Photos by Kevin Leclaire, Brandon Wu and Christina Schmidt – UltiPhotos.com
Seattle announced on Monday that Kate Kingery, Fiona McKibben and Charlie Mercer have been named the assistant coaches for 2015 Rainmakers season.
With eight years of experience on Seattle Riot as well as experience on Nemesis and Carleton Syzygy, Kate Kingery is one of the most experienced players in club ultimate.
“I’m excited to be a part of this organization and help the players succeed in the 2015 season,” said Kingery.
On top of her impressive playing career she boasts an incredible coaching background, having coached in nine countries as well as earning the Emerald City League High School Coach of the Year for her work with the Bush School ultimate program.
While Kingery will focus on Seattle offense, fellow Bush School coach Fiona McKibben will look to improve the Rainmakers defensive strategy. Mckibben, a Seattle native, has been playing ultimate for fifteen years and has spent the past four on Seattle Riot and captained New York University’s Violet Femmes prior to that. The name McKibben is familiar to Rainmakers fans as Fiona’s brother, Gavin McKibben, started playing for the Rainmakers last year.
“The D-line has already stepped up its game and is really pressuring the rest of us in practice,” said MLU veteran, Mark Burton. “It’s great to see this early in the season.”
The third assistant coach, Charlie Mercer, is in her third year on Seattle Riot. She has played ultimate for ten years with experience playing in seven countries and for her hometown team, D.C. Scandal. On top of playing and coaching ultimate, Mercer teaches non-native speakers of English. She will be bringing some of these teaching skills to the Rainmakers as she focuses on player development.
“Having seen the organization in the previous two years, I think I can bring a lot to bare from my playing experience,” said Mercer. “Having a coach devoted solely to player development helps a team greatly, and I’m looking forward to contributing to the success of all of our players.”
Kingery, Mckibben and Mercer will undoubtedly aid in the fusion and development of this 2015 Rainmakers team.
“I’ve played with all three coaches,” said Seattle player Ben Beehner. “Their ultimate IQ, mental toughness and natural leadership will all be beneficial to the Rainmakers.”
It is clear that the players have great respect for their new coaches. This respect is well deserved as the three of them combined have upwards of 40 years of playing experience.
As the Rainmakers continue to grow as a franchise it is important that the coaching staff is representative of the best ultimate Seattle has to offer. Their summer success with Riot at the World Ultimate Club Championships in Lecco, Italy – a gold medal as well as the Spirit of the Game Award – is the kind of experience any team would hope to have in its coaching staff.
Playing on Seattle Riot and coaching local youth, these three are at the heart of the Seattle ultimate community. There is no doubt that their addition to the coaching staff will help create an authentically local team.