Utah State head soccer coach Heather Cairns announced on Tuesday that former goalkeeper Molli Merrill will remain an Aggie as an undergraduate assistant coach.

Merrill will primarily work with the Utah State goalkeeper corps, using the knowledge she obtained as a three-year starter. She will round out the coaching staff that includes associate head coach Trevor Wachsman and assistant coach Alyssa Lowry.

“Molli was a stellar performer on the field and in the classroom for us, but she was also an exceptional leader," Cairns said. "She was able to direct her teammates on the field and keep us focused and together off the field. I am looking forward to continuing to have her presence in our program.”

Merrill's career as an Aggie included her being named the MVP of the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament, as USU won its first-ever WAC Tournament against Fresno State. She also garnered first-team all-WAC honors last season after leading USU to a 5-1-1 conference record, ending league action with a 0.28 GAA. Merrill also earned WAC all-tournament honors in 2009 and six WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors during her storied career.

During her time at Utah State, Merrill was a star not only on the field but also in the classroom. She earned all-WAC academic honors three-straight seasons. She was part of the USU team that earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic award for the ninth-straight year.

Utah State will open the 2012 season against in-state rival Utah on Aug. 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The Aggies first home match is against UTEP on Aug. 19 at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field.

Fans can follow USU soccer at http://twitter.com/USUsoccer and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.