ST. LOUIS – Kris Bertsch, widely renowned as one of the top assistant coaches in the country, has been named an assistant coach of the Saint Louis University men's soccer program, SLU head coach Kevin Kalish announced today.
Bertsch, whose 10-year collegiate coaching career includes stops at Louisville, Xavier, Syracuse and Connecticut, was most recently part of the Academy staff at Major League Soccer's Atlanta United FC.
“I would like to welcome Kris, Julie and Kaden to the Saint Louis University family," Kalish said. "Throughout our interview process, we were looking for a specific person who embraced the values of SLU, our athletic department and men’s soccer program, while also adding to the culture to bring out the very best in our players. Kris has a wealth of experience in college soccer, while also having worked in Major League Soccer and the Development Academy. He has tremendous character and drive to win championships, graduate our student-athletes and be involved in the St. Louis community. Kris will be heavily involved in all aspects of our program. He is an incredible coach and recruiter, and most importantly, a quality person."
“I would like to first thank Head Men’s Soccer Coach Kevin Kalish for the first class interview process," Bertsch said. "From the moment Kevin and I spoke about the future of the Saint Louis soccer program, it was very clear we shared the same views that winning is and always will be the byproduct of doing things the right way. We both believe in building a culture of excellence and surrounding ourselves with great people to make that happen.
“I’d also like to thank Vice President of Student Development Dr. Kent Porterfield, Director of Athletics Chris May, Senior Associate Director of Athletics Janet Oberle and Head Women’s Soccer Coach Katie Shields for their support and belief in bringing me into the Billiken family. I am excited to share my knowledge of the game, passion for building strong relationships, and desire to succeed to help shape the future of Saint Louis soccer.”
Bertsch has been routinely heralded as one of the top assistant coaches in the country. College Soccer News named him one of the Top 15 Assistant Coaches in the country for three consecutive seasons (2013-15). He was part of the BIG EAST Conference's Coaching Staff of the Year in 2014, and in 2011 was tabbed the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Hired by Atlanta United FC in the summer of 2016, Bertsch was an integral part of the academy staff ver the last two years whose sole purpose was to develop professional players for their USL franchise and first team in MLS. Atlanta United FC was the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy national champion in 2016-17, and Bertsch helped to develop more than 25 Atlanta United players to earn youth national team invitations.
At the NCAA level, Bertsch spent five seasons at Xavier, including the last three (2012-14) as Associate Head Coach. During his tenure at Xavier, the Musketeers advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times, their first appearances in school history.
Bertsch spent one year as an assistant at Syracuse (2009) and Louisville (2015). He was the Director of Soccer Operations at Connecticut, serving a four-year tenure in Storrs from 2005 to 2008. During that time, the Huskies advanced to four straight NCAA Tournaments.
Bertsch was a four-year starting midfielder at American University, where he earned a marketing degree in 2003. He holds a United States Soccer Federation National 'A' Coaching License.