Sports

Assistant tabbed as women’s soccer head coach

Seamus O’Connor will fill the void left by Matt Gwilliam.

Seamus O’Connor has been promoted to head coach of the women’s soccer team.

O’Connor has been an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the past two years. Temple has been without a head coach since April, when former coach Matt Gwilliam resigned to take an assistant coaching position at Colorado College. The Gwilliam-led Owls earned a combined record of 10-24-4 over the past two seasons.

“I’ve always wanted to be at Temple, so when the chance came, with Matt, I jumped at it,” O’Connor said.

Prior to coaching at Temple, from 2008 to 2010, O’Connor coached soccer and acted as director of soccer at Chestnut Hill College. He also coached at the professional level, leading the Philadelphia Liberty Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) in 2010.

PAUL KLEIN / TTN

PAUL KLEIN / TTN

During his time as an assistant coach, O’Connor was credited with adding 25 players to the Owls, giving him a familiarity with core players on the current roster.

“The group of girls we have right now are just an amazing group of young women,” O’Connor said. “It’s going to be exciting.”

O’Connor and his family have roots at Temple, with two of his cousins attending the university and his wife attending Fox Business School.

“It’s very exciting,” O’Connor said. “It’s been a long journey. This school has been a very large part of my family. One of my first sporting events, when I came over from Ireland, was a men’s Temple [soccer] game. Although I’ve been coaching at different institutions, I always came to watch the women’s soccer team play on Friday or Sunday. Whenever I had a free opportunity.”

O’Connor will be Temple’s fifth women’s soccer head coach since the program was founded in 1991. The team’s last winning season occurred in 2000 under former coach Seamus McWilliams, but O’Connor is optimistic for change.

“Challenges aren’t something that scare me,” O’Connor said. “We’re in one of the top women conferences in the country now, but it doesn’t scare me. Not when I have the quality of people I have behind me.”

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