Karen Hoppa

Karen Hoppa

PositionWomen's Soccer Head Coach

Since being named as the leader of the program in 1999, head coach Karen Hoppa has made her name synonymous with Auburn soccer.

Hoppa holds an overall record of 344-232-65(.587), ranking in the top 30 among active head coaches. She became the 28th coach in the history of the sport and the eighth female head coach to amass 300 wins at the Division I level with 1-0 win at Missouri on Oct. 14, 2018. Hoppa also became one of 20 active head coaches with 300 or more career wins, including 250 or more wins at their current program, with a 1-0 win against Georgia on Mar. 31, 2021.

Quick Facts
Head Coaching Career31 seasons
Career Record344-232-65 (.587)
Record at Auburn280-188-56(.588)
SEC Titles1
SEC West Titles7
SEC Tourn. Titles1
NCAA Appearances17
Coaching Record
2023    Auburn    Head Coach8-7-5
2022AuburnHead Coach6-6-6
2021     AuburnHead Coach12-7-1
2020-21AuburnHead Coach10-5-3
2019AuburnHead Coach7-10-2
2018 AuburnHead Coach12-6-2
2017AuburnHead Coach8-7-5
2016AuburnHead Coach17-7-0
2015AuburnHead Coach16-6-1
2014AuburnHead Coach12-7-3
2013AuburnHead Coach8-9-4
2012AuburnHead Coach13-11-1
2011AuburnHead Coach15-7-2
2010AuburnHead Coach11-8-2
2009AuburnHead Coach10-9-3
2008AuburnHead Coach12-9-2
2007AuburnHead Coach10-8-2
2006AuburnHead Coach11-6-3
2005AuburnHead Coach8-12-1
2004AuburnHead Coach15-4-2
2003AuburnHead Coach14-4-3
2002AuburnHead Coach15-5-2
2001AuburnHead Coach11-8-1
2000AuburnHead Coach13-7-0
1999AuburnHead Coach6-13-0
1998Central Fla.Head Coach12-8-0
1997Central Fla.Head Coach8-10-2
1996Central Fla.Head Coach13-7-1
1995Central Fla.Head Coach10-7-4
1994Central Fla.Head Coach13-5-1
1993Central Fla.Head Coach8-7-1

In 25seasons on The Plains, Hoppa has compiled a 280-188-56(.588) record and has turned the Tigers into a perennial SEC power. She has accumulated seven SEC Western Division Championships, one regular season title and one conference tournament crown.

Hoppa has coached 74 All-SEC selections, including four SEC Player of the Year choices and three SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year choices. Her tutelage and recruitment of top players have also led to national recognition as she has coached 15 All-Americans and 55 All-Region honorees in her tenure.

Hoppa's teams are a model of athletic success on the field and academic success off it. A consistent postseason entrant, Auburn has advanced to the SEC Tournament 22 times, while maintaining one of the highest team GPAs on the Auburn campus, being eligible for the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award on over 19 occasions.

Hoppa has also seen five of her players earn College Sports Communicators Academic All-America recognition in Katy Frierson (2010 & 2011), Anna Haddock (2021, 2022), Jenn Johnson (2007 & 2008), Erin Hinson (2003) and Casie Ramsier (2015 & 2016), while Frierson was named the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2010. 

Since the start of the 2001 season, two years after her arrival at Auburn, she has guided the program to 18 10-win seasons.

Hoppa has guided the Tigers to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances. By defeating Hofstra, 1-0, in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the senior class became the first in program history to win a NCAA Tournament match in four straight seasons.

Year 25 on the Plains was a historic one for Hoppa's Tigers as the 2023 season featured a handful of milestone victories. Auburn's first resounding win came on Aug. 27 as the team battled back to defeat a disciplined Army West Point on the road 3-2 and hand the Black Knights their first home loss in nearly two years. Next, on Oct. 8, the Tigers toppled No. 6 Arkansas 2-1 at home to notch the program's first top-10 win since the 2017 season. Auburn closed the regular season with a 3-0 win at home against LSU and a 0-0 draw on the road at SEC East Champion Georgia. 

