Krista McKendree enters her 10th year as head coach of the women’s soccer program in 2017, already building an impressive resume, including a pair of Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year awards, two conference tournament titles, a regular season crown, and a pair of NCAA tournament berths. She has enjoyed great success, leading the Purple Aces to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship match in each of the last three seasons.
The only All-American in UE women’s soccer history, McKendree served as an assistant coach at her alma mater from 2005 through 2007, then took over as head coach in 2008. That 2008 team won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship, the State Farm MVC Tournament championship, and earned Evansville’s fourth NCAA Tournament berth.
To cap it off, McKendree received the 2008 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year award, shared with assistants Matt Kagan and Corey Southers. Never before had a first-year coach at the University of Evansville in any sport led his or her team to an NCAA Division I Tournament.
The 2015 season as one of her best as the Aces bounced back from a slow start to win three of their last four regular season games before riding a strong defensive effort to an MVC tournament crown. UE did not allow a goal over the 200 minutes, as MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player Whitney Biggs helped the team punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament.
In 2014, UE advanced to the MVC Championship match, falling just shy of advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The Purple Aces ended the year 11-6-3 overall, including a 3-2-1 mark in conference play. The team posted nine shutouts on the season, a 0.58 goals against average and a school record stretch of 631:57 without allowing a goal. Taylor Brand was named MVC Defensive Player of the Year and Goalkeeper Simone Busby was recognized as MVC Goalkeeper of the Year under his guidance.
In 2013, McKendree led UE to a 9-6-4 season and fifth place finish in the MVC. The Aces won six straight matches from September 6 to October 6 and didn’t lose a match over a span of eight consecutive matches. Kayla Smith had a team-best five goals and four assists on the season. Evansville knocked off Missouri State in the opening round of the MVC Tournament 6-5 in penalty kills before falling 3-1 to Illinois State in the semifinals.
During the 2012 campaign, McKendree guided the Aces to their second MVC regular-season championship during her tenure, despite UE being picked last in the MVC Preseason Poll. After a slow start to the season, McKendree’s squad found its stride in Valley play, as Evansville finished 4-1-1 in league action claim the regular-season crown. A total of six Aces were named to All-MVC squads, including a pair of freshmen in Simone Busby and Abby Springer, who were named the MVC Goalkeeper of the Year and MVC Freshman of the Year, respectively. Stephanie Thompson joined Busby and Springer on the All-MVC First Team, marking the first time since 2008 that three or more UE players were selected to the All-MVC First Team in the same season.
In 2011, McKendree led the Aces to their seventh consecutive appearance in the MVC Tournament and a trip to the semifinals after earning victories in three consecutive must-win matches. The Aces knocked off Drake, first-place contender Missouri State, and the Bulldogs again in the MVC First Round at home, earning a trip to Springfield, Mo. as the No. 4 seed. Under McKendree’s direction, five Aces earned all-conference honors that spring.
McKendree’s 2009 and 2010 teams were dominated by freshmen and sophomores, including 2010 MVC Freshman of the Year Breanna Beine, who made first team all-conference and finished among the league scoring leaders with seven goals. Four UE players earned all-conference honors in 2010 as the Aces made a trip to the MVC Tournament semifinals.
McKendree’s rise to the head coaching position at her alma mater began when she returned to UE in 2005 soon after Chris Pfau was hired as head coach. Evansville’s win total immediately more than tripled, from three in 2004 to 10 in 2005. In 2006, McKendree was part of the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Soccer Coaching Staff of the Year. And in 2007, the Aces climbed to second place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings and won 10 matches for the third consecutive year. When Pfau left UE to become head coach at Akron, McKendree was the popular choice to replace him.
Then came the outstanding 2008 season in which the Aces produced a 13-5-2 record and the all-time leading scorer in MVC history–senior forward Kayla Lambert.
McKendree led Evansville to the NCAA Tournament as a player in 1998, 1999 and 2001. She is regarded as the best defender ever to play for the Purple Aces, and in 2006 was chosen for the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Soccer All-Centennial Team. She was a first team all-MVC player all four years, from 1998 through 2001. McKendree was the MVC Defensive Player of the Year in 1999, and in 2000 was MVC Player of the Year. She was chosen third team on the 2000 NSCAA / Adidas Women’s Soccer Division I All-America Team, becoming Evansville’s first All-American in women’s soccer.
McKendree was also a member of the MVC Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete Team in 2000 and 2001. With her in the lineup, UE won three MVC regular season championships, three MVC post-season tournament championships, and reached the NCAA Tournament three times during her career. In McKendree’s four years as a player at Evansville, the Aces posted a record of 52-28-7.
Krista and her husband, Mike Board, were married in December, 2008. They welcomed daughter Carly Rose Broad into the family in November 2013.