EUGENE, Ore. – Head coach Kat Mertz recently announced the hiring of Christie Welsh as an assistant coach for the University of Oregon women’s soccer program. Welsh, a Hermann Trophy winner and former U.S. National Team member, was one of the most decorated players in Penn State University and Big Ten Conference history.

“I am very excited to complete our staff with the hiring of Christie Welsh,” Mertz said. “She brings with her a wealth of playing experience at the highest level. Christie is highly motivated and passionate for the sport and will serve as a positive role model for our team.”

Welsh comes to UO after spending the 2012 season as an assistant at St. Joseph’s helping the Hawks to a 9-7-4 overall record. Welsh began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Penn State (2004-06) while she was competing with the U.S. National Team. She also worked as a volunteer assistant at Wisconsin in 2011.

A member of the U.S. National Team from 2000 until 2008, Welsh tallied 20 goals over 39 international contests. An alternate for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she was part of the 2004, 2006, and 2007 Olympic and World Cup training residencies.

In 2005, Welsh helped the U.S. National Team capture the Algarve Cup, tallying a team-best five goals, including the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Germany in the finals.

Welsh was the first Penn State player to earn NSCAA All-America honors in each of her four years, while leading her squad to four-straight Big Ten titles and two Final Four appearances from 1999-02.

She was the first player in conference history to be named Big Ten Player of the Year three consecutive seasons. On the field, Welsh set the Big Ten's record for goals (82), assists (52) and points (216), with her career points mark still standing. She was recognized as the top collegiate player receiving both the Hermann Trophy and M.A.C. Player of the Year honors.

Following her collegiate career, Welsh was drafted second overall in the 2003 WUSA Draft by the New York Power. Leading her team in scoring, Welsh would go on to play internationally for KIF Orebro of Sweden's First Division in 2004 and Olympique Lyonnaise of the French First Division in 2005.

Additionally, she helped the Washington Freedom to the 2005 W-League championship, and the NJ Wildcats to the 2007 title, garnering MVP honors along the way. Recently, she has played in the Women's Professional Soccer League, competing for both the LA Sol and St. Louis Athletica in 2009 and the Washington Freedom in 2010.

A native of Massapequa, N.Y., Welsh led Massapequa High School to the 1997 New York State Championship and earned Parade All-American honors twice. The 1998 Gatorade Circle of Champions National High School Girls' Soccer Player of the Year, she was named an NSCAA All-American as a senior.