Summer Perala returns for her sixth season as a Blazer assistant coach in 2008, and her second season as the associate head coach, after joining the UAB coaching staff in June of 2003. Upon her arrival at UAB, she immediately helped lead the Blazers to the Conference USA championship that season. Her leadership skills and playing experience at the collegiate level instantly impacted the Blazers' defense and UAB finished the 2003 season with an impressive 13-5-1 overall record.
During her tenure at UAB, she has helped the Blazers to three C-USA championships, including two C-USA tournament titles and a pair of NCAA tournament appearances.
As a well-respected goalkeepers specialist, Perala took the Blazers' 2003 squad that only included two freshmen goalkeepers and turned it into the No. 2 defensive unit in the conference. UAB limited its opposition to a school-record 21 goals during the 2003 season and registered a team-record nine shutouts.
In the summer of 2003, Perala was named Director of the UAB Girls Soccer Goalkeeper Camps.
A 2002 graduate of Western Illinois University, Perala spent the spring of 2003 as the head coach of the girls' varsity soccer team at Guilford High School in Rockford, Ill., where her team advanced to the regional state tournament.
Prior to coaching at Guilford, Perala served for one year as the student assistant/goalkeeper coach at Western Illinois, where she helped plan and evaluate training sessions and was critically involved in the recruiting of prospective student-athletes.