Kicking Up Her Cleats


A woman in a white baseball cap and a burgundy shirt stands on a soccer field holding a soccer ball.

(Photo: Bill Cardoni)

Kristin Giotta, Director of Athletics and Head Women’s Soccer Coach

Division III Devils

By Sara Campione

Kristin Giotta, Division III director of athletics and head women’s soccer coach, didn’t start playing the sport she has coached for more than a decade until middle school, when a neighbor needed a goalkeeper on their team.

She played soccer and softball during her undergraduate years at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J. Under the guidance of her former women’s soccer head coach, she served as a graduate assistant for the program. “It was very taboo at the time, for women to coach soccer. Soccer is a very male-dominated sport.”

Now she is paving the way for female coaches and administrators in collegiate athletics.

Arriving at FDU after stints at Monmouth as an assistant coach and head coach at New Jersey City University, Giotta became a part-time head coach for the Devils, while coaching at the club level and working other jobs.

In 2018, under former athletics director Jenn Noon, Giotta was elevated to associate director of athletics for compliance. “Jenn saw qualities in me as an administrator and asked me if I wanted to be an associate athletics director. I learned a lot in my five years, and here I am today,” says Giotta. “I’m very appreciative that I can still coach here, because I can take the pulse of my student-athletes and get a sense of what their needs and their desires are, and then that trickles over to our coaches as well.”

Giotta credits a lot of her success to her family — her late parents encouraged her to chase her dreams, and now her husband and children support her. She emphasizes the importance of a work-life balance to her staff and student-athletes, too.

“University athletics is not a silo. We have so much interaction with our student-athletes and with the University community. We are completely out there and vulnerable to everything that is going on — the burnout is real. But I think the resources available now can help get us through, so we can continue to impact the lives of young people.”

She takes great pride in fighting back against mental health stigma in athletics. The Devils offer resources to student-athletes including The Hidden Opponent and Morgan’s Message — groups working to realign the culture and the beliefs around mental health within sports.

“It’s bigger than the wins and losses. It’s how we treat our players and make them part of this family. Thirty percent of the job is coaching, and seventy percent of the job is being an impactful mentor to these young men and women.”