Auburn clinched its 27th overall SEC Tournament appearance in 2023, jumping ahead of Florida to become the new league leader in total appearances. The Tigers outplayed Tennessee 2-1 in the opening round to secure a quarterfinals bid for the third time since 2020. Senior Anna Haddock led the squad in postseason awards, earning SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as Second Team All-SEC. 

Defensive dominance was the name of the game for Hoppa's team in 2022 as the Tigers conceded just 13 goals all season. The Orange & Blue back line held its opponents to a single goal or less in 17 of 18 matches, contributing to a 0.72 goals against average, the second-best clip in the 30-year history of the program. Goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska notched a 0.74 GAA of her own, tying All-American Megan Rivera's mark set in 2004 for the second-best total by an individual Auburn player.

Hoppa and the Tigers  capped off the 2021 season during which the team posted a 12-7-1 overall record and went 5-4-1 in league play en route to earning a top-16 national seed in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history. After winning five straight contests to complete the 2020-21 season, the Tigers won six in a row to start the 2021 campaign, marking a program record 11-game winning streak. Prior to hosting Samford in the NCAA Tournament, Auburn advanced to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2016 with a 2-1 win against South Carolina in Orange Beach, Alabama. 

The 23rd-year head coach saw a number of her players earn individual accolades as Alyssa Malonson was not only named the SEC Defender of the Year, but also earned United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-America honors, becoming the seventh player in program history to earn the distinction from the United Soccer Coaches. Additionally, sophomores Anna Haddock and Marissa Arias joined Malonson as United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region and All-SEC performers.

The Tigers also continued to excel off the field in 2021 as Haddock, M.E. Craven and Hailey Whitaker were named CoSIDA Academic All-District, and Haddock went on to become the only underclassman in program history to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades. 

Hoppa and Auburn navigated a tumultuous and unique split season in 2020-21, ultimately posting a 10-5-3 overall record and a 3-3-2 mark in SEC play. The team advanced to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2016 to end the fall and posted an impressive 6-1-1 record in the spring, including five straight wins to end the season. 

The Tigers defensive unit led the way as SEC All-Freshman Team goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska led the group to a record-matching 15 goals allowed on the year, including three in eight contests during the spring. Prohaska was one of four Tigers to earn All-SEC recognition. She was join on the All-Freshman Team by Anna Haddock, who led all freshmen and Power 5 players nationally with 10 assists, and seniors Sarah Houchin and Alyssa Malonson, who continued to start every game in their Auburn careers. Haddock, Houchin and Malonson each earned all-region honors, marking the most honorees since 2017 and tied for the third most in program history.

Following the fall season, Malonson was selected by the N.C. Courage with the 20th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 NWSL Draft, becoming Auburn's second-highest draft pick in program history. Coming off Bri Folds' selection in 2020, it marked the first time the Tigers had a player drafted in back-to-back seasons. 

After entering the 2019 season as one of 13 programs to make five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, Hoppa and the Tigers ultimately fell short of the goal in 2019 but still posted a 4-6 record in league play and advanced to the SEC Tournament for the 19th straight season. A big reason the team was able to advance to the postseason was a 3-2 win in double overtime of the Iron Bowl of Soccer at Alabama. The win marked Auburn's seventh straight and 12th in the last 13 meetings in the rivalry series. 

Hoppa saw a pair of players in Bri Fold and Sydney Richards earn All-SEC accolades, while Folds was also named United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region for the second consecutive season and went on to be selected by the N.C. Courage in the 2020 NWSL Draft. 

Hoppa and the 2018 Tigers went on an improbable that saw a young team with 11 freshmen and redshirt freshmen get off to the best start in program history at 9-0-0. It was just the second time in program history the team went unblemished in non-conference play. The Tigers ultimately posted a winning record (12-6-2) for the 17th time in 20 season under Hoppa and recorded 10 or more wins for the 15th season. 

