Oklahoma head soccer coach Nicole Nelson announced Thursday the addition of Kara Lowery to the Sooners’ coaching staff. On top of being an assistant coach at the University of Kansas for the past three years, Lowery also has five years of head coaching experience at Emporia State and St. Gregory’s University. She is a Ponca City, Okla., native and graduated in 1997 from Southern Nazarene University.
“Kara is a tremendous addition to our staff,” said Nelson, who enters her first year at OU’s helm in 2008 and is also an Oklahoma native. “She has experience as a head coach and in the Big 12 Conference and those things are invaluable as we begin the rebuilding process. Kara was considered by some of the top programs this offseason for head coaching and assistant jobs. So I feel very fortunate to have her join the Sooner soccer staff.”
Lowery joined Kansas as an assistant coach in January 2005 and primarily trained the field players while serving as the camp coordinator while working other administrative duties. The Jayhawks enjoyed three top five Big 12 finishes during her tenure in Lawrence, including the 2005 season that saw KU tie for second place in the conference standings.
“I would like to thank Coach Nelson for the opportunity to come back to our home state and make winning championships a Sooner soccer tradition,” Lowery said. “The University of Oklahoma’s commitment to excellence, along with Coach Nelson’s vision for the program, made it very clear that this is a program that will rise to national contention right from the start and I’m very excited to be a part of it. I would also like to thank Mark Francis at the University of Kansas; my time there will always be cherished.”
In 2007, Kansas posted a 7-10-4 overall record, but finished third in the standings with a 5-2-3 mark in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks won 11 games during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, and Lowery coached two All-Americans and 10 All-Big 12 honorees in her three seasons.
Prior to her stint at KU, Lowery was named the Mid America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Coach of the Year following one season at Emporia State. In 2004, she led the Hornets to their first winning season in the program’s four-year history. Emporia State finished the 2004 season 10-8-2 overall and third in the MIAA. The Hornets were also ranked as high as fifth in the NSCAA/adidas Central Region rankings.
Lowery’s other head coaching stop came at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., where she directed the program to four straight appearances in the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament from 2000-2003. Lowery also coached St. Gregory’s to the NAIA Tournament in 2001. During her four-year tenure, the Lady Cavs compiled a 30-38-6 overall record.
In 2001, Lowery was also involved in the Oklahoma Olympic Development Program, where she served as the head coach until she left for her appointment at Emporia State in 2004. She began her collegiate coaching career as an assistant in 1998 at Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Okla. and finished in 2000.
On the playing field at Southern Nazarene University, Lowery earned was an honorable mention All-American as a freshman and sophomore and was named a second team All-American as a junior and senior.
She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from SNU in 1997 and currently holds a USSF “A” Coaching License.