EJ O’Keeffe, a two-time Big South Coach of the Year, has been named the men’s soccer head coach after a national search. The move represents a homecoming for O’Keeffe, who played at UNCG for three seasons, serving as team captain and leading the Spartans to the 2008 Southern Conference championship and NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
“This is an exciting day for our men’s soccer program,” said Director of Athletics Kim Record. “EJ was chosen following an extensive national search and stood out with a proven track record of success and as an alum has the passion for what the history and tradition of UNCG soccer is all about. With his leadership and experience — including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen as a player and his coaching success, we fully believe he is the right fit for our program. His intensity, enthusiasm and passion reflect our commitment to seeking excellence in all that we do. ”
The Greensboro native joins UNCG after spending the last nine years at High Point, including four seasons as head coach where he was twice named Big South Coach of the Year and had the Panthers ranked as high as No. 12 nationally last season. O’Keeffe is also an official US Soccer National Team Scout and is a member of the United Soccer Coaches National Ranking Committee, United Soccer Coaches Regional Ranking Committee and the NCAA Regional Ranking Committee along with being a MLS Combine Scout/Liaison.
Prior to his time with the Panthers, O’Keeffe was the Director of Recreation, Championships, Discipline and Appeals for the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association where he managed a yearly $900,000 budget.
“I’m excited to come home,” O’Keeffe said. “I’d like to thank Chancellor Gilliam, Kim and Sport Oversight Jody Smith. UNCG is close to my heart along with so many alums. There is a rich tradition at UNCG Soccer and I look to add to that. We have a lot of work to do but I’m excited and humbled to lead the program moving forward.”
UNCG will hold an official welcome for O’Keeffe today (Wednesday, Jan. 16) at 12:15 p.m. in Coleman Building, Room 137. It will be streamed via YouTube and the link can be found here.
To view the full release, visit uncgspartans.com.