June 4, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
The Florida State Seminole soccer team completed its staff for the 2003 season when head coach Patrick Baker announced the hiring of Robin Confer. The former National Player of the Year and three-time national champion at North Carolina takes over the assistant coach position that was filled by Samantha Andersch the last two years. Confer brings five years of coaching experience with her to Florida State including the last year as an assistant at Mississippi State. She also returns to her home state as she grew up in Clearwater, FL and played at Central Catholic High School.
“I am very excited to have Robin joining our Florida State soccer staff and we feel we have landed one of the brightest young female coaches in the country at this time,” said Baker. “She had one of the best youth and college careers a player could hope for. Robin has played and coached at the highest levels – she will bring new dimensions to our program. We feel very fortunate to have attracted someone of her qualities and abilities to Florida State University and are looking for her to increase our level of excellence.”
Confer was the first assistant at Mississippi State in 2002 under head coach Neil McGuire. While with the Bulldogs, she not only coached and trained players but she served as recruiting coordinator, which put her in position to scout and evaluate players. The Clearwater, FL native also assisted in game strategies, overall team planning and arranged team travel.
Before her stint in Starkville, MS, Confer served as a second assistant at one of the top women’s soccer programs in the nation at Texas A&M. While working with Aggie head coach G. Guerrieri, Confer and Texas A&M advanced to the final 16 in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. Confer’s first coaching experience came at her alma mater as she served as a volunteer assistant under coaching legend Anson Dorrance at North Carolina.
“I am excited about joining the FSU soccer staff and to be able to work with Patrick (Baker). I have always respected him and what he has done for the program,” said Confer. “This has always been a place where I have wanted to coach and I am excited for this opportunity. I can’t wait to share my knowledge and experience with the players”
“I was convinced Robin would make a great coach one day from the time she spent as a volunteer here at North Carolina. She loves the game and she has something to contribute,” said North Carolina’s Dorrance. “She has always worked very hard as a player to improve her game and I think coaching is understanding that progression. She always understood that. She knew to be an exceptional player she had to put in a lot of work and she always did.”
A four-year starter at North Carolina from 1994-1997, Confer helped the Tar Heels to three national championships (1994, 1996-1997). During her senior season, Confer was named the National Player of the Year by both the Soccer News and Soccer Buzz. She was also a finalist for the Hermann award, which recognizes the nation’s top collegiate soccer athlete and a semifinalist for the Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation Player of the Year award in 1998.
Confer currently ranks fourth on UNC’s career scoring list behind such great names as Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and U.S. Women’s National Team coach April Heinrichs. She is the fifth-best goal scorer in Tar Heel history with 77, and her 55 career assists are the third most in North Carolina soccer history. In North Carolina’s run to the 1997 national championship, Confer was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player of the NCAA Final Four, as well as being named a first team All-American. She is one of just 11 former North Carolina players to have had their jersey retired.
“What separated Robin from almost every player I ever coached was her insatiable passion to score goals. The only other player like her as far as an appetite to score was Mia Hamm,” said Dorrance. “That was the quality that always separated Robin and Mia and as a result they were among the two greatest goal scorers I have ever coached.”
A former captain of the U-21 U.S. National team, Confer made her international debut January 18, 1996, against Ukraine and has since played with the national team on seven other occasions. She played professionally in 1998 as a member of the W-League’s Raleigh Wings and collecting MVP honors in the league’s championship game in her rookie season.
In 2001, she was drafted in the fifth round of the WUSA’s Global Draft as a member of the Boston Breakers in the league’s inaugural season before a back injury cut her playing career short.
Confer was a standout forward at Clearwater (FL) Central Catholic High School where she scored a state record 227 goals, including 80 during her senior season prior to being named a Parade All-American. Her record was eventually broken by former Florida State standout Cindy Schofield who scored 238 goals at George Jenks High School just an hour away from where Confer played high school soccer.