Steamboat grad Kelly Brown named head coach of Regis women’s soccer team
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Kelly Brown had an idea of what her dream job would be but didn’t expect to find it.
Brown, a Steamboat Springs High School graduate and daughter of Doug and Mary Labor, wanted to stay in Colorado, close to her family in Steamboat, but live in the Denver metro area, while coaching collegiate soccer in a challenging environment.
Since that dream was very specific, she didn’t get her hopes up. Instead, she focused on staying in Colorado and having a family, which grew three months ago when she had a baby boy.
On June 19, Regis University in Denver announced Brown had secured the position as head coach of the women’s soccer program.
“To get the opportunity at Regis was a dream come true,” Brown said. “I get to stay in Denver. I get to raise my family in Denver. I get to stay close to my family in Steamboat. It worked out, and it’s weird how things work out.”
The job is even more special because Regis was where Brown played for a year in college, earned her master’s degree and served as assistant coach under J.B. Belzer, her former coach and, now, her predecessor. What’s more, her sister Madeline graduated from the school, too.
Before transferring to the University of Las Vegas, where she concluded her collegiate soccer career, she played at Regis for a year under Belzer, whom she met while playing at the high school level. When she returned to Regis to earn her master’s, she coached alongside him for three years, taking in all his knowledge and coaching philosophies.
“I knew him forever. I’ve known him since I was 14 years old,” Brown said. “I never thought he would leave. I thought you’d have to cart him off the field.”
Belzer isn’t done coaching, though. Staying within the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Belzer is taking over the women’s soccer program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Regis and UCCS, NCAA Div. II schools, are scheduled to meet on Oct. 25 in Colorado Springs.
After assistant coaching at Regis, Brown was an assistant at Colorado State University, helping build the program from nothing in 2013. Following her fourth season with the Rams, Brown stepped into an assistant role at the University of Colorado Boulder, a Div. I program.
She hopes to use all her prior experience as a player and a coach in her first-ever collegiate head coaching job, especially since she’s setting a high bar.
“I want to win championships. I want to win NCAA tournaments,” Brown said. “I want to educate kids — young women — to be good students and great athletes and competitors. Sometimes, at a Div. II school, athletes aren’t pushed as much as they could be. That’s a part of the reason I left, I wanted more out of the playing experience. I want to bring that mentality to a Div. II program, and I want them to win on the field and in the classroom.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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