WILTON, Conn. -- Wilton native and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristine Lilly is moving to the next point in her soccer career, joining the staff of the Longhorns in Austin, Texas, as a volunteer assistant coach.
University of Texas head soccer coach Angela Kelly announced the hiring of Lilly on Thursday. The two were college teammates at North Carolina for two seasons in 1991-92.
One of the most accomplished players in soccer and one of the most successful female athletes in U.S. history, Lilly remains the world's all-time appearance leader with 352 caps. Before her retirement as a player on Jan. 5, 2011, she played in five FIFA Women's World Cups (1991 champion, 1995 third place, 1999 champion, 2003 third place and 2007 third place) and three Olympic Games (1996 gold medal, 2000 silver medal, 2004 gold medal), helping Team USA win four of those tourneys, finish second once and third three times. Lilly was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2012 and the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014.
"I was fortunate to have so many memorable moments as a player, and now it's all about giving back to the game that has given me so much," Lilly said. "The opportunity to come to The University of Texas and work with young ladies aspiring to the highest level really excites me. Ange and I share a common philosophy, mentality and passion for the game. We have known each other for 20 years. We have won championships together as teammates, and now we look forward to winning championships together here at Texas."
Lilly, a 1989 graduate of Wilton High School, is the only player to appear for the United States in four different decades and is both the youngest and oldest player to ever score a goal for Team USA. She debuted for the U.S. at the age of 16 years and 12 days on Aug. 3, 1987.
Lilly served as captain for the U.S. Women's National Team from 2005-07. Prior to the 2008 Olympics, she played in every match the U.S. Women's National Team played in Women's World Cup and Olympic competition. Lilly scored 130 goals in her career, and she is the all-time leader in minutes played (28,700).
"Kristine Lilly is so highly respected all over the world for her accomplishments in the game of soccer," said Kelly. "She is a world champion and a gold medalist who had the ability to play at the highest international level for over two decades. With 352 caps, the knowledge that she possesses in reference to the game is tremendous. As a staff, we can't wait to have that type of expertise sitting beside us on the bench. Her passion and competitive spirit will be infectious for this program."
Lilly is married to David Heavey. The couple has two daughters, Sidney, 6, and Jordan, 3, and lives in the Boston area.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.