Westmont hires Cappuccilli as women’s soccer coach

Assistant Chantel Cappuccilli has been named the head coach of the Westmont women’s soccer team, Athletic Director Dave Odell announced Thursday.

Chantel Cappuccilli is the new women's soccer coach at Westmont College.

Chantel Cappuccilli is the new women’s soccer coach at Westmont College.

Cappuccilli has served as an assistant coach under Kristi Kiely for the past two seasons. Kiely resigned last month to take an assistant coach position at the University of Arkansas.

Cappuccilli becomes Westmont’s 11th coach in 34th seasons of competing in women’s soccer.

“We had a very large applicant pool as our program is considered a top tier opportunity for many,” said Odell. “In the process of considering other applicants, I became more and more certain that the right choice for Westmont was right under our noses.”

A former NCAA Division 1 player, Cappuccilli expressed gratitude in being selected to run the Westmont program.

“I abound in thankfulness and could not be more excited to lead the women’s program,” she said. “Thank you to our athletic director, Dave Odell, and Westmont faculty and staff who were a part of the selection process. Also, thank you to Kristi Kiely for showing me what it means to be a woman of faith, integrity and grace while leading a group of women on and off the soccer field.”

Cappuccilli attended Saint Mary’s (Calif.), where she played Division I soccer for two seasons. She transferred to Cal Baptist after her sophomore year and finished out her career in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. She was named the Christian College Athletic Association Tournament Defensive MVP and named to the Pacific West All-Conference Team as a senior.

She holds a master’s degree in kinesiology and sports management from Cal Baptist.

In her two years coaching at Westmont, the women’s soccer program has been one of the most highly regarded in the NAIA. In addition to consistent high national rankings, the Warriors have won a Golden State Athletic Conference championship and have been national runner-up.

“It is more than coincidental that Chantel has been here over the last two years when we have had the most success in nearly a decade,” asserted Kiely. “She has worked individually with our players on the technical side of the game, which is an area of expertise for her.

“Chantel has been around the program long enough and deep enough to understand the things that are intrinsically a part of the program,” Kiely added. “Those things need their own touch, which I think Chantel will provide. She will be able to continue the things that are important and valuable — the rich tradition of success, the valuing of education and excellence in the classroom, a greater understanding of growth for each individual.”

Said Odell: “I have a great level of confidence in Chantel,” noted Odell, “her experience level is very comparable to some of our most successful coaches when they first arrived at Westmont. From day one, Coach Cappuccilli has embraced the community and culture surrounding Westmont athletics, I am thankful she has agreed to take on this challenge.”