Erica Burt named First Team All-Conference USA
Michael Crane joined the Florida Atlantic University women's soccer program as an assistant coach in April 2013. He brings a wealth of collegiate coaching experience throughout the country.
Crane's focuses his efforts on the FAU goalkeepers and has led the Owls to post 35 shutouts over his tenure, including 11 in 2016. The year prior, the team had 10, including six straight to end the regular season.
In 2016, Crane coached Sydney Drinkwater to NSCAA First Team All-Central Region and C-USA Goalkeeper of the Year status. She had 10 of the team's 11 clean sheets (tying the women's program single-season record), finishing her career with a program-record 28 in only three seasons. Jennifer Ocampo added another in her only start.
The team's backline defense, made up of Erica Burt, Madison Caldwell and Sophie Sanchez (all with 22 starts) along with Marli Batiste and Alex Maxson, allowed a total of only 20 goals, just five of which came in C-USA play (second in the league). Burt was First Team All-C-USA and Second Team All-Region by the NSCAA.
Drinkwater had another one of the best goalkeeping seasons in school history in 2014, again totaling 10 shutouts. She also had a goals-against average of just 0.79. In addition, defender Erica Burt was named First Team All-Conference USA and All-Central Region Third Team by the NSCAA.
That came the year after Crane and Drinkwater, in their first season together, had almost as successful a season with eight shutouts and an .809 save percentage. In 2013, Crane's goalkeeping staff kept the Owls in several close battles as FAU tied an NCAA record with four 0-0 draws.
Crane came to FAU after serving as an assistant coach and interim head coach at the University of Cincinnati of the Big East Conference during the 2012 season. He helped coordinate recruiting events and prospect correspondence throughout the country.
He is familiar with FAU after serving as an assistant coach at the University of South Alabama of the Sun Belt Conference in 2011. That season the Jaguars had a seven-win increase, the program's best record (12-5-3) in 10 years and the highest finish in the previous five conference seasons. The year prior, he was an assistant coach at Clemson University, leading the Tigers' national recruiting and evaluation efforts.
Crane began his coaching career at Duke University as an assistant coach and goalkeeper coach. He helped the Blue Devils qualify for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and NCAA tournaments, and goalkeeper Tara Campbell earned second-team All-ACC and All-ACC Freshman Team, while also participated in the Under-20 Nation Team Camp in 2009.
"Michael has been at a number of great institutions and has learned numerous things from his stops along the way," said Baker. "He is a highly respected goalkeeper trainer and we look forward to his expertise in that area."
Additionally, Crane has been the director of the SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School in Hartford, Connecticut, since 2006. He provides technical, tactical and physical development of goalkeepers.
During his playing days, as a goalkeeper, Crane helped lead the University of Indianapolis to two NCAA Division II tournament appearances and tied the school record for most shutouts in a season. He then moved onto the University of Akron, which won Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament championships in 2005. Crane was also a member of the Elite 8 team at Akron in 2005.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to join Coach Baker and assist in the next chapter of the Florida Atlantic University women's soccer program," said Crane. "The opportunity at FAU for competitive excellence and student-athlete development is tremendous, and I look forward to contributing to both of these areas. It is an honor to be joining the FAU athletic department and Coach Baker's staff."