Pembroke Named Head Equestrian Coach at Minnesota Crookston

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CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston equestrian team announced the hiring of Haley Pembroke as head coach. Pembroke had been serving as interim head coach since September 28, 2023. 

“We are very excited to announce Haley as head equestrian coach,” said Director of Athletics Stephanie Helgeson. “Haley did a tremendous job as assistant coach last season, and did a great job in the role as interim coach throughout the last month. We are excited to see the trajectory of the program under her leadership.”

Pembroke did a great job as an assistant coach in 2022-23, helping lead the western team. She aided in Juliana Gullo’s impressive freshman season where she was named the ECAC Freshman Fences Rider of the Year. She coached former student-athlete Belle Sand to an IHSA Semi Finals championship in individual open reining, and an IHSA Reserve National Championship in open reining. In addition, Pembroke coached U of M Crookston alumnus Olivia Becker to a program-record 77.5 in horsemanship at Delaware State University in the fall of 2022, and coached Sand to a program-record 78 in reining at Fresno State University in the spring of 2023.

“I am looking forward to continuing to grow and build the NCEA part of our program while maintaining our success in the IHSA,” Pembroke stated. “There is so much potential here and I am excited to lead this group of student-athletes as we start a new chapter for our team. I am so grateful to all of the mentors, coaches, and family members who have been in my corner throughout my career in this sport, and I am so thankful for all the doors they continue to help open for me. I would also like to thank Director of Athletics Stephanie Helgeson, and Senior Woman Administrator Bridget Steffes, for trusting me with this new role.”

Pembroke was a two-time National Champion, NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee, and two-time SEC Champion at Auburn University from 2016-20. She spent two years as a volunteer assistant coach for the IHSA program at the University of Nebraska.

Pembroke helped the Huskers to a first-place western finish at the 2021 IHSA semi finals and regionals, and a top-five finish at the 2021 IHSA Nationals with multiple riders winning champion and reserve champion honors. She assisted the western team to five regular-season team high points honors, as well as nine individual high point and reserve high point riders.

In addition, Pembroke also worked for Opendorse as a marketplace coordinator. She educated brands on name, image, and likeness and best practices for working with student-athletes to help them create effective marketing campaigns on the Opendorse platform.

In addition, she worked from January-December 2021 as the graduate assistant for operations for the University of Nebraska women’s gymnastics team. Pembroke assisted with day-to-day operations of the team, helped to increase alumni engagement, mentored student-athletes, and planned student-athlete development activities. Pembroke also worked as a development and ticket office intern for the Husker Athletic Fund during the summer of 2021.

As a student-athlete, Pembroke appeared on the competition roster for western horsemanship 30 times over four years as an alternate, exhibition rider, demo rider, and part of the starting line-up for the top Division I equestrian team in the nation. Pembroke was the equestrian representative for the Auburn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2018. She helped the Tigers to back-to-back National Championships and SEC Championships at the NCEA level. In addition to being an NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, Pembroke earned the Leah Rawls Atkins Award, the NCAA Women’s Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship, and the SEC Brad Davis Community Service Postgraduate Scholarship. She was named to the SEC Community Service Team, the SEC Academic Honor Roll, the APHA NCEA Academic Honor Roll, the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society, and First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Pembroke received her degree in finance from the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University in 2020. She received her Master of Arts in Business with a specialization in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in December 2021. Pembroke is a native of Bellevue, Wash.