On Wednesday, July 3, 2019, Nicholls State University Director of Athletics Matt Roan announced Danny Free as the head coach for the women's soccer program.
A native of Doncaster, England, Free joined Nicholls women's soccer in August 2015 as a Graduate Assistant and has worked his way up the ladder, breaking into the Assistant Coach ranks in 2017 before assuming the Interim Head Coach position this past spring.
Previously, Free kicked off his collegiate coaching career with a stint with the Chowan University men's program in North Carolina as an Assistant Coach, specializing with the squad's goalkeepers. While at Chowan, Free proved a vital component in a major turnaround for the program, as the Hawks posted a program record 12 wins in their first year under the new coaching regime just one season removed from a 1-14 mark.
While serving as a Volunteer Assistant with the Hawks, Free took on the role as a Director of Coaching at Chesterfield United FC in Virginia. Primarily, his main roles included running the goalkeeping program, while also specializing in the club's public relations and marketing scheme, not to mention coaching and developing several boys and girls youth teams from the ages of U8-U18. A year later in 2015, Free took a similar role with the Virginia Soccer Association.
Free began his playing career as youth athlete at Leeds United FC before enjoying a five-year spell at professional English Championship club Barnsley FC. After signing a youth contract in 2007, he was a regular for their youth and reserve teams during his time with the franchise and earned the Barnsley FC Supporters Club Young Player of the Year award in his final season.
In 2010, Free traveled to Boone, N.C., where he was a four-year starter for Appalachian State University. Over the course of his career as a Mountaineer, he started in each of his 52 appearances, recording exactly 200 saves with a 0.99 goals against average. A first team All-Southern Conference selection his junior year, Free finished his career with Appalachian State as a team captain in 2013.
Free played for Chesterfield United FC in 2014 and VSA U23's in 2015 in the NPSL. Free graduated from Appalachian State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications -- focus in journalism -- and a minor in Health Education. Free and his wife, Valerie, have one daughter, Wyatt Noura.
Free currently holds a U.S. Soccer National C Coaching License, English FA Level 2 License, USSF National Youth License and NSCAA GK Level 1 and 2 License.