The Tigers saw at least three players earn All-SEC honors for the fifth straight season. Folds earned first-team recognition, marking the fourth consecutive year with a first-team honoree, and went on to become the sixth All-American in program history. Treva Aycock and Alyssa Malonson were named Second Team All-SEC.

The 2017 team posted an 8-7-5 record and, as previously mentioned, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season. Seniors Kristen Dodson and Caroline Bado earned First Team All-SEC honors, while Malonson was named an all-freshman honoree. Dodson, Bado and Sarah Le Beau also earned United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region honors, and Taylor Troutman was named CoSIDA Academic All-District.

The Tigers' postseason history is highlighted by the program’s first NCAA Quarterfinal appearance in 2016. Auburn defeated the likes of South Alabama, UConn and Florida to advance in the tournament.

Auburn smashed program records for wins and postseason success in consecutive years. In 2016, Auburn tallied 17 victories and reached the Elite Eight behind a program-high seven All-SEC honorees including first-team selections Kiana Clarke, Kristen Dodson and Casie Ramsier, second-team choices Sarah Le Beau and Brooke Ramsier, and all-freshman honorees Bri Folds and Karli Gutsche.

In 2015, the Tigers amassed 16 wins and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history behind the standout play of All-SEC honorees Kala Faulkner and Casie Ramsier. Faulkner, who ended her career with 91 games played which was one off the school-best mark, paced a defense that posted nine shutouts on the year. Ramsier tied for the second-highest total of 12 goals in 2015. Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau made 81 saves en route to being the top first-year goalie in the conference.

Auburn reached the NCAA Tournament in 2014, winning 11 games in the regular-season and finishing tied for 5th in the SEC. The Tigers were picked 11th by the SEC coaches in the preseason, but proved the voters wrong, notching their eighth 10-win season in the previous nine years.

Auburn capped its 2014 home schedule with its third-straight victory over cross-state rival Alabama, winning the Iron Bowl of Soccer trophy and essentially clinching its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance. The Tigers went on to face Florida Gulf Coast in the first round and advanced to round two with a 1-0 victory. It was the sixth time in its history that Auburn reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers did not make the NCAA Tournament field in 2013, but Hoppa continued her streak of SEC Tournament appearances, stretching now to 13 years, going back to 2001. With six matches remaining in the regular-season, Auburn found themselves on the outside looking in, needing to record a point in each of the remaining matches to stay mathematically eligible for the postseason. The Tigers rattled off a win or a tie in each of the final six matches, which included three-straight ties, something Auburn had never done. The Orange and Blue made the 2013 SEC Tournament field and recorded a 1-0 win over LSU in overtime after a penalty kick found the back of the net from senior Bianca Sierra.

Hoppa guided the 2012 Tigers to yet another appearance in the NCAA Tournament, as Auburn advanced to the second round for the second consecutive season. Picked to finish third in the division in the preseason, the Tigers posted a 5-2-0 record against SEC West opponents for a second place finish. Hoppa worked her SEC Tournament magic yet again, leading the Tigers to the championship match for the fifth time.

Highlighting the 2012 season was senior goalkeeper Amy Howard. Howard ended the year leading the nation in minutes played (2298:56) and eighth in total saves (130). It marked the first time an Auburn player finished the year as a national leader in any statistical category.

Howard also set the school record for career saves at 387, breaking the mark of 356 set by Allison Whitworth (2005-08). Howard's 387 career saves are the second-most in SEC history.

Already one of the most dominant programs in the SEC, Hoppa's program took another step forward in 2011 as it became the first Western Division team to win the league's automatic bid, posting two shutouts in three wins en route to the SEC Tournament championship.

