Soccer: Sooners add assistant coach
First year head soccer coach Nicole Nelson completed her staff on Wednesday, naming Graeme (pronounced Gram) Abel an assistant coach. Abel comes to Norman after coaching the past three years on the University of Nevada’s staff.
“Graeme is an incredible addition to our staff,” said Nelson. “He has been exposed to the game at the highest level as a young professional in England, which adds a unique perspective to our program. He has also been mentored by some of the top goalkeeper coaches in both the United States and Europe. Graeme is regarded as one of the top young goalkeeper coaches in the nation and we are excited that he has decided to become a Sooner.”
Abel joined Nevada as an assistant coach in August 2005 and worked primarily with the Wolf Pack’s goalkeepers. With Abel on staff, Nevada enjoyed 30 wins and three straight trips to the Western Athletic Conference tournament, including the 2006 WAC Championship and the program’s only NCAA tournament appearance in 2006. In addition, Abel’s pupils helped anchor a Nevada defense that recorded 23 shutouts in three seasons (Nevada had three in program history prior to his arrival). He also handled aspects relating to compliance and recruiting with the Nevada soccer program.
“I’d like to thank Coach Nelson and the University of Oklahoma for the chance to be a part of the Sooner soccer program,” said Abel. “The commitment to excellence at OU has been very evident since my first meeting with Coach Nelson and all the way through the hiring process. I look forward to assisting this staff in bringing conference and national recognition to OU and its soccer program. I’d also like to thank the University of Nevada and its athletic administration. My time at Nevada has helped prepare me for this exciting step in my career.”
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