June 14, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The NCAA champion Santa Clara University women's soccer program has hired Mike Smith as an assistant coach, head coach Jerry Smith announced today.
Mike Smith, no relation to Jerry, joins the Broncos as the team's first assistant and will begin work on the Mission Campus on August 1. He will share in all responsibilities of the program, with direct tasks to be coordinated upon his arrival.
This hiring completes the women's soccer coaching staff. Smith replaces former associate head coach Rich Manning, who left in February to accept the head coaching position at Utah. Smith will join Erin Hussey, who was hired last month in a newly-created position as SCU's second assistant.
"I am extremely excited to have Mike join us here at Santa Clara," Jerry Smith said. "I worked with Mike in the Olympic Development Program and have nothing but the utmost respect for his soccer ability and have nothing but great feelings about his character. He offers us the best of both worlds: he's a great soccer person, but more importantly a great person. He's going to be a real asset to our University, and together with Erin, we will have a very talented and strong coaching staff to lead our women's soccer squad."
Smith is a USSF 'A' Licensed coach and has worked with Oregon Youth Soccer Association as Head Recreational Coach since 1997. He is also Regional Head Coach for the Girls ODP Region IV, involving the elite female players from 14 western states. Jerry Smith originally met his new assistant coach when the two took an ODP team to England and Ireland in 2000.
Additionally, Mike Smith formerly ran the coaching programs for Minnesota Youth Soccer while also involving himself in the ODP program in that state. He has also been on the U.S. Soccer National Instructional Staff since 1999 and was a speaker at the International Olympic Sociology of Sport Conference in Barcelona, Spain in 1992.
"I am thrilled at the opportunity to work with Jerry again," Smith said. "I feel we had a great chemistry as a coaching staff then and I think that together with Erin, we can continue the success that the Santa Clara women's soccer program has achieved already.
"It is a wonderful opportunity to work at Santa Clara, although of course I am disappointed to leave many great friends and coaches in Oregon, in particular Jimmy Conway, with whom I worked closely."
A native of Scotland, Smith graduated from the Southampton University in England with a bachelor's in geography in 1991. He completed his masters in sport sociology at the University of Leicester the following fall.
As a player, Smith trained with the youth team at Queen's Park Rangers in London and then went on to play with semi-pro youth and reserves teams before going to college. He played three years at Southampton, and was named Player of the Year as a senior. He also captained the team that finished second in the British Universities Indoor Soccer championship in 1991.
Mike worked as assistant coach for the Southampton women's team and also the Leicester women. His first coaching assignment in the United States was head coach at the Premier Boys Club, Newcastlewest, in Minnesota.
The Broncos open the 2002 season against Bay Area rival Stanford on Friday, August 31. The match will take place at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7:30 p.m.