A second round NCAA Tournament appearance followed as the team tied the school record for wins in a season (15) and had the second-highest goal (50) and assist (61) totals in program history. It also capped the illustrious career of star Frierson, who left owning six school records and who also became just the fifth player in league history to be named First Team All-SEC all four years of her career. King also capped her career by being voted a SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Auburn's first since 2006.

The 2010 season saw Auburn win a seventh SEC Western Division Championship, the most by any school in the West as no other school has won more than four.

Finishing the year 11-8-2, 5-4-2 SEC, the club advanced to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection for a school-record fifth straight time. Again the accolades poured in at the end of the season as Frierson (eight goals, 12 assists, 28 points) and King (four goals, two assists, 10 points) were each named First Team All-SEC and defensive stalwart Sammy Towne was voted to the second team.

Frierson and King were also on the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Season while Frierson was one of 15 players named to the semifinal list for the prestigious Hermann Trophy, a first for an Auburn student-athlete.

The 2009 season was the fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance as the team was selected as an at-large team for the dance. Riding the deft scoring touch of First Team All-SEC midfielder Frierson (five goals, 10 assists, 20 points) and Second Team All-SEC forward Rebecca Howell (eight goals, one assist, 17 points), the team racked up 109 points, the second straight season Auburn had tallied at least 100 points offensively.

With a high-octane offense pacing the team, the defense relied on the work of Second Team All-SEC defender Towne and SEC All-Freshman goalkeeper Amy Howard to limit its opponents to just 27 goals in 22 matches for a 1.16 goals against average.

After a run to the semifinals in the SEC Tournament for the first time since the 2005 team appeared in the finals, the team then traveled to Tallahassee, Fla., for the NCAA Tournament before bowing out to California in a 2-1 overtime loss, finishing the season 10-9-3, 6-5-0 SEC.

Hoppa guided Auburn to its sixth SEC West Title in the last eight seasons in 2008, earning the school's third consecutive NCAA Tournament bid, and its second hosting opportunity, going 12-9-2 on the year, which included an incredible 9-3-0 mark at home and a 7-3-1 mark in conference play.

Freshman midfielder Frierson and senior goalkeeper Allison Whitworth both had historic seasons in 2008 as Frierson was named to the All-SEC First Team and the SEC Freshman of the Year while Whitworth was also named to the All-SEC First Team, was the conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was Auburn's first-ever WPS Draft pick.

Frierson led the team in goals (nine) and points (25) while Whitworth established school records for saves in a season (132) and a career (356) before the FC Gold Pride selected her in the eighth round of its draft in St. Louis, Mo.

The 2007 season produced Auburn's sixth NCAA Tournament trip with a 10-8-2 mark and a runner-up finish in the SEC West. Sophomore forward Caitlin King had one of the finest seasons in program history, collecting 13 assists and finishing the year with 23 points.

The 13 assists tied a school record while her 23 points ranked eighth all-time. Whitworth also continued to blossom under the watchful eye of Hoppa, tying the school record for saves (102) for a second consecutive season and finishing with a 1.16 goals against average, seventh-best at Auburn.

Hoppa moved into elite company in the sport of women's soccer when she won her 150th career match on September 3, 2006, against William & Mary in a year in which the Tigers reclaimed what had been theirs for four straight seasons but eluded them in 2005 - the SEC Western Division Title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Keyed by a defense that allowed just 14 regular-season goals, the Tigers marched onto yet another SEC West title - the fifth under Hoppa.

Leading the backline was SEC Defensive Player of the Year Ronda Brooks (the first from an SEC West school) while Whitworth played the entire season between the pipes, following in the footsteps of Hoppa as a tenacious goalkeeper and leader on the field.

Despite battling injuries to key players throughout the course of the 2005 season, Hoppa guided the Tigers to within one win of their fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and Auburn's first SEC Tournament title.

Auburn knocked off third-seeded Florida and seventh-seeded Kentucky in the first two rounds of the conference tournament before losing a heart-breaker to top-seeded Tennessee, 1-0.

