Kelly Cagle accepted the Virginia Tech women’s soccer head coach position on December 18, 2002, and has brought the young program to a new level, preparing her team to compete with, and as, some of the top competition in the nation, also priming her teams for consistent postseason play. Cagle has accumulated a 66-60-14 record so far in her career at Tech.
During Cagle’s tenure, which includes six seasons in the treacherous Atlantic Coast Conference, the team has posted four winning seasons, earned three NCAA Tournament berths (2004, 2008 & 2009), defeated 12 top-25 teams and placed 10 athletes on the All-Mid Atlantic Region team. The 2009 season was a program-changing season for the Hokies as Cagle and her staff propelled the program into the national spotlight, guiding the talented squad all the way to the Sweet 16 for the first time after achieving numerous program-firsts in the regular season. The team took down a school-record five top-25 opponents that season and concluded a school record, seven-game win streak with its first defeat of a top-ranked team and North Carolina. The victory made Cagle the only ACC head coach to defeat the Tar Heels as a player, assistant coach and head coach. For all of her success and the success and perseverance of her team, Cagle was named VaSID Coach of the Year in 2009.
The 2008 season was a very accomplished one for Cagle and the Hokies, also a stepping-stone for the success of the 2009 season. The team returned to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history after advancing all the way to the ACC Tournament championship game, a first for the program. En route to its postseason success, the 2008 team put together its best conference record since its first season in the ACC and earned its first victories over top-25 teams, Duke and Virginia. After the historic run and history-making season, Cagle was honored for her coaching in 2008 as she was named the Mid Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, an award that she continuously refers to as a “Staff of the Year” award due to the hard work that both her assistant coaches put in to assemble and advance the talented team.
Besides placing three women on Freshman All-America teams since Cagle arrived at Tech, the Hokies have also rewritten the record book, recording the highest number of wins in a season (16, 2009), goals scored (43, 2004), shutouts (9, 2008 & 2009) and fewest goals allowed (20, 2007). Since joining the ACC in 2004, the program has received 10 All-League selections and one Freshman of the Year award.
In addition, Cagle helped mentor goalkeeper Mallory Soldner, who finished first on Tech’s career list in wins (28) and shutouts (20) and second in saves (328). Soldner received both BIG EAST and ACC Player of the Week honors and became the first player in program history to not only receive CoSIDA Academic All-District honors but also become an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.
Prior to taking the reins in Blacksburg, Cagle spent two seasons playing for the Women’s United Soccer Association’s Atlanta Beat. Before being selected in the 10th round of the WUSA draft, Cagle served as an assistant coach at Wake Forest, where she was also the recruiting coordinator. During her time at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons were ACC finalists in 1999, made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and were a top-20 program from 1997-2000. Prior to her stint at Wake Forest, Cagle was an assistant coach at the University of Texas during the 1996 season.
She also was a coach in the Atlanta Youth Soccer Association, where she was the co-director of the youth developmental program and summer camps in 2002. From 1997-2000, Cagle was co-director of the Tony da Luz Soccer Camp. She has extensive coaching experience at various levels and earned her National “C” license in 2000.
Cagle graduated from Duke in 1996 with a degree in sociology while also earning four varsity letters in soccer. She was a three-time All-American and All-ACC selection in 1993, 1994 and 1995. Cagle was named the ACC Player of the Year in 1995 during her senior year while serving as team captain. Tech’s head coach was selected to the ACC 50th Anniversary Soccer Team and was named to the list of Top 10 athletes at Duke during the 1990s.
Duke was national runner-up in 1992 and made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances during Cagle’s playing days. Cagle holds single-season and career records for shots, goals and points at Duke. She started all 90 games of her career with the Blue Devils and was a member of the U.S. National Team program from 1992-95 and again in 1999.
Kelly Cagle (formerly Walbert) is married to Dan Cagle. The couple has two daughters, Maggie and Nancy.