Pilots part ways with women’s soccer coach

Four Clark County products part of Garrett Smith’s teams

By Andy Buhler, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

University of Portland women's soccer coach Garrett Smith.

University of Portland is parting ways with longtime women’s soccer coach Garrett Smith, the school announced on Tuesday.

Portland went undefeated and won a national championship in 2005, reached the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals five other times and won seven West Coast Conference titles. Smith was named WCC Coach of the year six times, and spent 11 years as an assistant with the men’s and women’s programs at UP.

This season the Pilots finished 5-13-1, their worst year under Smith, and have had a losing record in each of the last four seasons (28-40-8).

“We sincerely thank Garrett for all of his hard work and dedication to the University as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach,” UP Vice President for Athletics Scott Leykam said Tuesday in an athletic department press release. “He will always be a big part of our program’s tradition and everything that has been accomplished at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex and Merlo Field.”

The program’s most recent NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2013.

Three Clark County products Ellie Walker (Columbia River), Taryn Ries (Ridgefield) and Rylee Seekins (Hockinson) play for the program. Walker and Ries will be sophomores, while Seekins will be a redshirt sophomore after obtaining a medical redshirt after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament.

Ellie Boon, formerly a standout at Washougal High School, played for the Pilots from 2013-16.

A common thread between the three Clark County natives currently with the program, and much of UP’s recruiting as a whole, ties back to area club FC Portland, which was founded by UP coaching legend Clive Charles. Sixteen players on the current roster played for FC Portland, where Smith is a longtime coach.

Assistant coaches Lisa Chambers and Miguel Guante are also coaches at the club, according to its website.

Chambers and Guante will remain in their current roles during the transition period, according to an athletic department spokesman.

“This decision was a difficult one and was made after lengthy and thoughtful consideration,” Leykam said. “We will begin the search for the next head coach immediately and I am confident we will find an outstanding candidate to both continue the great tradition of UP women’s soccer and fulfill the missions of the University and Athletic Department.”