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Alumni spotlight: Sean McKuras

November 30, 2016

Sean McKuras has been the head coach for the UW-River Falls women’s soccer team for over 15 seasons and has graduated from the university’s health and human performance program.

McKuras is currently responsible for managing the team’s game schedule, recruiting, practices and other components to ensure the student athletes are doing well academically and athletically.

Originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota, McKuras initially started his education at UW-Eau Claire. Wanting to switch majors, he was offered an assistant coach position by Head Coach Jeff Hopkins and decided to transfer to River Falls to take the position and to finish his education.

During his time as a student at UWRF, McKuras often took classes alongside the players he coached. He also said he enjoys the small town feel of the campus and how the entrance to campus is very welcoming.

“It’s a great little town,” he said. “For me, I think the first impression I had was that I was driving down Main street and it’s called ‘Main Street.’”

Working as assistant coach during his first year as a student at UWRF, McKuras would eventually be promoted to head coach the following year. He graduated with a degree in health with a minor in coaching. When not coaching for UWRF, he participates in other athletic programs such as the Woodbury Soccer Club, the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association and the Minnesota Olympic Development Program.

When it comes to highlights, McKuras said that one of the biggest during his tenure would be the construction of the Falcon Center, which is currently slated to open next year. As head coach, he has led the women’s soccer team to seven WIAC semifinal playoffs and one conference championship in 2003. He has also coached multiple players that have earned conference and regional recognition for athletics and academics. He was also awarded WIAC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2003.

McKuras said that the small campus atmosphere helps keep the athletics department close together and that the sense of community within the school’s athletic teams will continue to grow with the expansion of the Falcon Center.

“Being that you have 400 student-athletes in a student body of 7,000, it’s a pretty tight-knit group,” he explained.

As a head coach, one piece of advice that McKuras gives to current students is to make sure to attend class. Being that the NCAA requires student-athletes to maintain a good academic standing, he said that simply going to class can go a long way in helping students’ success, and that the professors at UWRF are willing to go above and beyond to help.

“When it’s all said and done, I doubt anyone will remember my coaching record,” he said, “but I do believe that the kids that graduated and went on to be successful and have meaningful lives outside the soccer field will probably be the thing I’m most proud of.”