There are many inspirational coaches that are currently in women’s soccer right now. From college soccer to the USL W-League and beyond, these coaches are leaving an impact on the game. In partnership with United Soccer Coaches, here are five inspirational women’s soccer coaches to know and follow.
Margueritte Aozasa – UCLA
Before she became one of the best coaches in the country, Aozasa played college soccer at Santa Clara from 2008-11 as a midfielder and center back. After graduating from Santa Clara, she coached her former club team, Mountain View- Los Altos Soccer Club, before becoming an assistant coach at Stanford in 2015.
While Aozasa was at Stanford, she helped coach the team to two NCAA Championships and four straight Pac-12 Championships.
In December 2021, Aozasa was hired to be the head coach at UCLA, and she’s already racked up an impressive resume in her short time as a head coach.
During the 2022 season, she became the first rookie head coach to win a National Championship. She’s just one of four Asian American women coaches who are currently head coaches in the NCAA. When she led the Bruins to the national title in 2022, she became the first woman of color to win as a head coach.
In two seasons, she’s won Pac-12 Coach of the Year twice and led her team to a National Championship and Pac-12 Championship. She holds a 33-4-1 record in her first two seasons.
She’s also an assistant coach for the USWNT U-23 team.
Molly Rouse – Ole Miss
Ahead of the 2023 college soccer season, Rouse was hired as the head coach for Ole Miss. Before joining Ole Miss, she was the head coach at Utah Tech for three seasons.
She played collegiately at Minnesota from 2007-10 and then went on to play professionally in the WPSL with the Minnesota Kings and Vancouver Whitecaps. After her playing career was over, she served as an assistant coach at Iowa, Nebraska-Omaha, Alabama State, Buffalo, and Minnesota.
In her first season as head coach of the Rebels, she led the team to a 7-7-3 record. The season was highlighted by a draw against South Carolina which was ranked 15th at the time.
Jessica Clinton – Oakland Soul
Clinton has been in the head coaching game for a while now, but in March of 2023, she was hired as the first head coach of the Oakland Soul, a team in the USL W-League. She led the Soul to a 10-2 record and a trip to the USL W League playoffs in the first season.
Before joining Oakland, she was the head coach at Fordham, where she spent eight years.
Prior to her time as a head coach, she was an assistant at Boston University before becoming the associate head coach. She also served as an assistant coach at St. Johns University.
Clinton played collegiately at Boston University as a goalkeeper, and she holds the record for most saves in a season and career at the university.
Lyndse Hokanson – Colgate
Hokanson is another coach who has worked her way up in the college soccer ranks. She played collegiately at George Mason as a goalkeeper from 2012-14. After her playing career was over, she joined Valdosta State, where she served as a graduate assistant coach. After her stint as a graduate assistant, she joined the coaching staff at Georgetown where she would serve as an assistant coach for five seasons.
While at Georgetown, she helped coach the team to three straight conference championships and five NCAA Tournament appearances, with two of those ending in trips to the College Cup.
At the end of 2019, she was named the head coach at Colgate, a position that she’s still in currently.
Katie Smith – Pitt State
Smith is the assistant coach for Pitt State Women’s Soccer. The school just created the women’s soccer program, and they’ll compete for the first time this fall in the NCAA Division II.
She took the unconventional route when it came to coaching women’s soccer. She began her coaching career straight out of high school while also attending and playing soccer at community college. In 2023 she joined the coaching staff at Arkansas State as an assistant coach.
She’s a young coach who’s creating her path in the game and a name to watch for the future. Smith was also selected as one of United Soccer Coaches 30 Under 30 to watch for 2023-24.