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Austin Nyquist Joins Men's Soccer as Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

ORLANDO – After spending the last seven years as an assistant coach with Grand Canyon and Portland, Austin Nyquist joins the UCF men’s soccer team as its newest assistant coach and recruiting coordinator ahead of the fall 2024 season, Knights head coach Scott Calabrese announced.

“It’s a privilege to join the UCF family, and I am incredibly grateful to coach Calabrese for the opportunity to join the Knights soccer program as we pursue a national championship. The values, culture and work ethic instilled within both the staff and team are something I look forward to becoming a part of. I am thankful for the trust they put in me already and I can’t wait to get started.”

Austin NyquistUCF Men's Soccer Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

Nyquist most recently served as an assistant coach with the Grand Canyon Antelopes from 2021-23, also as the program’s assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. With Nyquist’s help, the Lopes recorded a 29-19-7 aggregate record in three seasons, including two WAC Tournament berths and the program’s first home NCAA Tournament match against Denver Nov. 18, 2021.

The Lopes also saw two players drafted in the first round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft following Nyquist’s first season with Grand Canyon, in Esai Easley (22nd overall to Sporting Kansas City) and Justin Rasmussen (27th overall to the Portland Timbers). Easley won WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2021, while Rasmussen earned All-WAC First Team honors.

In his second season with the Lopes, Nyquist saw two players earn MLS Next Pro contracts in Shaun Joash with Huntsville City and Ben Awashie with New England Revolution II.

“I want to add value to the staff under the leadership of Scott and Paul (Souders) and find ways to contribute to the team on and off the field. In a broader sense, compete nationally for a national championship. That’s the goal of the program, and that’s the goal for me.”


Prior to joining GCU, Nyquist spent three seasons with Portland from 2018-21 as an assistant coach and the director of performance analysis. The Pilots recorded an aggregate 24-15-7 record in his tenure in the Pacific Northwest, including a 12-4-3 record and an NCAA Tournament Second Round berth in 2018.

During his time with Portland, Nyquist also recruited a pair of eventual 2024 MLS SuperDraft selections in Jacob Babalai (41st overall to Charlotte FC) and Buba Fofanah (81st overall to Seattle Sounders FC).

In 2018, the Pilots climbed as high as No. 7 in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches’ top 25 poll with a 10-0-3 record, representing one of two teams in the country without a loss through their 13 matches. The unbeaten streak was the longest for Portland since 1995 when the team put together 14 games without a loss.

Portland was rewarded when it received a postseason berth and a first-round home match against a UCLA squad making its 45th playoff appearance. The game in mid-November was the first home playoff contest for the Pilots since 2002, and the win was Portland’s first in the playoffs since 2009 and its first at home since 2002.

In 2019, Nyquist’s Pilots saw six players earn All-WCC honors, and three earned All-West Region selections.

In his recruiting role, Nyquist has had four top 15 recruiting classes via TopDrawerSoccer. With Portland, his classes ranked 8th in 2019, 4th in 2020 and 3rd in 2021. His first season at GCU during the summer of 2021, Nyquist brought the 14th best recruiting class to Phoenix en route to an NCAA Tournament berth. The 2022 GCU class ranked 21st in the country as well, with a group that went 2-1-1 against teams ranked or receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll. A part of that class was Bright Nutornutsi, who has garnered All-WAC Freshman Team (2022) and All-WAC First Team (2023) honors as a Lope.

Nyquist has coached multiple players who have advanced to the professional ranks, including Benji Mitchell (2018/Orlando City Homegrown), Rey Ortiz (2020 FC Cincinatti draft pick), Delentze Pierre (2023 Real Salt Lake Homegrown) and Brandon Cambridge (2023 Charlotte FC draft pick) while at Portland. In addition, he coached goalkeeper Nico Campuzano at Portland who signed an MLS Next Pro contract with New England Revolution II. 

Prior to joining Portland during the summer of 2018, Nyquist spent the 2017 season scouting collegiately for Chicago Fire of the MLS, as well as coaching for North Carolina FC. During the 2016 season he worked as the director of performance analysis for the University of North Carolina’s men’s soccer program.

For the 2015-16 season Nyquist was an assistant coach at Robert Morris University, in Chicago, Ill. He was responsible for developing and leading training sessions, scouting and presenting technical/video reports on future opponents, conducting analysis of both individual and team performance, game day coaching, and management.

Nyquist has also spent time in youth development programs, including coaching with New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire.

He played collegiately at Seton Hall (2006-08) and Wisconsin (2008-10). Owner of a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from Wisconsin, Nyquist earned the A License from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), and the Premier Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

“To be a part of a program where it’s not wishful thinking to think you can pursue a national championship is very enticing for me, with my ambition and competitiveness in soccer,” Nyquist said. “I hope to add the ability to recruit and build relationships with players on and off the field.”


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