Kansas Wesleyan University is pleased to announce the hiring of Melinda Nguyen as the new head coach for the flag football program.
Nguyen comes to Kansas Wesleyan with extensive experience in flag football, most recently serving as the offensive coordinator for Team America as part of the Women’s Flag Football Network. Team America featured some of the top players in the United States and participated in tournaments around the world.
“Melinda rose to the top of a very talented, competitive pool of candidates as an individual who is extremely knowledgeable in the sport, and equally as caring for her students,” said Steve Wilson, Kansas Wesleyan Director of Athletics Compliance and External Relations. “She is driven, and from the first connection with our student-athletes, I could tell she had the room’s attention. I am excited to see what she will do, continuing to build a program that is already a contender at a national level.”
“Coaching for WFFN was an incredible opportunity to see the “behind the scenes” of some of the top flag football players in the world. I was able to see their daily routines and habits that make them the elite athletes they are,” Nguyen said. “This insight will help me develop KWU student-athletes into top-tier athletes as well. Winning happens before even stepping on the field and coaching the WFFN Team America players was proof of that. While traveling internationally, the players and I were also able to work together to strategize against different styles of flag football – often times, styles that aren’t regularly used in the U.S. The exposure to different styles and schemes allowed me to adopt some best practices into our program.”
She also worked as a performance trainer for X-Factor Athletics, where she trained athletes on skills focused on flag football fundamentals and advanced skills. X-Factor Athletics trains a myriad of athletes from recreational players up through the professional ranks.
“X-factor Athletics is personalized performance training that allowed me to focus on the details of specific positions. Since we had clients with different ranges of experiences, and that played a variety of positions, it helped me teach and explain complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand for everyone,” Nguyen said. “We focused on small progressive steps so that athletes can develop and drill the muscle memory needed for that specified position. This is especially useful for female athletes in a sport like flag football because female football players tend to enter the game at a much later age than male athletes. While both benefit from refining fundamentals, this strong foundation will elevate the flag football game for our student-athletes.”
Nguyen has been involved in football and flag flootball since the age of seven. As a student at the University of Maryland, she was the head coach and quarterback of two club flag football teams, and helped lead them to nine total championships over a six-year span.
She is excited to be able to take over a successful program at Kansas Wesleyan. KWU and Salina’s family atmosphere was a key selling point for her.
“A collegiate head flag football coaching position was an opportunity that I could only dream of up until a few years ago. When I looked more into KWU, I saw a great program with incredible athletes. I am excited to be able to be a part of it,” Nguyen said. “The part that attracted me most about KWU was the community and players. They were all extremely knowledgeable and involved in flag football, which only motivates me more to grow the program and sport. The support of the athletics department, the university, and community is undeniable, and I couldn’t be more eager to develop leaders that will give back.
“KWU Flag Football has a lot of talented student-athletes. I want to hone and refine that talent so that each player is better than the day before. We can expect a lot of hard work on and off the field, more knowledgeable players, and a dynamic offense and defense. We can expect an environment where each player and coaching staff feels included and can contribute to the team. We want to put players in the best position to be successful and work together, so that we can ultimately achieve our team goals.”
She has also worked as a school teacher in the Montgomery County Public School system in Maryland, a position she held since 2020.
Nguyen holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from Trinity College.