At the conclusion of the tournament, Hoppa's players had picked up the Tournament MVP award (Brooks) and three more all-tournament selections (Ashley Eason, Jada Stewart, Kristin Stewart) to go along with the regular-season selections of Brooks to the All-SEC First Team, Eason to the second team and Jenn Johnson to the all-freshman team.

In 2004, Hoppa led the Tigers to its only undefeated season in SEC play with an Auburn-best 9-0-2 record, the team's fourth-consecutive SEC West title and fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament.

The team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season, hosting the first and second rounds for the first time in school history at the Auburn Soccer Complex.

At the conclusion of the season, the Tigers found themselves ranked 19th in the NSCAA/adidas National Rankings and 13th in the final Soccer Buzz poll, the highest final ranking in school history.

Finishing out their senior seasons in 2004, Chrissy Culver, Megan Rivera, Sarah Steinmann and Jenn Walters each earned All-SEC honors and Rivera became the Tigers' first four-time All-American, owning every Auburn goalkeeper record and three SEC records at the conclusion of her career.

Hoppa led the Tigers to their first Southeastern Championship title in 2002, three seasons after the team finished at the bottom of the conference standings. For her efforts in leading the team to a school record 15-5-2 mark in 2002, she was named as the SEC Coach of the Year.

Hoppa helped lead her team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament two years in a row, which is also a feat never reached by an Auburn team. Early in the 2002 season, Hoppa achieved the 100th win of her career in a 4-0 win over South Alabama on Sept. 15.

In 2003, Auburn finished 14-4-3 on the year including a second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament and ended the season with a No. 16 ranking. The ranking marked the first time Auburn was ranked at the conclusion of the season.

Hoppa kept busy away from Auburn as well in the summer of 2002. The head coaching veteran was named the United States National Team's Youth Goalkeeper Coordinator where her duties took her around the globe during the summer. Hoppa was a coach for the U19 National team in the inaugural FIFA Women's U19 World Championships helping lead the team, and 2004 Auburn senior Megan Rivera, to the World Championship title over host team Canada.

Hoppa led the Tigers to a 11-8-1 record in 2001, including an appearance in the championship match of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Among the 11 victories were upsets over No. 6 Virginia, No. 16 Tennessee and No. 19 Georgia. The Tigers also received their first-ever national ranking, reaching No. 19 at one point in the season.

In 2000, her second season at Auburn, Hoppa led the Tigers to a then school record 13-7-0 record with 11 newcomers, a solid group of returners and only two seniors. In 2000 Hoppa became just the 12th person to be inducted into the University of Central Florida Athletic Hall of Fame for her accomplishments as both an All-America goalkeeper and an academic All-American.

Her offseason accomplishments did not end there either. Hoppa was then asked to join the Under-18 United States National Team in Bulgaria for the Albena Cup, a full national team tournament. She accepted the invitation and served as an assistant and goalkeeper coach for the U.S. Team that lost on penalty kicks in the championship game.

Hoppa also added assistant regional coach to her resume in 2000. She led the U16 Regional Team to an undefeated mark on a tour of Germany, Holland, Belgium and France in April and then traveled to Rhode Island, as an assistant coach for the U16 and U18 National team at the U.S. Soccer Festival. She then served as an assistant coach at the National Camp in California for U17 and U18 teams.

Prior to her coming to Auburn, Hoppa served as UCF's head coach from 1993-1998 and spent 1991 to 1993 as an assistant coach for the Golden Knights. All told, Hoppa spent a total of 12 years at UCF as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach.

She led the program to two NCAA tournament appearances as a player, including a trip to the Final Four in 1987, five Trans America Athletic Conference titles and a trip to the 1998 NCAA Tournament as a coach.

Hoppa posted a 64-44-9 record at UCF, winning five TAAC titles including four in a row from 1993-96. In her final season at UCF, Hoppa guided the squad to a 12-8 mark and a perfect 4-0 in the Trans America Athletic Conference en route to the school's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1991. For her efforts, Hoppa was named TAAC Coach of the Year.

