Aberdeen, S.D. (NSUWolves.com) – First year Northern State head coach, Ryszard Gorski announced today the addition of Rachael Norton as the Wolves first full-time assistant coach in program history. The newly added position came to fruition through the NCAA Division II Coaching Enhancement Grant. Norton joins the Northern State staff after a decorated playing career at Bemidji State University.
“We are very excited to be able to add Rachael as our first full-time women’s soccer assistant coach,” explained Josh Moon, NSU Director of Athletics. “Our goal is to elevate Wolves soccer to the top of the NSIC and be competitive at the highest levels in the country. We started by building the best soccer facility in the country and region, and now we are adding a full-time coach that will work with Coach Gorski to continue to improve the student-athlete experience at NSU. We would like to thank the NCAA for selecting NSU for this grant and a huge thank you to President Downs and our senior administration for their continued belief in elevating women’s athletics at NSU.”
The Division II Coaching Enhancement Grant provides NCAA funding for the creation of new, full-time assistant coaching positions at NCAA Division II member schools intended to encourage access, recruitment, selection and the long-term success of ethnic minorities and women.
“I am excited, honored, and humbled by the opportunity to be part of the program and staff at Northern State University,” noted Norton. “I would like to thank Coach Gorski, President Downs, Zach Flakus, and Josh Moon, for their belief in me, and I look forward to helping build the soccer program! College soccer is a huge passion of mine and I’m so lucky to be able to coach in the conference I gave my blood, sweat, and tears! I can’t wait to inspire these girls the way that I was inspired as a player. Go Wolves!”
Norton began her coaching career working the Bemidji State University summer soccer camps from 2016-18. She has also held a variety of leadership roles throughout her playing career, including being named captain of high school, club, and collegiate teams.
“I am very excited to have Rachael joining the Wolf Pack as an assistant coach,” added Gorski. “She brings great passion and has all the necessary tools to be an exceptional coach. The experience she has accumulated as a former student-athlete at the Division II level will position her perfectly to immediately excel. Rachael is a champion both on the field and in the classroom, and I have no doubt she will be a major part of our success to recruit, retain and develop difference makers on and off the field. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Rachael while working with her as a student-athlete and now look forward to working with her on my staff.”
As an undergraduate, Norton worked in the Bemidji State Athletic Media Relations office, dealing primarily with the BSU Beavers social media accounts. In addition, she worked to develop new ideas and promotions with the BSU media relations director to increase attendance at home games.
Norton was a 4-year starter for the Beavers and 2019 United Soccer Coaches and D2CCA All-American. She led Bemidji State to the NSIC Conference Championship her senior season and was named the league Player of the Year. Norton was a 2-time NCAA All-Region selection for BSU and concluded her career as the all-time leader in scoring and points, with 49 goals and 125 points in four years.
She graduated in May of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications from Bemidji State University.