Aug. 6, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University women's soccer assistant coach Mike Smith has announced his resignation as U.S. Youth Soccer's Region IV Girls Olympic Development Program Head Coach. Smith will continue his current duties through November, but has decided to focus more attention to his family and the Bronco soccer program. Smith began his USYS position in December 2001 and was involved with numerous duties over the past three years, including selection of age group coaches, tournament travel and helping plan and run the annual Region IV Girls ODP Camp held each summer. He was instrumental in beginning an under-13 regional camp program earlier this year, increasing coaching resources to state and staff coaches by providing a booklet of coaching sessions, as well as trying to implement a more interactive and friendly staff experience at events. Smith continued the tradition of bringing the staff coaches in a day early but also introduced a staff team-building element to bring the regional staff coaches together. Smith described the experience he has had as Region IV Head Coach as `phenomenal' and described the coaches in the west region as "a tight-knit group of fun experienced coaches who worked extremely well together. We like to think that the players in the west region are the best and contribute the largest number of any region to the youth national teams. This is much in part due the diligence and knowledge of the great club, college and ODP coaches we have here in Region IV." In particular, Smith thanked Darl Rose, Region IV Director, for his support and commitment, as well as Tara Erickson, Smith's assistant during his tenure and both Garry Moore and Joyce Pineda, successive Region IV Girls ODP Administrators. "It is a great team that will continue to have great success for the west region," said Smith. Smith also took three foreign trips with Region IV, traveling to England, Ireland, Italy and Costa Rica. His teams lost only one match during those tours. The position Smith resigned had been in the SCU family for the past five years, as Smith followed current Bronco head coach Jerry Smith as the Region IV leader. Initially created in 1977 as the U.S. Youth Soccer Select Team Program, ODP was formed to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a national team could be selected for international competitions. It is through the guidance and direction of talented coaches that the program has grown and will continue to improve in the coming years.