COLLEGE WOMEN: April Kater resigns Syracuse post

April Kater, a Hermann Award winner who guided Syracuse University to 88 victories in eight seasons, has resigned as the Orangewomen's women's soccer coach, the university acknowledged Friday.

Kater, who founded the program in 1995, left her post in early April. The school's sports information staff, at Kater's request, did not issue a media release. Kater is planning to pursue environmental studies in New Zealand, the SU Daily Orange reported, and Syracuse is seeking a successor.

Syracuse was 88-57-8 in eight seasons under Kater, who guided the Orangewomen to the NCAA tournament in 1998 and 2001. Kater's teams won 14 games on three occasions and never won fewer than 10 before 2002, when the Orangewomen were 3-11-3, Kater's only losing campaign.

Kater, the 1987 Soccer America Freshman of the Year and 1990 Hermann honoree as the nation's top collegiate player, was a three-time first-team All-American at Massachusetts. She spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at West Virginia Wesleyan and two years as an assistant at UMass before starting the Syracuse program in 1995.

Kater was in the New York Power's training camp prior to the 2002 WUSA season, but an injury finished her attempt to play in the world's top women's league.

Syracuse athletic director Janet Kittell told the Daily Orange that she tried to talk Kater out of resigning.

''Nothing about this was simple,'' Kittell told the Daily Orange. ''[Kater] said it's the hardest decision she's ever made in her life. She said she could be wrong, that she might be sorry. She loves Syracuse University. This was about her needing to test some waters at a time when she feels she needed to.''

Nicholls State and St. Francis, Pa., are seeking head coaches. Jim Zakel resigned last month at Nicholls State to pursue another career. Michael Coll departed St. Francis to become Paula Wilkins' assistant at Penn State, his alma mater.

Coaching openings also exist at Alabama State, Elon, Fresno State, Jacksonville, Long Beach State, Nicholls State and St. Francis, Pa.

Alabama State (SWAC) --
Open; first-year program
Arkansas (SEC) -- Gordon Henderson (Idaho State head coach) for Alan Kirkup (contract not renewed)
Arkansas State (Sun Belt) -- Jason Wharton (Cisco JC, Texas, head coach) for Kent Hefner (fired)
Cal State Northridge (Big West) -- Tony Davila (CS Northridge men's head coach; will coach both teams) for Mac Thompson (interim coach)/Allison Lee (resigned)
Central Michigan (MAC) -- Tony DiTucci (Central Michigan assistant coach) for Mark Salisbury (hired at Idaho State)
Cleveland State (Horizon) -- Derrek Fallor (DePaul assistant); first-year program
Colorado College (Independent) -- Geoffrey Bennett (Hartwick men's assistant) for Erik Oman (interim)/Greg Ryan (hired as U.S. Soccer Region II women's staff coach).
Davidson (Southern) -- Greg Ashton (Trinity, Texas, head coach) for Kevin Hundley (resigned)
Elon (Southern) -- Open; Paul Webster (hired at Elmhurst, Ill., College).
Fresno State (WAC) -- Open; Stacy Welp (resigned)
George Mason (CAA) -- Diane Drake (Georgetown head coach) for Jac Cicala (resigned)
Georgetown (Big East) -- Dave Nolan (Georgetown assistant) for Diane Drake (hired at George Mason)
Georgia Southern (Southern) -- Ashley Hart (UAB assistant) for Tom Norton (resigned)
Holy Cross (Patriot) -- Deborah Flaherty (West Chester head coach) for Mary Curtis (resigned)
Idaho State (Big Sky) -- Mark Salisbury (Central Michigan head coach) for Gordon Henderson (hired at Arkansas)
Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun) -- Open; Mike Johnson (hired as Jacksonville men's coach).
Long Beach State (Big West) -- Open; Peter Reynaud (retired)
Louisiana Tech (WAC) -- Jennifer Soileau (Baton Rouge, La., Bishop Sullivan HS head coach); first-year program.
Mercer (Atlantic Sun) -- Grant Serafy (Macon, Ga., Stratford Academy boys and girls coach) for Jodie Smith (resigned)
Minnesota (Big Ten) -- Mikki Denney Wright (Missouri assistant) for Barbara Wickstrand (contract not renewed)
Montana (Big Sky) -- Neil Sedgwick (USC associate head coach) for Becky Duerksen (resigned)
Morehead State (Ohio Valley) -- Greg Sheen (Dayton Soccer Academy coaching director) for Leslie Faber (resigned)
Nevada (WAC) -- Teri Patraw (former Arizona State head coach) for Dang Pibulvech (contract not renewed; hired as Tulsa assistant coach)
Nicholls State (Southland) -- Open; Jim Zakel (resigned).
St. Francis, Pa. (Northeast) -- Open; Michael Coll (hired as Penn State assistant coach)).
San Diego State (Mountain West) -- Michael Giuliano (Westmont head coach) for Chuck Clegg (retired)
San Jose State (WAC) -- Dave Siracusa (San Diego State men's assistant) for Cris Gilmore (resigned)
Syracuse (Big East) -- Open; April Kater (resigned).
Temple (Atlantic-10) -- David Jones (Temple men's assistant, served as interim 2003) for Seamus McWilliams (resigned)
Tulsa (WAC) -- Rena Richardson (Alabama assistant) for Damon Gore (resigned)
Vermont (America East) -- Kerry Dziczkaniec (Maryland assistant) for Jodi Kenyon (resigned)
Youngstown State (Horizon) -- Anthony James (West Virginia Wesleyan head coach) for Elizabeth Bartley (contract not renewed)

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