Smith Promoted to Assistant Soccer Coach
July 25, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
After serving as the volunteer assistant coach for the past two seasons, Kansas alum Jessica Smith has been promoted to full-time assistant coach of the University of Kansas soccer team for the 2011 season.
A standout for the Jayhawks from 2002-05, Smith was a team captain in 2004 and 2005, and was twice named Academic All-Big 12. Her 2004 team won the Big 12 regular season championship, the first in program history, while her 2003 squad advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament (round of 16).
In 83 career games in the Crimson and Blue, Smith scored 16 goals, which still ranks as the seventh-best mark in program history, and registered 10 assists, including seven goals during her freshman season. She was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week twice as well as to the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week in 2005.
“We are thrilled to have Jessica as a member of our full-time staff,” said head coach Mark Francis. “As a former player in our program, Jessica will be able to provide our current players with valuable insight and guidance. We believe her experience as a player and coach will be extremely beneficial to the Jayhawk soccer program.”
Before her current role with KU, Smith coached at various levels in the Kansas City Metro area, including as a varsity assistant coach for both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Olathe Northwest High School. During her time at ONWHS, she helped lead the Lady Ravens to back-to-back region championships in 2008 and 2009, while assisting with the Ravens’ boys regional championship team in 2007.
In addition to her coaching duties at Olathe Northwest, Smith has served as a coach with the Kansas State ODP girls’ program.
In 2008, she was an assistant with the 1992 team, which was the first Kansas ODP team (boys or girls) to win an ODP Regional Championship. Her team went on to participate in the U.S. Youth Soccer National ODP Championship tournament. Smith is currently working with the 1996 age group.
Smith has also spent time working with TOPSoccer programs throughout the state of Kansas as a chairperson as well as a coach. TOPSoccer is U.S. Youth Soccer’s outreach program for children with special needs.
An NSCAA All-American at Wichita Southeast High School, the Wichita, Kan., product left her high school career as the state’s all-time leading scorer, a title which current Jayhawk Kortney Clifton took over in 2007.
Smith, who graduated from KU in 2006 with a degree in sports and fitness management, holds a USSF National “C” Coaching License.