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Coaching Jun 03, 2023

Graeme Orr named head coach for NCAA Division I program at Southern Illinois University

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University has announced the hiring of Graeme Orr as the new women’s soccer head coach. Orr has spent the last 12 seasons as head coach at Division II West Alabama.

A native of Eaglesham, Scotland, Orr is the only women’s soccer head coach in West Alabama history, having started the program in 2011. Since that time, he has posted an overall record of 115-78-19 and a conference record of 79-44-9.

During Orr’s tenure, UWA has recorded 10-consecutive winning seasons and 11-straight postseason appearances.

“Throughout the interview process, Graeme demonstrated a clear vision and blueprint for how you build a successful women’s soccer program,” said Tim Leonard, SIU’s director of athletics. “Graeme’s experience and soccer expertise, combined with his leadership and communication skills, are the fit we were looking for.”

In addition to team success at UWA, Orr’s squads produced 33 all-conference members, 23 D2CCA All-South Region selections and two conference player-of-the-year winners.

“I am grateful to Tim Leonard and Chancellor (Austin) Lane for this wonderful opportunity to serve Southern Illinois University,” Orr said. “SIU is an institution with rich history and substance. Carbondale is a community with a real authenticity and soul. It’s a privilege to be here working. I know the administration’s vision aligns very much with mine, and we now look to go and deliver on this. I very much look forward to meeting with the players on their return from summer break and can’t wait to get started.”

Prior to West Alabama, Orr was an assistant coach at North Alabama from 2008-10. The school advanced to the NCAA Tournament round of 32 in 2009, its first NCAA postseason appearance in school history. Along with his duties in Florence, Ala., Orr served as a head coach for the Alabama Olympic Development Program.

Orr graduated from Martin Methodist College in 2007 and was a four-year letterwinner on the men’s soccer team, an all-conference selection and a two-time team captain. He led the squad to both a regular-season and conference tournament championship.

Orr also played for the Albion Rovers in Scotland and completed a SVQ Level 2 in sport & recreational studies. In 2002, he became a soccer coach for East Renfrewshire Council where he worked with children from 3-16 years old.

Orr has assisted the development of numerous professional players, including Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns, USA), Nicki Gears (Sunderland F.C., England), Katy Morris (Coventry United – England), Nicola Gibson (Watford F.C.  – England), Kirsten Reilly (Crystal Palace F.C. – England) and Anele Komani (Hapoel Petah Tikva F.C – Israel).

Orr’s coaching licenses and certifications include NSCAA Premier, USSF ‘A’ License, US Youth Soccer National Youth License, Scottish F.A. Level 3 in Children & Youth, United Soccer Coaches Level 3 goalkeeping, and a UEFA B license. Orr earned a master’s degree in health promotion and human performance from North Alabama in 2009.

For more on Orr’s hiring, including quotes from notable figures across college soccer, click here.

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