Hoppa has also been very involved in the Olympic Development Program and various youth soccer programs in the United States. Prior to her appointment as the Region III head coach in February 2009, she spent two years as the assistant coach in the same Region.

In August of 2007, Hoppa took seven Alabama ODP players to Denmark to play in the Dana Cup in Hjorring, Denmark, with the Fortuna Club as she has been coaching the Alabama ODP team for the 1990 birth year for the past two seasons and has had four players selected to the Regional Pool and two to the National Pool.

In addition to her duties during the summer of 2002, she has spent time with the USYSA National teams, including preparing youth goalkeepers for international competition and assisting the team during the Adidas Cup in Orlando, Fla. From 1990 to 2001, Hoppa was also the head goalkeeper coach and regional staff coach for the USYS Region II ODP team.

A holder of a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "A" coaching license, she served on the coaching staff of the Florida Youth Soccer Association from 1990 to 1999. In 1997 she was the head coach of the Florida Women's State Select team that won the Southern Regional.

Prior to becoming the head coach at Central Florida, Hoppa was an assistant for the Golden Knights for two seasons, 1991-93, and also served as an assistant for the nearby Lake Brantley High School boys’ team during that same time.

Hoppa also served as an assistant for the girl's team at Lyman High School in Longwood, Fla., for two years (1989-91). The Lyman team won the state championship in Hoppa's second year.

Hoppa's success at Central Florida wasn't limited to the sidelines, however. She made a name for herself as a one of the greatest goalkeepers in UCF and NCAA history.

A three-year starter from 1987-90, Hoppa allowed just 30 goals (0.594) in 48 career games in assisting her squads to a 43-13-7 record during her tenure. During her four years, Central Florida made two NCAA appearances, advancing to the Final Four in 1987 and the quarterfinals in 1988. Her 30 goals allowed, 0.594 goals against average, and 30.5 shutouts are still UCF career records.

As a senior, Hoppa was named the 1990 Adidas/ISAA Goalkeeper of the Year, the NCAA Goalkeeper of the Year and was a finalist for the Hermann Award. She helped UCF to a 9-4-3 record, including a 2-2 tie with national power North Carolina.

As a junior, she was named to the 1989 Soccer America MVP Team after leading Central Florida to a 11-1-2 record. In 14 games, her team posted 11 shutouts and allowed just four goals all season.

An excellent student as well, Hoppa graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in psychology, a 3.7 grade point average, and was a finalist as a senior for the prestigious Honda Award. She was also recognized as an Adidas/ISAA Scholar-Athlete during her junior and senior years.

During her collegiate career, Hoppa was inducted into several national honor societies including Golden Key, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Psi Chi. She also served on the 1991 College Student-Athlete Project: Women and Athletics Sub-Committee.

A three-sport standout at Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Ill., Hoppa earned All-America soccer honors and was a member of the National Youth Team in 1986. The Naperville native was also a member of the United States Olympic Festival's North squad in both 1987 and 1990. Along with her soccer success, Hoppa also competed on the softball and basketball squads and was inducted into the Naperville High School Athletics Hall of Fame.

In 1997, Hoppa returned to the field as a player, as a member of the Tampa Bay Extreme, a member of the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues (USISL) "W League." For two seasons, Hoppa was the starting goalkeeper for the Extreme.

Hoppa is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and served as a volunteer club coach with the Seminole Soccer Club for five years (1989-93). She was a member of the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee (1995-97), NSCAA Division I Women's Soccer Southeast Ratings Board (1996-98) and the United Soccer Coaches Chair of NCAA Division I Women's Coaches (2017-20).

Hoppa (formerly Richter) married Scott Hoppa on Dec. 14, 2002. The couple resides in Auburn, Ala., and has a daughter, Bailey.