FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University athletic officials have announced the hiring of Chelsea Parker of Johnson City, Tennessee, as the new coach for women’s soccer.
Parker comes to FMU after two seasons as assistant coach at Tusculum University in Greeneville, Tennessee.
While at Tusculum, she served as head coach of the reserve team in addition to assisting with the Division II women’s squad. During the summer of 2019, she also served as the goalkeeper coach with the Asheville City Soccer Club of the Women's Professional Soccer League.
“After an exhaustive search, we have identified the individual we had hoped to find to lead our women’s soccer program into the next decade,” said Francis Marion director of athletics Murray Hartzler. “Chelsea possesses the knowledge of and a passion for the game of soccer that we feel will raise our program to new heights. In the interview process, it quickly became apparent that she was the type of coach we were searching for.”
“I am extremely grateful to Dr. (Fred) Carter and Mr. (Murray) Hartzler for affording me this opportunity,” Parker said. “Both the institution and women’s soccer program are flush with positive attributes and I look forward to being part of a growing and vibrant university in the coming years.”
Parker previously spent three seasons as an assistant and goalkeeper coach at Lees-McRae College. This included mentoring five All-Conference players, including a goalkeeper who was tabbed the league’s 2017 Defensive Player of the Year.
Her first collegiate coaching experience was a two-year stint at Shorter University, where she was the goalkeepers coach and a graduate assistant. She earned a Master of Arts degree in leadership from Shorter in 2014.
Parker also spent seven months as assistant director of coaching for the James Island Soccer Club (Global Premier Soccer) in Charleston.
A goalkeeper, Parker played collegiately at Mars Hill University where she was a four-year letterwinner and earned All-South Atlantic Conference second-team honors in 2010. She logged a 1.32 goals against average that season while posting 76 saves and two shutouts. She served as team captain her final two seasons, and garnered a SAC Senior Academic Award in 2013. She concluded her playing career with a 1.73 GAA in 52 matches with 297 saves and nine shutouts.
Parker graduated from Mars Hill in 2013 with a B.A. degree in history (double minored in English and women's studies). She was a member of the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Phi Alpha Theta and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies.
She holds various coaching licenses, including the USSF Coaching E & D Licenses, a United Coaches Advanced National License, and a United Coaches Goalkeeping License 1 & 2.
Parker becomes the sixth coach in program history as the Patriots begin their 26th season of play this fall.