Nicole Lukic leaving Minnesota Aurora FC for job with US Soccer

Minnesota Aurora FC's Nicole Lukic was named the USL W Coach of the Year on Tuesday. Minnesota Aurora enters Saturday's championship game undefeated at 13-0-1. (credit: Minnesota Aurora FC)

Minnesota Aurora FC opens its third season in USL-W play on May 30, and they’ll do so with a new head coach.

The team announced Wednesday that Nicole Lukic, the coach and sporting director, is leaving the team to take a job with U.S. Soccer as the Director of Talent Identification for Women’s Youth National Teams. Lukic led Minnesota Aurora FC to undefeated regular seasons in each of her first two years.

In her first season, the team went undefeated in USL-W play all the way to the championship game. She earned USL-W Coach of the Year honors in 2022. She became a full-time member of Minnesota Aurora FC in 2023, after taking on a role as Sporting Director. Earlier this year, Lukic was featured among the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s 40-under-40 Honorees.

"Aurora is such a special place and I’m so grateful to have spent two incredible seasons with this club," Lukic said in a statement. "I’ll continue to be an Aurora fan forever and wish the organization all the success as I step into my next chapter with U.S. Soccer." 

"Nicole will always have a legacy as Aurora’s first coach," President and COO Jessica Poole said in a statement. "The mission of this club is to develop pathways for women to succeed in sport. What better example than our coach being called up to lead youth talent identification for U.S. Soccer? We’re thrilled for Nicole to take this incredible career step, and she’ll always be part of our Aurora family."

Lukic’s last day with the club will be on March 21. Aurora has opened a search for a new Sporting Director and Head Coach. They open the 2024 regular season May 30 against RKC Third Coast at TCO Stadium.