Pioneering soccer coach, St. Paul native Jennifer Haigh dies at 45 after cancer battle

The former pro soccer player made college sports history.
Author:
Publish date:

A pioneering women's soccer player and coach has died from cancer at the age of 45.

Jenny Haigh, a native of St. Paul, became the youngest Division 1 head coach in the country when in 2000 she was hired by Northwestern University.

She was a 1991 graduate of Cretin Derham-Hall, where she was a three sport athlete and was named to the 1989 all-conference soccer team.

She will be a 2018 inductee into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.

After leaving CDH, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she captained the women's soccer team and was named to the All Big Ten Academic Team.

Related:

– Sign up for our daily newsletters

Professional soccer followed, playing in Sweden, before she returned to the U.S. as an assistant women's soccer coach at Arizona State, with her role at Northwestern to come after a few years at the University of Missouri.

As her obituary notes, the diagnosis of the bone cancer chordoma in 2009 "changed her life in many ways but it never dampened her spirit."

She fought the disease for nine years before her death, and was happiest at her cabin at Big Sandy Lake.

She is survived by her wife, Aileen Guiney, and two children, son Billy Cantor and daughter Tallulah.

Haigh is also an alumni of Highland Catholic School, which paid tribute to her this week on Facebook, saying: "Jenny was spectacular and we can't help but think the world is a little snowier and colder without her. May she rest in peace." 

Her funeral was held Friday at the Lumen Christi Catholic Church in St. Paul.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.

cook county schools

Investigation after assistant principal displays "joke" Gadsden flag during announcements

"My apologies to anybody who was offended by that part of the snake that was on that comic and it's been taken down."

Forest - orono, Minnesota

Report: Forests, agricultural land could help Minnesota reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The Nature Conservancy's Minnesota chapter released a report that shows how many acres of trees would be needed to help the state reach its reduction goals.

University of Minnesota

U of M will halt admissions to 12 PhD programs

The move is expected to help address the school's estimated budget shortfall of $166 million.

snow, plow

NWS says 'increasing potential for an impactful winter storm' this weekend

Nothing is certain yet. The weather service advises Minnesotans to monitor the forecast.

Mike Lindell, My Pillow CEO.

Under-fire Mike Lindell claims retailers have dropped MyPillow

The MyPillow CEO is seeing receiving backlash as he continues to share conspiracy theories about the election.

Related