ASHEVILLE, N.C. - UNC Asheville Director of Athletics Director Janet R. Cone has announced the hiring of Nebraska assistant coach Michelle Demko as the Bulldogs new head women's soccer coach effective July 1, pending the approval of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees.
Demko will replace Michele Cornish, the Big South's and UNC Asheville's all-time winningest coach. Cornish stepped down in April to take a head coaching position at Shattuck-St. Mary's Academy in Faribault, Minn.
"We are thrilled to announce the hiring of Michelle Demko as our new head women's soccer coach," stated Cone.
"When we began to look at the applicants for this position, we were determined to find a Champion in Athletics and a Leader in Life," declared Cone. "Michelle fits our vision perfectly. She has been a champion on the field both collegiately and professionally. Michelle has also coached at two outstanding universities. We believe she will do an exemplary job leading our women's soccer program."
"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to become the head women's soccer coach at an outstanding school such as UNC Asheville," stated Demko. "I would like to thank Chancellor Anne Ponder and Director of Athletics Janet Cone for giving me the opportunity to be a head coach. UNC Asheville has a great women's soccer tradition, and I'm anxious to get started on the challenge of getting this program back to the top of the Big South Conference.
"I would also like to thank John Walker (Nebraska Head Women's Soccer Coach) and Tom Osborne (Nebraska Director of Athletics) for the wonderful experience of working at a great school like Nebraska," added Demko.
Demko has been at Nebraska for the past three years and served as the Huskers recruiting coordinator. Nebraska has posted three straight winning seasons and improved its win total each year.
Before coming to Nebraska, Demko spent four years with North Carolina State, helping to improve the Pack from a record of 9-9-1 in 2003 to a record of 11-9-1 in 2006.
Before her stint at NC State, Demko played professionally with the Philadelphia Charge. She was selected in the eighth round (63rd overall) by the Charge and played two seasons in the WUSA, leading Philadelphia into the WUSA Founders Cup semifinals twice.
Demko also had a successful professional career overseas, spending three years in Germany in the competitive Frauen Bundesliga for the SC Klinge Seckah, FSV Frankfurt and Bayern Munich.
She was a starter for all three teams and led Bayern Munich to a league championship. In addition, Demko captured a national title, while playing with the W-League's Maryland Pride from 1994 to 1996.
Demko, who played soccer at the University of Maryland under former U.S. National Team Coach April Heinrichs, was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference's 50th Anniversary Women's Soccer Team. While playing at Maryland, she served as a two-year captain and was voted MVP by her team. She also earned first-team All-ACC honors.
Demko played in three Olympic Festivals (1994-96), as well as being called into national team training camps in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Demko also owns a cap with the U.S. Women's National Team while playing against Germany in 1997.
A native of Largo, Fla., Demko received a bachelor's degree of science-kinesiology from Maryland in 1996. Prior to her arrival at Maryland, she played soccer at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. She helped lead Barry to the 1992 NCAA Division II national title as she scored in the championship match against Adelphi.
What People Are Saying About Michelle Demko
"Michelle Demko is one of the brightest and best female head coaches I have observed coaching. She is passionate about the game, cares about her players and is a fabulous role model for all. Student-Athletes will push themselves and each other while playing for Michelle at UNC Ashville."
Former Head Coach at Maryland
Former United States National Team Coach
"Michelle will do a terrific job at UNC Asheville. She brings incredible experience as a former professional player and during her tenure at Nebraska. She proved herself to be an excellent recruiter, a creative and disciplined coach, and most of all, she brings her outstanding character and passion which will become the foundation of her program at UNC Asheville. We will miss her at Nebraska but we are excited to follow her progress with her new program."
Nebraska Head Women's Soccer Coach