Minnesota Aurora’s Lukic to depart at the end of March

Minnesota Aurora FC announced Wednesday that Sporting Director Nicole Lukic, who's also the coach, will depart at the end of March. Lukic has accepted a position with U.S. Soccer as director of talent identification for women's youth national teams.

As Aurora's first head coach, Lukic led the team to two undefeated regular seasons and deep playoff runs. She joined Aurora full time in 2023 after taking on an expanded role as sporting director in addition to coaching duties. Lukic was selected the USL W League's coach of the year in Aurora's inaugural season.

"Aurora is such a special place and I'm so grateful to have spent two incredible seasons with this club," Lukic said in a statement provided by the team. "I'll continue to be an Aurora fan forever and wish the organization all the success as I step into my next chapter with U.S. Soccer."

Added President and COO Jessica Poole: "Nicole will always have a legacy as Aurora's first coach. The mission of this club is to develop pathways for women to succeed in sport. What better example than our coach being called up to lead youth talent identification for U.S. Soccer? We're thrilled for Nicole to take this incredible career step, and she'll always be part of our Aurora family."

Lukic's last day with the club will be March 21. The search for her replacement is underway.