expressed the impact DeCesare can make to the Phoenix program. “This is a great hire for Elon women’s soccer,” said Church. “Kim is an extremely hard worker and everything she has done throughout her career has prepared her for this moment. She is going to be a great addition to that program. I’m excited for her and cannot wait to see what she accomplishes there and beyond.”
DeCesare went on to play professionally after her time at Duke, beginning her career with the Boston Breakers of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and Eskilstuna United DFF in Sweden in 2014. She then came back to the United States in 2015 to play with Sky Blue FC of the NWSL for three seasons. DeCesare then went to the Netherlands to play for PSV Eindhoven for one full season before joining the Elon women’s soccer staff.
Since she stepped foot on Duke University’s campus as a freshman, DeCesare knew that coaching was something she wanted to pursue in the future. “From the time I was a freshman, I knew I wanted to coach in the college game,” DeCesare explained. “I am thrilled to begin my career at Elon University.”