Head coach Janet Rayfield's five-year contract extension will keep her with the Illini through 2017.
July 16, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas announced Tuesday a five-year contract extension for Fighting Illini women's soccer head coach Janet Rayfield. The new deal will keep Rayfield with the Orange and Blue through 2017.
"This contract extension is truly an expression of mutual commitment between Mike Thomas and myself to take this program to the next level," Rayfield said. "It has been an incredible 18 months of soccer for me and I am excited to leverage those experiences as we continue to provide student-athletes with an invaluable athletic and academic experience. I am grateful for the confidence Mike Thomas is showing in me with this contract extension and look forward to the great things ahead for our soccer program and for all Illini athletics."
Rayfield, who took the helm of the Illini soccer program in 2002, is the all-time winningest coach at Illinois, accumulating a record of 140-80-22 in 11 seasons. The 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year has guided the Illini to nine of their 11 total NCAA Tournament appearances, led Illinois to Big Ten Tournament Championships in 2003 and 2011 and developed five Big Ten Players of the Year and six All-Americans.
Rayfield recently capped off an exciting 2012-13 year in which she led the Illini to a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and became the first-ever female recipient of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Honor Award. The Honor Award, which has been presented yearly since 1942, is the most prestigious distinction the NSCAA presents to an individual as it recognizes the individual's contribution to the game of soccer and to the NSCAA.
Along with her success at Illinois, Rayfield has continued to add to her impressive resume on the national scene. She served as a scout for the U.S. Women's National Team at the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany and served as an assistant coach for the U-20 U.S. Women's National Team. In September 2012, Rayfield and the U-20 U.S. squad brought home a gold medal after defeating Germany in the U-20 World Cup final in Tokyo, Japan.