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Wednesday, February 08, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb athletic director Philip Hutcheson is pleased to announce that Kevin O’Brien has been named the head coach of the Lipscomb women’s soccer program.
O’Brien is the third women’s coach of the NCAA Division I era at Lipscomb.
“Kevin brings a high level of energy to our women's soccer program and has the vision to develop it into a championship-caliber program,” Hutcheson said. “He's a strong leader and has a track record as one of the top recruiters in the region.
“I welcome Kevin, his wife Shannon, and their two children to the Lipscomb family. I look forward to the positive influence they will have on our student-athletes, our campus and the Nashville community."
O’Brien is excited for the opportunities at Lipscomb.
“I’m overjoyed to be joining the Lipscomb family,” O’Brien said. “I am grateful to Philip Hutcheson and the search committee for putting their trust in me as their coach. I believe the future is bright for the Lady Bison soccer program and I am honored that I was chosen to lead these young women into a prosperous new era.
“Building a program that will have a lasting impact and reputation in women’s soccer is a process that will take some time. It will take strong tactical coaching and player development initially, along with a transformation of the culture and expectations within the program, all the while creating a competitive and deep squad through recruiting”.
This is O’Brien’s first head coaching job. He had been the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator of the men’s soccer program at Davidson College since 2009 and has shown to be not only a strong coach, but savvy recruiter as well. He assembled a top-notch recruiting class in 2011, including three players ranked in the top 150 nationally by College Soccer News.
“Successful recruiting starts with having a good product to get the prospective student athletes excited,” O’Brien said. “We have that here at Lipscomb. The university offers a great liberal arts degree and has a beautiful campus, in an awesome city, with good weather and great people!
“Recruits have to catch the vision of the program and earnestly believe that the coach recruiting them can get them there. Lastly, players not only want to experience team success, they desire individual improvement. The coach has to be able to communicate his or her knowledge of the recruit’s position; furthermore, demonstrate the ability to take the players development further faster than other programs she is considering”.
On the field, O’Brien was part of Davidson’s staff that led the Wildcats to upset three top-25 programs in the past three seasons, including a victory against the National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels last season. Both the 2009 and 2010 squads were ranked in the National Top 25 at one point in their respective seasons.
Prior to joining the staff at Davidson, O’Brien served as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator with another NSCAA Top 25 program - the Charlotte 49ers. The 49ers were NCAA College Cup finalists in 2011, with seven of eleven starters being recruited by Coach O’Brien in his time with the program.
In his playing days, O’Brien led College of Charleston to two NCAA post season appearances, multiple top-20 rankings, the Elite 8 and was a two-time All-Conference selection and All-South Region player. Following his collegiate career, he played professionally (USL) for 8 years with the Charleston Battery and Charlotte Eagles.
As an assistant at the college level, O’Brien has also worked at Creighton, Oregon State and Presbyterian College.
O’Brien holds a USSF "A" License and the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma. He spent several years coaching in the North Carolina Olympic Development Program and won a national championship in 2006.
The new head coach is eager to get started on building the Lipscomb women’s program.
“My vision for the women’s soccer program at Lipscomb University is to pursue excellence,” O’Brien said. “If we strive for excellence in all we do and pursue it with a passion on the field, in the classroom and around town we will reap the successes that accompany this vision.”
He married his wife, Shannon, a former University of Arizona women's soccer player, in 2003. Shannon played professionally for the Charlotte Lady Eagles. They have a 5-year old daughter, Keely and a 2-year son, Keegan.