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Mikayla McCart, assistant women's soccer coach at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Mikayla McCart is an assistant women’s soccer coach at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.


WINONA, Minn. – If you want to talk about ambition and extraordinary time management, look no further than this Saint Mary’s University student.

Mikayla McCart is a senior with double majors in sports management and marketing. In addition to being an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team, she also manages Ultimate Maker Design, a business she runs through the SMU Makerspace. 

It’s never a dull day for her.

“Making sure I get all my homework done, running a business, and being a coach, it’s a lot. I took on quite a bit,” said McCart. “It’s going to be really good to know all of these things in the future.” 

McCart, who transferred to Saint Mary’s during her sophomore year, joined the women’s soccer team and has been a part of the program ever since. Unfortunately, an ACL tear this past spring prevented her from taking the field during her final season. 

Instead of leaving the sport, McCart decided to stay with the team and utilize her knowledge of soccer as an assistant coach. 

Landing a role as a soccer coach after graduation is something that McCart is seriously considering, and she’s thankful for the opportunity to learn and experience soccer from the angle of a coach instead of a player.

“It’s very different coaching, compared to being on the field,” McCart said. “As a player you make the difference on the field, and as a coach you give your perspective to the player.

“It’s been interesting sitting down and watching the games and seeing what we need to do,” she added. “As a player, you’re making quick decisions. It’s very different and I’ve learned a lot.”

Head coach Nick Rizzo is very appreciative of McCart and what she brings to the team and the coaching staff. He’s inspired by her efforts to help the team and determination to remain involved in soccer, despite her injury.

“Since transitioning to coach, she has helped with practice planning, recruiting, line-ups, and many other important decisions,” said Rizzo. “Most importantly, she is a great leader for our younger players and has helped to guide them in their first year as a college student athlete.

“We are very lucky to have her with us.”

In addition to helping the team from the sidelines during games, McCart does plenty of work outside of games as well. Making posters, hosting meetings, recruiting, and creating team lineups are just a few of the things she does to assist Rizzo. 

“We do a lot of mental health and creative things for the team, so I help out a lot with that,” said McCart. “There’s a lot to do, it’s like a full-time job.” 

To add on to her already large load, McCart creates different promotional tools and prizes for various clubs, organizations, and offices on campus as part of her business in the Makerspace.

“A bunch of clubs want to have t-shirts and such, so I’ve learned how to use the Cricut and print onto shirts,” said McCart. “I’ve also been working with the laser engraver. I can make keychains and coasters as well.” 

Like being an assistant soccer coach, McCart learned there is so much more to running a business than what it appears to be on the surface. She’s developed incredible time management skills, and recognizes that there’s more to running a business than just a good idea: you have to have the skills to implement and market those ideas. 

“It’s not just about being creative, you also have to worry about the money, legal aspects, and promotions,” said McCart. “You have to think about the logistics in addition to the creative side.” 

Although McCart certainly has a busy schedule on her hands, she makes sure to balance her work life with her social life by spending time with her friends and enjoying her time at college.

“Don’t just be ‘business, business, business,’” advised McCart. “Friendships are going to be the thing that you hold close to you after college. Make time for friendship.”