Head Women's Soccer Coach Mike Lynch enters his eighth season as Belmont Abbey's all-time wins leader, standing 94-39-13 with the Crusaders. Overall, he has over three decades of coaching experience including 15 years at the collegiate level. Prior to his appointment in June 2011, Lynch held head coaching stints at Nebraska Wesleyan (NCAA DIII) and Truman State (NCAA DII), and as an assistant at the United States Air Force Academy (NCAA DI).
Lynch came to the Abbey with a clear mission to graduate leaders committed to excellence and virtue, win the Conference Carolinas and advance at the postseason NCAA national tournament. Lynch’s Belmont Abbey teams have played in six conference championship finals, winning titles in 2012 and 2014. During this time, the team also participated in three straight NCAA tournaments advancing to the round of 32 in 2012 and sweet 16 in 2013. In 2015, the team went undefeated (11-0) in conference play to win the regular season championship, earning Lynch Conference Coach of the Year honors.
The Crusaders' success has not just been confined to the field. The team has earned five straight United Soccer Coaches Team Academic awards recognizing a team grade-point average for both semesters over 3.0. During the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semester, the team held the highest GPA average among all the Belmont Abbey athletic teams with averages of 3.45 and 3.53 (on a 4.0 scale). Additionally, the team received recognition by United Soccer Coaches for four straight Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Silver Awards, rewarding season-long competition without receiving a single red card ejection and less than six total yellow card cautions. Similarly, Conference Carolinas recognized the team with 2017 and 2018 Messick Sportsmanship Awards recognizing excellence in sportsmanship among all the women’s soccer programs in the league.
Lynch played college soccer at the Air Force Academy, earning all-league and all-region accolades. He earned the US Soccer Federation National “A” Coaching license in 1992 and the NSCAA “Premier” Diploma and US Soccer Federation National “Youth” Coaching licenses in 2010. Lynch has been heavily involved in youth soccer since 1985, coaching Olympic Development Program (ODP) and select club soccer teams in Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Carolina. Lynch’s club teams won the 1997 Colorado U-18 girls and 2010 Nebraska U-13 boys state championships. His 2010 U-13 Boys team also won the Region II Fair Play award at the regional championships recognizing coach, player and parent sportsmanship.
Lynch earned a Master of Science degree from Central Michigan University. In addition to the college coaching profession, Lynch served as an officer in the United States Air Force and also worked as a manager in the healthcare industry. In 2009, Lynch founded WINning Coaching LLC, a company specializing in developing leadership, performance and virtue in business and sport. In 2017, He was appointed the United Soccer Coaches D2 Women’s College representative and the United Soccer Coaches Chair of the Faith-Based Coaches membership group.
Growing up a military “brat,” Lynch has lived all over the United States. He followed his father’s footsteps into the Air Force, marking his family’s six straight generations of military service dating back to the US Civil War. Lynch is married and has three children. He and his family love most anything outdoors (skiing, biking, hiking, boating, running). Lynch, an avid runner until undergoing bilateral hip resurfacing surgeries, has completed several marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2004.