Head women’s soccer coach Taylor Houck was recently welcomed to the Knox College athletic coaching department. After being hired in March 2019, the women’s team is starting their spring season and Houck is getting her first taste of coaching at Knox.
Houck comes from Caltech, where she built the women’s soccer team from nothing. She had to form the team and started the program entirely.
“It was crazy. It takes a certain level of insanity to be a soccer coach period and then to build a program at a school whose acceptance rate was about six percent was really hard,” Houck said. “They didn’t have a women’s club team […] but because of Title IX, the women were able to play on the men’s varsity.”
After graduating from Villanova University with a bachelor of arts in sociology and playing Division I soccer for four years, Houck played professional soccer in Finland for Pallokissat for one season and now holds her USSF “E” National License and an NSCAA Goalkeeper Levels 1, 2 and 3 diploma. Houck was also an assistant at Oberlin College for two years before going to Caltech.
“I loved Finland because I didn’t get to study abroad while playing Division I […] I decided it was time to try and live abroad and this opportunity popped up so I figured, why not,” Houck said.
Houck had Knox on her radar, especially because she was friends with Chris Haught-Thompson, the previous Knox coach.
“I followed Knox over the years and I knew Chris [Haught-Thompson] and I asked him why Knox soccer was so great and he told me I just had to go,” Houck said.
Right now, Houck is focusing on the spring season for the soccer team and is very happy she took the opportunity here.
“The plan for Spring is to see what they have to offer and to go from there. I don’t think it makes a lot of sense for a coach to jump right in and start implementing their vision without first figuring out who this team is. I come in here with a vision for the program and there will be no middle point and we’d be working against each other.”
The women’s soccer team is currently in spring season and Houck looks forward to the actual competitive season as well.