Mike Bristol is in his 13th season at Florida State where his primary responsibilities with the Seminoles include the training of the goalkeepers and team defense. He took over as the program’s recruiting coordinator in 2012. Bristol joined the Seminole coaching staff after spending five seasons as an assistant coach with the Eclipse Select Soccer Club in Libertyville, Ill.
Since his arrival in Tallahassee, Bristol has helped guide the Seminoles to seven consecutive trips to the Elite Eight from 2009-2015, including five straight appearances in the College Cup from 2011 to 2015, five ACC regular-season titles (2009, 2012, 2014, 2018 and 2020), seven league championships (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020), two national runner-up finishes in 2013 2020 and NCAA National Championships in 2014 and 2018.
In his 13 years at FSU, the Seminoles have compiled an overall record of 227-50-21. Bristol has coached 26 All-Americans, eight Freshman All-Americans, nine former Seminoles playing in the National Women’s Soccer League, the 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020 ACC Tournament Most Valuable Players, the 2020-21 MAC Hermann Trophy winner (Jaelin Howell) and numerous student-athletes who have competed internationally.
In overseeing the team defending, Bristol has led the Seminoles to a goals against average of 0.69 in his 13 years. The Seminole backline has averaged over 14 shutouts a season under Bristol reaching double-digits 11 times. During the 2020 season, Bristol helped coach a defense, led by freshman goalkeeper Cristina Roque, which only allowed eight goals in 16 games with 11 shutouts. Roque finished the season with a 0.48 goals against average, ranking 18th nationally and second in the ACC after playing all but eight minutes for the Seminoles during the season. Roque was the first true freshman to start in goal under Bristol.
In 2018, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Brooke Bollinger ranked sixth in the nation with a 0.45 goals against average and 11th with 10 shutouts before a season-ending injury in the ACC Championship Game. Caroline Jeffers played the remainder of the season in goal, posting a 7-0-1 record and a 0.52 goals against average with seven matches against ranked teams and posting shutouts against No. 14 Penn State, No. 1 Stanford and No. 3 North Carolina to help lead the Seminoles to the national title.
Cassie Miller closed out her impressive goalkeeping career in 2017 with eight shutouts, improving her career total to 48, which ranks third-most in NCAA career history, including 13 during the NCAA postseason. In 2016, Florida State tallied 15 shutouts and finished second in the nation with a 0.39 goals against average as the Noles allowed just nine goals in 22 games, to tie a program record. During the 2015 season, FSU recorded 15 shutouts and allowed just five goals during ACC play. The Noles also set two NCAA tournament records with 10 consecutive postseason shutouts and a consecutive scoreless streak of 931:47. In 2014, Florida State set school records with 19 shutouts (also an NCAA record), a GAA of 0.34, the fewest goals allowed in ACC play (2), wins (24) and the fewest goals allowed in a single season (9).
In 2013, the Seminoles posted 15 shutouts in 28 games. FSU went on to secure 23 wins while earning a spot in the national championship game for the second time in school history. FSU finished the year ranked second in GAA (0.55) and tied for second in goals allowed (16) and shutouts. Nationally, the Florida State defense ranked in the top 25 in GAA (11th – 0.551) and shutout percentage (23rd – 0.536).
FSU’s run of seven ACC titles in the last 11 years can be attributed to great defense and goalkeeping. In 2011, Kelsey Wys finished the championship with a 0.59 GAA and 10 saves allowing just two goals in over 300 minutes of action. Wys was outstanding in net in the finals against Wake Forest making four saves and then three more in penalty kicks to help FSU secure its first ACC title. Two years later another impressive defensive effort led by senior captain Kassey Kallman paved the way for another league crown. Against three ranked opponents, Kallman and the Seminoles allowed just one goal in over 270 minutes. In 2014, the Noles allowed just one goal in the tournament, defeating Notre Dame (3-1) and Virginia to secure the title. In 2015, goalkeeper Cassie Miller helped FSU earn its third straight ACC Championship as her save in the seventh round of penalty kicks against No. 1 Virginia allowed the Noles to take the title. Defense and penalty kicks were key in FSU’s run to the title in 2016, as Miller and the Seminole backline allowed just one goal in 310 combined minutes to No. 6 Duke, No. 9 Clemson and No. 10 UNC, and advanced on penalty kicks in both the quarterfinals and in the championship game. The Noles defeated each of the ACC’s top three seeds in 2018 en route to the conference championship. During 2020, the Seminoles shut out No. 12 Notre Dame (2-0) and No. 6 Duke (4-0) before defeating No. 1 UNC, 3-2. Wys (2011), Kallman (2013), Dagny Brynjarsdottir (2014) and Natalia Kuikka (2015 and 2016) were recognized as the ACC Tournament MVP for their efforts.
