April 26, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University women's soccer coach Jerry Smith has received a new five-year contract through 2006-2007 after leading the Broncos to their eighth appearance in the NCAA College Cup and the school's first-ever women's national championship last December, Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick announced.
"Without a doubt, we feel that we have the best women's soccer coach in America right here at Santa Clara University," said Levick. "Jerry Smith has built this program virtually from scratch into an annual contender for the national title. What he has been able to accomplish here has been truly remarkable. I am pleased that we are able to make a long-term commitment to Jerry and our women's soccer program and that he remains committed to keeping our team in the national spotlight."
Smith, 40, signed the five-year agreement to remain the Broncos' mentor after leading Santa Clara to a 23-2 overall record and a 1-0 shutout over North Carolina in the NCAA championship game last December. His career mark stands at 242-60-15 in 15 years, making him the winningest coach in Santa Clara history. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Fifteen years ago this month, I was hired by Santa Clara University and I've loved my relationship with the institution ever since," said Smith, who has led his last 13 teams to NCAA Tournament appearances and top-10 final rankings. "I am truly excited that I have signed a new contract that will, for the next five years, provide me the opportunity to do what I love to do at a place I really want to be with players and an administration who are committed to excellence.
"I am also excited about the opportunities to continue to win national championships, as we did this past year. I believe Santa Clara can be the best team in the country on an annual basis and I look forward to doing everything possible to keep this program at the top of the national standings."
A 1986 graduate of Cal State Hayward, Smith has achieved success on virtually every level in the sport of soccer. In addition to his five national coach of the year honors, including 2001, he was selected as the head coach of the U.S. Under-21 National Team and has served in a variety of leadership roles in national youth soccer programs. Smith has coached 14 Broncos to positions on U.S. National Teams, including six current members of the squad, while 13 former Santa Clara players are currently members of WUSA professional soccer teams. For the second-straight year, Santa Clara is the only school to have at least one representative on each WUSA team.
In addition to coaching 17 Santa Clara players to All-America honors on the field, he has helped lead 11 Broncos to Academic All-America honors. Last season, seven Broncos were named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic Team and senior Danielle Slaton, the first selection in the WUSA draft, was named the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year.