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Aimee Haywood
Aimee Haywood was hired in December of 2021.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Women’s Soccer Coach Signs Contract Extension

Following the best conference finish in program history last fall, App State head soccer coach Aimee Haywood has signed a contract extension that runs through the 2027 season, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced Friday. The extension was approved by Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees.

“We are extremely excited about the direction of App State Soccer under Aimee,” Gillin said. “After achieving the best conference finish in program history, we look forward to our soccer student-athletes’ continued pursuit of excellence in the classroom, in the community and in competition.”

In 2023, Haywood led the Mountaineers to their most overall and conference wins since 2018, and recorded a program-record third place conference finish. The team tallied a program-best eight shutouts in the process, conceding just 16 goals on the season, the fewest in a year in program history. App State finished with its best RPI since 2015.

App State’s 15 wins under Haywood are the most in a head coach’s first two years leading the program.

“I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Everts, Doug Gillin and Jonathan Reeder for their continued trust in my leadership of this program,” Haywood said. “I am grateful to each of them for their work and leadership in providing the resources and opportunities necessary for this program to grow over the last two years and years to come.

“There is a lot of momentum on this mountain for our soccer program and the University as a whole and I’m incredibly grateful and excited to be a part of it. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my team and my staff for the hard work they put in every single day to elevate themselves and our program.”

Since taking over the program in December 2021, Haywood’s Mountaineers have far exceeded expectations. Picked 13th in the Sun Belt in 2022, App State finished seventh in the league standings, and then achieved their third-place finish in 2023 despite being tabbed eighth in the league preseason poll.

Under Haywood’s tutelage, senior forward Izzi Wood earned All-Sun Belt honors in 2023, becoming the first Mountaineer to earn that distinction since 2018. Haywood’s first recruiting class also saw Summer Bowman notch four goals and three assists in 15 games, while Olivia Simon recorded four goals and one assist in 18 games, including the first hat trick by an App State player since 2014.

Off the field, Haywood has demonstrated a commitment to developing well-rounded student-athletes by incorporating “mind gym” and “culture class” as ongoing team initiatives. App State soccer student-athletes have excelled in the classroom as well, with 11 team members earning Chancellor’s List recognition and seven earning Dean’s List honors this past fall. The team has maintained at least a 3.45 cumulative GPA throughout her tenure.

Haywood and her team will be hosting a trio of spring matches in Boone over the coming weeks. On Sunday, March 24, App State will play matches against Western Carolina at 1 p.m. and Lees-McRae at 3:40 p.m. Then, on Wednesday, April 3, App State will host North Carolina, which has made the NCAA tournament each of the last 42 seasons and won 21 national championships.