Pilots fire Garrett Smith
The University of Portland is looking for a new women's soccer coach.
Garrett Smith will not return for a 16th season as the program's head coach, Portland Vice President for Athletics Scott Leykam announced on Tuesday.
The decision to shift course comes after the Pilots — once a women's soccer power — missed the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.
A 1991 UP graduate, Smith has been involved with Pilots soccer since he was a player for the men's soccer team. He was an assistant coach under Clive Charles for both the men's and women's programs. Smith was an assistant coach for the 2002 women's soccer national championship team and the head coach for the unbeaten 2005 national champions.
But the Pilots, once able to attract top athletes from across the nation, have not reached the final four since that 2005 championship and made the last of their 21 NCAA Tournament appearances in 2013.
The year's team, playing a lot of underclassmen, finished 5-13-1 including 2-7-0 in the West Coast Conference. The 22-player roster included eight sophomores and seven freshmen, with 17 of the players from Oregon or Washington.
"This decision was a difficult one and was made after lengthy and thoughtful consideration," Leykam said in a statement announcing Smith's dismissal. "We will begin the search for the next head coach immediately and I am confident we will find an outstanding candidate to both continue the great tradition of UP women's soccer and fulfill the missions of the university and athletic department."
Smith posted a record of 222-78-24 as the Pilots head coach, including 78-30-9 in the WCC with seven conference titles. His teams advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals seven times.
"We sincerely thank Garrett for all of his hard work and dedication to the university as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach," Leykam said. "He will always be a big part of our program's tradition and everything that has been accomplished at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex and Merlo Field."