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Kaw Valley FC Names Jessica Smith Head Coach for the USL W League Team

By Kaw Valley FC, 01/07/22, 11:45AM CST


Lawrence, KS.- Kaw Valley FC announced today that it has named Jessica Smith as the first Head Coach and Technical Director ahead of the 2022 USL W season.  

Smith currently serves as the Head Coach for the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) women’s soccer team.  Smith has USSF A (Senior) coaching license and she has served in a variety of coaching capacities for both Kansas State and the University of Kansas women’s soccer programs. Smith was also recognized and selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for its 30-Under-30 Coaching Program for rising coaches.

“We’re extremely excited to have Jess join the Kaw Valley FC family,” said KVFC President & General Manager Marcus Dudley.  “Not only does Jess bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program, she is an outstanding leader and an extremely talented recruiter. I’ve known Jess personally for several years.  She served as the Director of the Girls Academy for Sporting Kaw Valley from 2011-2014 where I was able to witness her passion, leadership, and coaching abilities first hand. In addition, Jess cares deeply about her players, she is an amazing ambassador of the game, and she is a fantastic coach, mentor and role model.  I can think of no one better to serve as the first head coach for KVFC’s women's team.”

Coach Smith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Cranes.  Smith was part of the inaugural K-State women’s soccer program that began in 2016 and she was eventually elevated to the Associate Head Coach position in 2018. Smith also served as an assistant coach at the University of Kansas from 2011-2015 where she helped guide the program to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2011, 2014) and a trip to the Big 12 Conference tournament final in 2015.

Before Smith joined the KU coaching staff, she served in a variety of coaching capacities at the youth level throughout northeastern Kansas.  Smith also served as a coach with the Kansas State Olympic Development Program (ODP) girls' program and as a coach with TOPSoccer, a U.S. Youth Soccer outreach program for children with special needs.

 As a student-athlete from 2002-05 with the University of Kansas, Smith played in 83 career games scoring 16 goals and dishing out 10 assists. She served as team captain from 2004-2005 and she graduated from KU in 2006 with Bachelors of Science Sports Management

 “I’m so excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead the Cranes this upcoming season and humbled to coach in the USL W League whose core mission it is to not only grow the women’s game but to use women’s soccer as a force for societal good by creating a national platform to increase opportunity, gender equity, and career development for women.  These all represent goals that I’m both personally committed to and passionate about, and I’d like to thank Marcus Dudley, and the Board of Directors, for the amazing opportunity to serve as the inaugural head coach of the Kaw Valley FC USL W women’s team. I can’t wait to get started,” said Smith.

The USL W League season is scheduled to kick off in May.  Information on single game and season tickets will be released shortly after the 2022 season schedule has been finalized and released in mid February.

 Click here for more information on the USL W League.