After meeting and interviewing all eligible candidates, the athletic department hired a new head coach for the women’s soccer team Jan 29.
Gerry Lucey, the new head coach of the women’s soccer team, said he is excited to begin working with the women and bringing them up to a national level of competing and playing in the sport.
The women’s soccer team has been part of the NCAA for over a year though they are new to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Lucey’s coaching experience includes one NCAA Division II National Championship, eight appearances in NCAA Tournaments, and coached three teams that were NCAA regional champions. His record also includes four regular season championships and five conference tournament championships.
Lucey came to the U.S. from Ireland in the ‘90s to earn his college degree. While he attended Long Island University Post in New York, he played soccer. He then played semi-professional before playing professionally with teams such as the New York Metrostars and the Long Island Rough Riders of the Major League Soccer.
His experience playing in the MLS surrounded by talented players and having very good coaches throughout his career both professionally and when he played for Post, has given him a different perspective, Lucey said.
While growing up in Ireland, Lucey was surrounded by soccer. Everyone was a fan and the players on the English teams were their heroes; they wanted to emulate them and become professional soccer players themselves.
“Soccer has been a huge part of my life since I was about three or four, when I first started playing,” Lucey said. “It’s in the blood’ as you say, my father played semi-professionally.”
Kilee Lamb, a junior business administration major from Smithfield, said, “His passion for soccer will translate over to coaching with us... we’re all just really excited to see what changes he’ll bring.”
Being on the field and seeing the women play will make it possible to assess each players ability and give the head coach an idea of where the team is and where they need to go in their development, Lucey said.
Athletic Director Jason Boothe said, “He’s played at a very high level himself, and he can put himself in their shoes as he’s coaching.”
Lucey said he will be arriving in St. George about mid February and practice for the women’s soccer team should be starting at the end of the month.
The ultimate goal for Lucey, the team and the athletic department is to get a national championship win for Dixie State University in the coming season.