Manning Named Utah Head Women's Soccer Coach

Jan. 23, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY - Rich Manning, the associate head coach at Santa Clara University, has been named head women's soccer coach at the University of Utah, Director of Athletics Dr. Chris Hill announced today.

Manning, 37, brings a wealth of coaching experience with him to Utah. Most recently, Manning spent four years (1998-2001) on the women's soccer coaching staff at Santa Clara. He was an assistant coach for three years before being promoted to associate head coach last fall.

Manning helped direct the Broncos to four NCAA Tournament appearances, three NCAA College Cups and the 2001 NCAA Championship. During his tenure, Santa Clara went 84-11-2 and won three West Coast Conference Championships. The WCC is regarded as one of the premier soccer leagues in the nation.

Manning recruited and coached some of the top soccer players in the nation at Santa Clara. Nine players from his tenure have made the U.S. National Team. Eight played last season in the WUSA. Manning has also coached two National Players of the Year in Mandy Clemens (1999) and Aly Wagner (2001).

"We are very excited to have Rich Manning join our staff at the University of Utah," Hill said. "He was the top assistant at one of the nation's best women's soccer programs and knows what it takes to be competitive at the highest level. We had a very strong pool of candidates for this position and I want to commend our associate athletics director Amy Hackett for doing a fine job in spearheading our search. We feel that Rich is the right person to lead our soccer program to conference and NCAA success."

Prior to joining the Santa Clara coaching staff, Manning worked with numerous youth programs in Southern California. From 1994-97, he was head coach at Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School, where he produced two California Interscholastic Federation championships and sent eight players to NCAA Division I programs. On a personal level, Manning garnered 1996 CIF Coach of the Year honors and was named the 1997 Orange County Coach of the Year.

Along with his success at Los Alamitos, Manning has helped develop the S.C. Blues soccer club in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., into one of the West Coast's top youth programs.

Manning made a name for himself as a player at Santa Clara from 1982-1986, thriving under the guidance of former U.S. National Team coaches Steve Sampson and Ralph Perez. As a senior, Manning was captain of the Broncos and earned All-Far West accolades after an outstanding season.

In 1986, Manning graduated from Santa Clara cum laude with a B.S. in mathematics, followed by a master's in education from Azusa Pacific University.

"I am excited about becoming the new coach of the Utes," Manning said. "The University of Utah presents a great opportunity for me, the kind that I knew it would take to drag me away from the great program at Santa Clara and the personal ties that I have there. All of the elements are here for success. The university and the athletic department are of the highest quality and a solid foundation for the soccer program already exists. There's also a strong soccer community in the state of Utah with a number of excellent youth players. I am confident that I can help the University of Utah soccer program achieve its highest goals."