CHICAGO – The Saint Xavier University Athletics Department recently named Evan Strehlau as the new head coach of its women's soccer program with the new hire taking effect on July 1. Strehlau becomes the fourth head women's soccer coach in SXU history since the program began in 1997. He replaces Jeremy Ekeler, who served as head coach for four seasons (2008-11) before leaving the position to pursue a new career venture in Nebraska. Strehlau served the previous four seasons as an assistant coach for the Cougar women's soccer team under Ekeler and has held a variety of coaching stints around the South Side of Chicago.
In addition to his assistant coaching duties at Saint Xavier, Strehlau also spent the 2011 season as the head varsity girls soccer coach at neighboring Mother McAuley High School. In 2007 and 2008, he served as head varsity girls soccer coach at Queen of Peace High School in Burbank. Strehlau has also held a number of assistant coaching positions in the area, including stints with the Chicago Red Eleven (2009-10), Chicago Gaels (2005-08), Moraine Valley Community College and Victor J. Andrew High School. As a player, Strehlau was the starting goalkeeper at Moraine Valley Community College in 1997 and 1998. He was an all-regional and all-conference selection in 1998 before an injury ended his collegiate playing career.
"We had several highly qualified candidates for this position, but when it came down to making the final decision I felt that Evan stood out in the field," said SXU Athletics Director Bob Hallberg. "I believe that his experience and familiarity with the program over the past four years provides us with the best opportunity to move forward and continue a winning tradition."
The Saint Xavier University women's soccer team competes as a member of both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). The team begins its next season in August 2012. The program has a rich history of success with five CCAC regular season titles, four CCAC Tournament championships and two trips to the NAIA Women's Soccer National Championships.
"First, I would like to thank my wife and daughter for standing by me and always providing me with tons of support," said Strehlau. "I'd also like to thank Saint Xavier University for giving me this wonderful opportunity and trusting that I am capable of leading this highly talented team into the future. I have big shoes to fill, but after working with Jeremy (Ekeler) over these last four years, he has prepared me well. I can't wait for this season to start and help these young women make their mark."
Strehlau received his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) in 2002 along with his K-12 teaching certificate. The Tennessee native now resides in Romeoville, Ill., with his wife, Christina, and three-year-old daughter, Mackenzie.