Keeley Dowling, one of the most decorated student-athletes in Tennessee soccer history, began her coaching career for her alma mater in 2008 and is now in her fourth season. Dowling joins the staff of her former head coach Angela Kelly and fifth-year assistant Joe Kirt on the sidelines.
Between her first and second years at Tennessee, Dowling became a professional champion as Sky Blue FC won the Women's Professional Soccer title, with Dowling scoring the eventual winning goal during a 1-0 semifinal victory. As a result of her efforts, she and her teammates received the opportunity to visit the White House in the summer of 2010 to be honored by U.S. President Barack Obama. She has since moved on to continue her pro career with the WPS' Atlanta Beat.
In her first year as an assistant (2008), Dowling helped guide the Lady Vols to their eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth SEC Tournament title. Along with Kirt, Dowling helped coach a young backline that was comprised of just one upperclassman and two returning starters. Under Dowling's guidance, Grace Cuenin made the transition from rarely used forward to solid center back starting 17 matches in 2008.
During the offseason, Dowling played for Sky Blue FC of the WPS. After signing a contract following her selection as the eighth overall pick of the WPS Allocation Draft in October 2008, Dowling earned a spot as a starter on the backline for Sky Blue, joining U.S. Women's National Team members Christie Rampone, Heather O'Reilly and Natasha Kai on the roster.
Prior to joining the Lady Vol staff, Dowling filled in for former assistant Jen Laughridge Grubb on the sidelines after Grubb gave birth to her first child on Nov. 13, 2007. Dowling served as Tennessee's interim assistant coach from the opening rounds of the 2007 NCAA Tournament through the end of Grubb's maternity leave.
A native of Carmel, Ind., Dowling earned three consecutive All-America selections during her playing career at Tennessee (2001-04), helping the Lady Vols to their first Sweet 16 appearance in 2002. As the program's first All-American, Dowling guided UT to a 63-22-6 overall record while wearing the Orange and White.
Between 2001-04, she picked up All-America honors from four different organizations, was named Central Region Player of the Year twice (2003-04), earned four selections to the All-Central Region Team and took home back-to-back Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year awards (2003-04). Dowling was also a four-time All-SEC selection and a two-time National Player of the Year semifinalist.
During her time, Dowling made her mark on the Lady Vol record books, finishing her career with 25 goals, 15 assists, 65 points, 89 games played and 89 games started. Today, she still remains in the career top 10 at Tennessee in matches played and started, points and goals.
After exhausting her eligibility, Dowling spent one season as a student assistant coach under Kelly before playing for the United Soccer League's Carolina Hawks and professionally in Sweden.
Dowling brings international experience to the sidelines as well. As a captain on the U.S. Under-19 National Team, Dowling earned a gold medal at the FIFA World Championships in 2002. Two years later, she helped the U.S. U-21s to a gold medal in the Nordic Cup. In 2007, she was one of 35 players selected to compete for a spot on the national team roster for the Algarve Cup in Portugal and competed for a spot on the roster for the 2008 Olympic Games. Though she did not make final cuts, Dowling signed a contract with U.S. Soccer in March, giving her an automatic invitation to any national team tryouts for the next year.
Dowling completed coursework for her Bachelor of Science in education with an emphasis on exercise science in December 2005. During her time at UT, Dowling was named Academic All-SEC three times.
|The Dowling File|
|Name: Keeley Dowling|
|Birth Date: February 17, 1983|
|Hometown: Carmel, Ind.|
|Education: B.S. in Exercise Science|
|University of Tennessee, 2005|
|Interim Assistant Coach, University of Tennessee, 2007-08|
|Student Assistant Coach, University of Tennessee, 2005|
|Helped UT to two NCAA Tournament wins as interim assistant coach in 2007|
|Guided Tennessee to its fourth SEC Tournament title in 2008|
|The Dowling File|
|Four-year letterwinner with Tennessee|
|Three-time NSCAA All-American|
|Tennessee's first All-American|
|Two-time M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Finalist|
|Two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year|
|2004 U.S. U-21 National Team member|
|2004 Nodic Cup gold medalist|
|2002 U.S. U-19 National Team captain|
|2002 FIFA U-19 World Championships gold medalist|