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NCAA Jul 27, 2021

University of Oklahoma announces hiring of assistant coach David Gough

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma head soccer coach Mark Carr announced David Gough as an assistant coach on Tuesday.

Gough comes to Norman with over 20 years of coaching experience at the club, collegiate, professional and international levels.

“I am so excited to welcome David and his family to OU,” second-year head coach Carr said. “I have known him for some time and have followed his career from afar. Globally and domestically, everyone speaks very highly of him. Through all of our conversations, I was impressed with his passion and love for the game, his nurturing approach to coaching and especially how he wants to be part of what we are building here at OU.”

Gough helped lead the English Women’s National Team to a bronze medal at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and has coached in 17 different countries on three continents.

“I have long admired OU athletics from afar.” Gough said. “The high-performance culture, decades of consistency in their programs and the attraction to the special Boomer Sooner way makes it a special place. Soccer is a small world and the pull of getting to work for someone like Coach Carr was something that doesn’t come along often. It was clear to me right from the start that the current coaches and staff are world class, and they have a real roadmap that will allow us to compete on a national level in due time.”

Gough most recently founded ProPlayer, an athlete-development program that provides support and mentoring to youth competitors around the globe. Before that endeavor, Gough spent two seasons as the technical director at the Florida Elite Soccer Academy, where he led three Elite Clubs National League teams.

“When looking at this position, I wanted to bring in someone who would make our whole program immediately better and we found that in David,” Carr added. “David won a bronze medal at the 2015 FIFA World Cup and has a proven track record of player development across many levels from youth to college to professionally and internationally. He has been around different high-performance environments and some incredible people, and we will all draw from those experiences – not only myself, but our staff and most importantly, our student athletes.”

Gough spent the 2016-18 seasons as an assistant at the University of Arkansas, helping guide the Razorbacks to a 43-21-7 record and three NCAA Tournament appearances. Gough’s recruiting laid the foundation for Arkansas’ back-to-back SEC championships in 2020 and 2021.

Before his stop in Fayetteville, Gough led Arkansas Rush SC for three seasons from 2015-18.

His most notable years internationally came from 2014-16, when he helped guide the English Women’s National Team as an assistant coach. In 2015, the Lioness’ grabbed bronze at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the best finish in the their history. Under Gough’s leadership, England claimed the trophy at the 2015 Cyprus Cup and finished as the runner-up at the 2015 Yongchuan International Tournament. Back-to-back bronze medals among the world’s best at the 2016 and 2017 SheBelieves Cups closed his tenure with the English.

He attained extensive coaching experience in Europe before his time in England, leading the Cardiff City U15 and U18 clubs from 2011-14, and as head coach of the University of South Wales men’s team from 2010-14. At South Wales, he piloted South Wales to a second-place finish in the BUCS Premier Division, the top university soccer league in the United Kingdom.

“I feel that OU’s values reflect my deepest motivations,” Gough said. “It was so important for me that they were not just words on paper, and nowhere that I’ve been in the US has lived and breathed its values like we do here at Oklahoma. “Touring campus and talking to other coaches at OU, I knew this was the right destination for me and my family. The aim is simple: to always be current and relevant with the intention of developing individually world-class student-athletes and playing my part in the most successful teams. I truly believe that I have found both a place where my family and I will be happy and where I can do my life’s work.”

A native of Abertridwr, Wales, Gough graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2005 with a degree in sport development and again from the University of South Wales with a master’s in performance coaching in 2013.

“David is a phenomenal coach and developer, and I know he will hit the ground running here at OU,” Carr said. “He has an ability to get the best out of people and I am so excited for our student-athletes and our entire OU soccer program.”

The Sooners, under Carr’s leadership, will take the field in front of full-capacity John Crain Field in 2021. Both season and single-game tickets are available for purchase, with the Sooners’ first home game slated for August 26 at 7 p.m. versus Oklahoma State.