All-American assistant comes back to Ames to join soccer coaching staff

Trey Alessio

At any ISU soccer game, assistant coach Megan Kerns can be seen sitting on the sideline, remaining cool and collected or giving some of the players tips for the game, but what many don’t know is how good she used to be on the field.

It all started when Kerns was four years old.

“I was living in [Las] Vegas at the time, and my dad actually played soccer in college, so he always kind of got me involved in the sport,” Kerns said. “From the age of four, I fell in love. I was absolutely hooked.”

From there, Kerns moved to Ames where she got involved with multiple soccer clubs growing up. As she got older, the club did a lot of traveling.

“Florida saw me at a tournament in Ohio,” Kerns said. “That was really when I hooked their interest, and they hooked mine.”

She said it was the perfect fit for her—academically, athletically, and weather-wise.

While playing for Florida from 2005-08, Kerns acquired numerous accolades and awards. During her senior year, she made first team All-South Eastern Conference. Kerns finished her career with the Gators in the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships where she led them in goals and was tied for first in assists.

But even after all that, she said her biggest accomplishment was something else.

“I would say my favorite accomplishment was my Academic All-American Award because that one kind of recognized both your academic achievements and your athletic achievements,” Kerns said. “You have to contribute so much to the team as well as holding high academic standards.”

The spring after Kerns senior season at Florida, she got drafted by St. Louis to play in Women’s Professional Soccer. While she was training at Iowa State, as well as getting on as a volunteer assistant coach, she tore her MCL.

After the injury, Kerns had her fifth surgery and resorted back to Iowa State. She used up her four years of eligibility at Florida but never got her degree because she got drafted, so Kerns decided to come back to her hometown to finish up school as well as continue on as an assistant coach.

“I absolutely love Ames. I love this community,” Kerns said. “I wanted to come back to Ames no matter what, and Tony [Minatta] gave me this great opportunity.”

For someone who had parents who worked at Iowa State, grew up around the culture and went to ISU soccer games since the program’s beginning, it was an opportunity Kerns felt like she couldn’t pass up on.

“It’s great to have somebody that’s played at such a high level on the big stage, getting to the perennial NCAA tournament and being a goal scorer,” Minatta said. “Being in there, [Kerns] can identify with those players. They can really draw from her experiences.”

Kerns doesn’t know what’s in her future, but she’s perfectly content with where she is now.

“I’m very happy in my position, and I don’t see myself changing in the near future,” Kerns said. “I’ll stay as long as Tony [Minatta] will keep me.”