New Coaches Bringing Grit and Experience to Blue Knights Soccer

Former Minnesota Kicks star Steve Litt and NDSU Division I player Erin Ellsworth joining DCTC soccer coaching staff for upcoming 2008-2009 season.

Head Soccer Coach Cam Stoltz can’t say enough about Steve Litt, the native Englishman and former star defender for the Minnesota Kicks of the North American Soccer League. Litt will be joining the Dakota County Technical College Blue Knights men and women’s soccer teams as the associate head coach for the 2008-2009 season.

“Steve is a player’s coach with tons of experience as a professional soccer player,” Stoltz said. “As a pro in England, he spent time with Arsenal, the legendary football club that played First Division at Arsenal Stadium inHighbury, London.” *

Born in 1954 in Keswick (pronounced ‘ke-zik), a market town in the county of Cumbria in extreme northwest England, Litt played on local men’s soccer teams at the age of 12. He trained alone fell running in the mountainous terrain near his home to build up his stamina and leg strength.

“I was 16 when I first turned pro,” Litt said. “I took my professional apprenticeship atBlackpool before heading for First Division at Luton. I was on loan to Arsenal when my soccer career suffered a setback due to illness.”

1976 Minnesota Kicks NASL Western Division Champions (Steve Litt, top row, fifth from right)

1976 Minnesota Kicks NASL Western Division Champions (Steve Litt, top row, fifth from right)

Diagnosed with a glandular system disorder, Litt spent the next two years working to return to peak playing levels. In 1976, he joined the roster of the Minnesota Kicks in the NASL. He played for the Kicks during their entire existence from the team’s first game to last in 1981.

“Steve put together a tremendous career with the Kicks,” said Stoltz. “In 1977, he was named to the NASL All Star Roster as an honorable mention defender. Also on that roster were soccer superstars PeléFranz Beckenbauer and George Best. Steve is ninth on the NASL All-Time Games Played list with 220.”

After the Kicks, Litt played for the San Jose Earthquakes. He also coached the Earthquakes for year.

“Eventually, I decided to return to Minnesota to be with my wife,” Litt said. “I’ve been coaching youth league soccer for boys and girls, working to build fundamental soccer skills at an early age. I get my players at age 12 and stick with them until they are 18.”

Litt will be bringing pro-level concepts to the Blue Knights training sessions such as work drills that involve practicing with players at every position. “My coaching approach is very simple,” he said. “The one thing I won’t tolerate is laziness. If my players give me 100 percent all the time, they will earn my respect. For me, it’s all about the team.”

Litt lives in Burnsville, Minn., with his wife Lila. The couple has two children, Steve, 27, a former high school soccer and hockey standout who lives and works in San Francisco, Calif., and Jenna, 21, a former Holy Angels soccer star who went on to be a high-scoring forward for the College of St. Catherine Wildcats.

Erin Ellsworth

Erin Ellsworth

Also joining the Blue Knights coaching staff is Erin Ellsworth, 23, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, and 2003 Lakeville High School graduate who majored in biotechnology at North Dakota State University. Ellsworth graduated from NDSU this past spring after a strong, four-year career playing NCAA Division I soccer for the Bisons.

“I played defense for the Lakeville Panthers,” said Ellsworth, who will be joining the womenand men’s teams as an assistant coach. “I was a sweeper, which means I was the last defender before our goal. At NDSU, I was a midfielder, or stopper. Our first year in Division I every game we played was away from home. That was tough on our coursework, but we got through it.”

A former gymnast who excelled at floor exercise, Ellsworth will bring a wealth of collegiate experience to the DCTC soccer program. As #7 for the NDSU Bisons she played in 20 games during the 2006 season when the team went 13-7-1 overall.

“Erin will primarily work with technical training and fitness,” Stoltz said. “She is a great addition to our coaching staff.”

Erin Ellsworth performing flip throw-in as NDSU Bison

Erin Ellsworth performing flip throw-in as NDSU Bison

Leading that staff is Cam Stoltz, who is entering his sixth season as head coach of both the men and women’s teams. Nicole Meulemans, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse in Exercise Sport Science, and Dan Houck, a former player with the Minnesota Thunder, are serving as assistant coaches.

Wesley Dayus of Shrawley, Worcestershire, England, and Keely Anderson of River Falls, Wis., DCTC students and former players, will serve as student assistant coaches.


The Blue Knights men’s 2008-2009 soccer season begins Aug. 26 againstMarshalltown Community College at Marshalltown, Iowa. The women’s season begins Aug. 22 in an exhibition game against Minnesota State University Moorhead at Moorhead, Minn.

  • Home games are played at Burnsville North River Hills Park on 11501 19th Avenue in Burnsville, Minn.
New Soccer Complex

A new, state-of-the-art soccer complex is under construction on DCTC Rosemount campus. A partnership between the college and city of Rosemount, Minn., with generous in-kind service from Ames Construction, the complex will feature three regulation soccer fields.

Head Coach Stoltz reported that the project is divided into three phases:

  • Phase one involves getting the fields up and running.
  • Phase two includes installing temporary bleachers, concession stands, concrete sidewalks and ticket gates.
  • Phase three entails lighting the fields for night games.

The finished project will give DCTC the most modern and complete soccer facility at any small college in the upper Midwest.

Soccer Complex rendering

Soccer Complex rendering

* Today, Arsenal plays in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium in Holloway, North London.