Wys concluded her playing career at Florida State holding 17 goalkeeping records including minutes played (8,518), wins (74), shutouts (45.0) and starts (96). Her transition as one of the top goalkeepers in the nation began to take shape during her freshman season in 2010. The Coral Springs, Fla., native started 22 matches between the posts tallying 2,004 minutes while registering a 16-5-1 record, 91 saves and 12 shutouts. She allowed just 17 goals including five during the ACC regular season en route to a GAA of 0.76. Wys finished the season leading the ACC in saves, shutouts, shutouts per game and save percentage (.843). She would go on to earn a spot on the All-ACC Second-Team, All-ACC Freshman Team and garner Second-Team Freshman All-America honors from Soccer America. Wys would later make school history becoming the first goalkeeper in program history to earn All-America accolades following her junior year in 2012.
Miller spent a redshirt season under Wys in 2013 before taking over goalkeeping duties in 2014. The Cave Creek, Ariz., native shined in her first season, leading the Noles to its first National Championship, playing all 2,375 minutes in goal for FSU and surrendering just nine goals as Miller set an NCAA record with 19 solo shutouts. An All-ACC Second-Team member in three of her four seasons, Miller received national accolades in 2016, earning NSCAA First-Team All-American honors, as well as being a nominee for the Honda Award. She finished her career with a 0.569 GAA in 8,537 minutes, which ranks 22nd in NCAA history and is second in GAA among goalkeepers with over 7,000 minutes played, trailing only UCLA’s Katelyn Rowland (2011-14), who recorded a 0.40 GAA over 7,870 minutes.
In Bristol’s first season at Florida State in 2009, the Seminole defense turned in a GAA of 0.85 allowing 22 goals in over 2,300 minutes of action. FSU closed out the year ranked among the best in the ACC finishing fourth in GAA, tied for fourth in goals allowed and fifth in shutouts. Bristol’s work with a very young defensive squad, comprised of two sophomores and two freshmen, was on full display right from the very beginning as the defensive unit opened the season posting three consecutive shutouts. The Seminoles allowed just seven shots through the first three games including three shots on goal. The three shutouts to open the season marked the first time the feat occurred in school history. The stifling defense was at it again in the ACC Championship in Cary, N.C., with the Noles recording shutouts in the first two matches of the tournament for just the second time in the program’s existence.
Florida State continues to receive national recognition for their defensive efforts under Bristol as six Seminole defenders have been honored as semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Jaelin Howell (2021) and Malia Berkely (2019 and 2021) are recent members as they were finalists during the 2020-21 season. Howell went on to become just the second Seminole to win the award. They joined Kristin Grubka (2014), Kassey Kallman (2013) Ines Jaurena (2011 and 2012) and Becky Edwards (2009) as the only defenders in Florida State history to be recognized as Hermann Trophy semifinalists. Wys’ announcement as a 2013 watch list candidate was the first of its kind by a Seminole goalkeeper. Cassie Miller was recognized as a Honda Award nominee after her successful 2016 season.
During his time with the Eclipse, Bristol led the club team to four national championships; had five goalkeepers selected as pool members of national teams and eight goalkeepers named to regional teams. In 2008, Bristol tutored Alexa Gaul (University of Texas) and Taylor Vancil, a two-year member of the Seminole soccer team (2011-12), who both served as goalkeepers on the United States U-17 National Team that finished second at the 2008 FIFA Youth World Cup in New Zealand. Four of his goalkeepers received the Golden Glove Award at the USYSA National Championships, presented to the tournament’s most outstanding goalkeeper. Vancil was one of the Golden Glove Award recipients as she was recognized as the best goalkeeper at the 2008 World Cup.
Before joining the staff at Florida State, Bristol served as an assistant coach at Illinois State University from 2002-04 where he was in charge of the goalkeepers and the backs. During his time at Illinois State, his goalkeepers ranked in the top 12 nationally in goals against average. Following his time at Illinois State, Bristol served as the goalkeeper coach for the women’s program at the University of Maryland.
His coaching background also includes stints with the Region II ODP and Illinois ODP programs. Bristol also traveled to Germany as the goalkeeper coach with the 1992 Regional ODP team. During the 2009-10 season, he was named the Region III ODP Goalkeeping Director. Bristol has earned a level 3 goalkeeping diploma as well as a premier diploma, both from the NSCAA. The Granite City, Ill., native is also on the NSCAA goalkeeping instructional staff for state and regional diplomas. Bristol earned his national goalkeeping license from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
As a player, Bristol was a four-year starting goalkeeper at Western Illinois University (1995-99). During his freshman season, he was voted team most valuable player and earned First-Team All Mid-Continent Conference honors. Bristol served as team captain for three years and was selected to numerous all-tournament teams. Following his collegiate career, Bristol played for the PDL Cocoa Expos soccer team in Cocoa Beach, Fla., during the summer of 1999.
Bristol graduated with a degree in Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Sports Management from Western Illinois University.