Whitman names new women's soccer coach

Heather Cato, a former Arkansas Razorback, takes over the Whitman team later this month.

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WALLA WALLA - Whtiman College has a new women's soccer coach.

Heather Cato, a four-year started for the University of Arkansas, was named to replace Scott Shields Tuesday.

Cato was most recently an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock from 2001-2003. She put her coaching career on hold to care for her older brother, James Trickey II, after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Trickey died in 2007.

While helping care for her brother, Cato worked as a criminal investigator for the State of Missouri. She completed her master's degree in criminal justice and sociology at Arkansas-Little Rock in 2003.

Cato was hired after a nationwide search. She was backed by recommendations from head coaches at both the University of Washington and Arkansas-Little Rock.

She expects to start work at Whitman on July 20.

Cato assisted Whitman men's soccer coach Mike Washington with summer youth camps at Whitman in 2003 and 2004. He was also one of her premier soccer club coaches.

While helping with her brother's medical care and working as a criminal investigator, Cato ran FC Cato Academy, providing individual and team soccer instruction, and served as a volunteer coach for two youth soccer associations.

During her two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Cato managed a $350,000 team budget and $120,000 scholarship fund, organized team practices and scouting reports, developed and implemented year-around strength and conditioning programs, and assisted with recruiting that helped boost the team's win total by eight victories from one season to the next.

Cato, who made the Academic Honor Roll as a player at Arkansas, says she looks forward to "working with some of the most intelligent student-athletes in the country at Whitman. The idea of coaching student-athletes who are students, first and foremost, is something that appeals to me.

"I want to encourage them to be just as competitive on the field as they are in the classroom. That's my job - to push them, on and off the field."

Cato led the Razorbacks in scoring as a senior and finished with 24 career goals. She was second on the school's all-time scoring list at her graduation, and now ranks sixth. Cato booted 13 of her career goals against SEC opponents and was her school's all-time leading scorer in conference games at the time of her graduation. She still ranks third in conference scoring at Arkansas.

Cato graduated from Mountain View High School in Vancouver, where she played varsity soccer for two years and participated in premiere teams.

She was a member of the Washington state and regional ODP teams from 1992 through 1996. She was a captain of the state squad for three years and she captained the Region IV team in 1996, when she was named to the under-20 ODP national team.

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