GV women’s soccer adds Taylor Timko to coaching staff weeks before upcoming season


Courtesy / Michigan Athletics

Madeleine Smith, Staff Writer

With the 2022-23 season right around the corner the Grand Valley State University’s women’s soccer team welcomes their most recent addition to the coaching staff, Taylor Timko.

Offering experience as both a coach and player, Timko played four years at the University of Michigan (U-M) (2014-18) and raked in multiple honors and awards including a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Michigan Athletics’ Female Rookie of the Year and Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors

Following her graduation Timko traveled overseas to play professionally in Brisbane, Australia until returning home to coach for her high school and club teams. During the 2021-22 academic year, Timko served as the Director of Operations for the U-M women’s soccer team, providing valuable insight into what it takes to manage a college-level team.

“It was my job to create a culture (for the team),” Timko said.

Timko said in her eyes, her new position is about more than being a coach, but includes providing mentorship and a support system for the reigning champions. 

“I like connecting with people,” Timko said. “I’m passionate about female sports and having a great deal of collegiate experience (helps). I believe Grand Valley is the place for that.”

Aside from Timko’s passion for soccer she also has a passion for medicine, more specifically, sports psychology.

Timko said both of her interests in sports and medicine correlated in many ways and ultimately led her to where she is now.

One reason that Timko said she was especially drawn to GVSU was the fact that she would be able to coach as well as be involved in the nursing program.

“I really fell in love with more of a holistic model for medicine as well as sports psychology,” Timko said. “I’m really passionate about finding your ‘why’, as in ‘why do you play soccer’ and how you play freely.” 

Timko said she believes that in order to have a successful team, you must have a strong support system backing it up. That includes team bonding, having honest conversations and making sure everyone on the team has a role and a feeling of importance.

After Timko’s time at U-M, she started an organization called MindSoul Sports. Through this organization, she has held seminars for female high school athletes on overcoming adversity, motivation and playing freely.

Timko said she hopes to continue implementing this mindset into the Laker culture. 

“There is a specific department that comes in and creates team building environments for the girls so it can be outsourced by a broader leadership committee,” Timko said. “For my position here, coach (Katie) Hultin and I have discussed me being the leader for that part of the team – which is my dream.”

Hultin, head coach for Lakers, believes Timko will be a great role model for the girls on the team and that her past experiences will be very useful.

“Taylor is so passionate about empowering others as well as leadership and culture,” Hultin said. “I am excited to work together to continue to make this culture something special.” 

As far as Timko’s goals for the upcoming season in her new position, she highlighted that a three-peat in the national championship is undoubtedly at the helm of it all. However, she has other goals in mind in order to help the team get to that point. 

From a cultural standpoint, Timko said she wants to take the program to the next level in all aspects. 

“We will focus on making sure our girls thrive in the college experience,” Timko said. “Not only as athletes, but as students and people as well. Clearly, GVSU has an extremely special thing going on here based on their history, which is just an incredible amount of success. There’s a balance here between humility and asking ourselves what we can learn from the girls who have already embodied this excellence and creating this entity that can be raised to another notch.”