Wednesday, August 23, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 3 

Cougar Comics Online
Lady Çoogs add standout transfer, assistant coach

C-USA Notebook

Diving coach helps Russian in Sydney Olympics

Sophomore Michael Olague brings experience to men's cross country

About the Cougar

Denommé rejoins UH Soccer team -- as a coach

By Keenan Singleton
Daily Cougar Staff

For the first day on her new job, ex-star UH goalkeeper Michelle Denommé brought along familiar equipment -- cleats, gloves, shin guards and the usual soccer garb to work.

But her role was different. 

She was no longer a player. Injury and eligibility took that away. She was now entering new territory as an assistant coach with the team she helped cultivate from the ground up.

UH head women's coach Bill Solberg and team welcomed Denommé back as she began her first day as the newest/oldest member of the squad.

"It's exciting," Denommé said. "There isn't much of a transition. I'm looking forward to helping out the team as much as possible.

Denommé, who was already dubbed "Mom" by teammates last season, was a natural fit for the position.

Former UH Soccer goalkeeper Michelle Denommé rejoins the team -- this time as an assistant coach. Denommé joins first-year head coach Bill Solberg.

File Photo

"(Denommé) is going to have a huge impact on the team," Solberg said. "She is a natural fit for the team and we are happy to have her back."

"I'm looking forward to helping the team out as much as possible," Denommé said. "I'm very happy with the opportunity."

She will be fulfilling personal goals as she helps tutor the two-headed tandem of talented goalies, junior Susan Barra and junior-transfer student Robin Cate.

"It's kind of reaching your goals as a soccer player," Denommé said. "Most girls I know want to be a coach after their playing careers are done. I've always dreamt of being a coach and just happened to get the opportunity at my last year at the University."

The gracious Denommé was a tad shocked when she received the call for the position in her native homeland, Canada.

"Everything was done over the phone," Denommé said. "It came a little sooner than I expected.

As expected, Denommé will concentrate on the goalies, but she will also contribute with coaching the rest of the team.

"I'm pretty flexible," Denommé said. " I know a lot more about goalkeeping than field players, but I can also definitely help on defense. I'll go anywhere (Solberg) and (fellow assistant coach) Joe Kirt want me. But the first day I should just stick to what I know -- goalkeeping."

"I think we have a solid team here with a lot of good players and recruits," Denommé said. "I'm excited to see them play."

It was the first day in a lot of respects for Denommé. Other than it being her first day as a coach, it was her first "real" test of her ACL, which, when it tore, ended the stellar collegiate career of the ex-UH goalie. 

"I touched the ball a little over the summer," Denommé said. "Today was the first day I really got a chance though. I'm pretty confident about it.

The Cougars begin the 2000 season at home against Texas Christian on Friday night, Aug. 25, and even though Cougar fans will have to become accustomed to seeing a different number other than No. 0 in the net, they can see her at her new job ... still trying to keep the opposition with zero goals.

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