Nate Norman was named head coach of the WMU women’s soccer program on July 12, 2012.
For the second time in three seasons Norman led the Broncos to a Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship game appearance. WMU ultimately fell to Buffalo 1-0 to miss out on their second-straight NCAA Women's College Cup berth. Western Michigan finished with a 12-7-1 overall and 5-5-1 in MAC play. Rachel Chaney, Lindsey Lee and Kylie Nylen were all named Second Team All-MAC. Freshman Emma Kahn, who led the team with four game-winning goals, was named to the MAC All-Freshman squad. Once again the Broncos had great academic success with 13 student-athletes earning Academic All-MAC and seven earning MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete awards.
In just his second year he led the Broncos to a Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship, just the second in program history, after a 1-0 win over Ball State. Norman then led the team to a 1-0 win over No. 2 seeded Marquette for the largest upset in the history of the NCAA Women's College Cup since its reorganization. A record six Broncos were named All-MAC and the success didn't stop on the field as nine were named Academic All-MAC. Under Norman the team finished the season with 12 wins, a 7-2-2 MAC record and recorded a program-best 12 shutouts.
In his first season as head coach he helped establish a tough defense, which finished as one in the top of Mid-American Conference. The Broncos just missed out on making the MAC Tournament but still saw four student-athletes named Academic All-MAC and Kelsey Baskins and Anina Cicerone named Capitol One Second Team Academic All-District.
Norman, 29, returns to Kalamazoo and Western Michigan after a season as an assistant coach for the University of Miami (Fla.), where he helped the program to its best season in program history. With Norman’s help the Hurricanes won their first NCAA Tournament game in school history and finished ranked 29th in the nation, all while competing in the top-rated women’s soccer conference in the nation. Norman also helped the team to great academic success, with the Hurricanes achieving the highest GPA in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
He was a Western Michigan’s assistant coach during the 2010 season in which he helped the team to a berth in the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship game and helped coach WMU’s first ever MAC Offensive Player of the Year in Stephanie Skowneski. Helping direct the Bronco attack, team scoring increased by 18 goals from the previous season. Three student-athletes were named All-MAC and the team received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America academic award after finishing the year with a 3.47 GPA.
In 2007 he served as a volunteer assistant for his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. During that year the Irish won the Big East regular season title, and made it to the NCAA quarterfinals before losing to eventual national champion Wake Forest University 1-0 in double overtime. With the Fighting Irish he helped conduct practices, worked individually with players and helped with training the goalkeepers.
Norman’s coaching experience also extends to the high school ranks, where he was the head coach of the varsity boy’s team at Rochester Adams High School in Rochester, Mich., a school he played at and won a state championship in 1999.
As a player at Rochester Adams he was a three time NSCAA All-American in high school. He also was a McDonald’s All-American his senior year, as well as being included in Parade Magazine’s top 20 college soccer recruits in the country his senior year.
Norman also competed on the U16, U18, and U20 United States national teams during his time in high school and throughout college, participating in some of the highest level tournaments throughout the world.
During his career as a student-athlete with the Fighting Irish, Norman tallied nine goals and 15 assists over his four year career. He was named to the Big East Academic All-Star Team three of his four years. Throughout his career his Irish teams participated in the NCAA tournament all four years, including the best ever finish in school history making it to the NCAA quarterfinals his senior year, losing 3-2 to Virginia. His teams also captured a Big East regular season and a Big East tournament title at Notre Dame. Norman graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in theology.
After his career with Notre Dame, Norman was drafted 21st overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2007 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. In 2008 he played professionally for the Charleston Battery of the USL division 1, and in 2009 he played for the Carolina Railhawks also of the USL division 1, before retiring after a serious injury.
Norman and his wife Rachel reside in Kalamazoo.