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Coaching Dec 30, 2019

American University women’s soccer hires Marsha Harper as head coach

WASHINGTONMarsha Harper is the seventh head coach in women’s soccer history at American University, announced Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. Billy Walker. Harper joins the Eagles after two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts, during which time the Minutewomen went 21-12-4.

“I am tremendously excited to announce Marsha Harper as the new head coach of American University women’s soccer,” said Walker. “Marsha brings with her a wealth of experience and a great understanding of the game. Beyond that, she brings a deep passion and contagious enthusiasm that will resonate with AU student-athletes and fans alike.  I’m thrilled to welcome Coach Harper to the Eagles team!”

Harper was part of a full coaching staff change at UMass, working with head coach Jason Dowiak who was a former mentor and colleague from the University of South Florida. While at UMass, Harper was directly in charge of all internal operations such as the development of practices, recruiting, social media, compliance and admissions for the women’s soccer program.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to have been selected by Dr. Billy Walker, Josephine Harrington, and the rest of the search committee to lead the women’s soccer program at American University,” said Harper. “From the moment I walked through the doors, I could feel an overwhelming connection. An obvious passion for success, inspiring core values, backed by an outstanding academic institution are among several reasons this program will be successful and I am excited to be a part of it.

“I would like to thank Jason Dowiak, Sam Mitchell, all of the administration, and my entire UMass family for the last two years and for supporting me during my time in Amherst. Relationships are invaluable and I am incredibly indebted to all of my mentors, friends, family, and former players who have all individually helped shape me into the coach I am today. I am excited to be joining the American University family and I look forward to bringing my passion and vision to AU Women’s Soccer! Go Eagles!”

Prior to her time at UMass, Harper spent two seasons at Richmond, another Atlantic 10 Conference program. She has also had assistant coaching stints at Bowling Green State University (2015) and Northwestern State University (2014).

In addition to her tenures as an assistant coach at the collegiate level, the USF double-graduate has spent time coaching at the club and Olympic Developmental levels.

After completing her collegiate playing career, Harper volunteered as an assistant coach at USF in the spring of 2014 while also serving as a staff coach for the Future 50 Soccer Camp.

Harper was a member of the University of Florida women’s soccer team for three seasons before transferring to USF in 2011. She served as captain for the Bulls during the 2013 season. The collegiate defender earned her bachelor’s degree in applied science in 2012 and her master’s degree in exercise science at USF in 2014.