Katie Benz | Assistant Coach
Katie Benz completed her first season as an assistant coach with the Montana soccer program in 2017. She currently is overseeing the program as the University searches for its new head coach.
In 2017, Montana went 10-7-4 and earned the No. 2 seed in the Big Sky Soccer Championship. The Grizzlies advanced to the semifinals of the tournament and earned a regional ranking late in the year by the United Soccer Coaches.
Montana was led by its defense, which allowed just 0.79 goals per game (32nd nationally and second-best average in program history). The Grizzlies limited Big Sky opponents to 8.7 shots per game, including 2.9 on frame – the best defensive figures in the league.
The Grizzlies earned three All-Big Sky Conference first- or second-team selections, led by Defensive MVP Taryn Miller. Montana had success despite playing its toughest schedule in school history, holding five Power-5 opponents to a combined four goals, including a double-overtime scoreless draw vs. regionally ranked Washington State.
Off the field, Montana had 19 Academic All-Big Sky Conference honorees, two United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Region selections and a CoSIDA Academic All-District nod.
Benz spent the 2016 season working as director of operations at the University of Denver, her first year working at the collegiate level, and coaching in the Colorado Rush club program.
Benz, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but raised in Sonoma, Calif., played collegiately at California. She scored three goals in her first three seasons playing for the Golden Bears behind Alex Morgan. Each of those teams advanced to the NCAA tournament.
As a senior in 2011, Benz, a one-time Pac-12 Player of the Week, scored 10 goals in Cal’s first eight matches, including a hat trick against Denver, before suffering a career-ending broken leg midway through a season that also concluded with a trip to the NCAAs.
Benz graduated in 2012 with a degree in legal studies. She spent one year after college writing, recording and touring with the band The Youngest.
Danielle Mendez | Assistant Coach
The 2018 season is Danielle Mendez’s first year as an assistant coach with the Montana soccer program. She trains the team’s goalkeepers.
Mendez spent the 2017 season at North Dakota, working alongside Chris Citowicki on head coach Chris Logan’s staff.
In her one season with the Fighting Hawks, she coached Catherine Klein to Big Sky Conference Goalkeeper of the Year honors. Klein led the Big Sky in both save percentage (.890) and saves (8.07/g) while posting six shutouts.
Logan, and by extension his staff, was voted by his peers as the league’s Coach of the Year after the Fighting Hawks went 4-5-1 in conference matches, their best finish since joining the league in 2012.