Kovacs named new women’s soccer coach


VANCOUVER – UBC Athletics and Recreation is excited to announce the appointment of Marisa Kovacs, a native of Windsor, Ont., as head coach of the UBC Thunderbirds women’s soccer program.
“The University of British Columbia is an amazing place and I hope to use my national ties, and more importantly, my local ties to recruit the very best from our soccer rich province of British Columbia,” said Kovacs, who succeeds Andrea Neil. “With the 2015 Women’s World Cup coming to Canada and UBC hosting the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship next season, the excitement surrounding the women’s game is unprecedented in our area. I am extremely excited to start building towards the 2015 season.”
Kovacs comes to UBC after successful coaching tenures at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga., and Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., both NCAA Div. II institutions.
She spent nine years helping build the West Georgia program from the ground up. Kovacs began as a graduate assistant coach in 2004, the inaugural season of play for the Wolves, and was promoted to head coach in 2006. She held the position until 2012.
During her time at UWG, Kovacs helped develop one All-American, two Gulf South Conference Players of the Year, four All-Region Performers, six Academic All-Conference players, 16 All-Gulf South Conference players and 61 Gulf South Conference Academic Honor Roll student-athletes.
The Wolves advanced to the Gulf South Conference Tournament semifinals a total of four times between 2004 and 2012.
Off the field, Kovacs initiated annual fundraising efforts for the team and created the program’s annual “Alumni Weekend.” She also completed her Master of Education degree at West Georgia.
Last year, Kovacs was named an assistant coach and head scout for SFU Clan men’s soccer.
In two seasons with Kovacs on staff, SFU made the NCAA Div. II championship tournament twice, advancing to the national semifinal round in 2013. While at SFU, she also completed her Bachelor of Education degree.
“We are excited to welcome Marisa to the UBC team,” said Gord Hopper, UBC’s Director of Athletics, Performance and Team Services. “She brings experience as a head coach in the university system, a commitment to student-athlete development, and strong leadership skills.”
In addition to her degrees from UWG and SFU, Kovacs holds a Bachelor of Arts from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., where she played varsity soccer from 2000 to 2003.
A four-year starter at NCAA Div. I Coastal Carolina, she was a four-time Big South All-Conference team member and the league’s Freshman of the Year in 2000.
She served as captain for three seasons and made the Big South’s All-Tournament team in 2003.
After finishing her varsity career, Kovacs played for the W-League’s Toronto Inferno, where she was team captain, and London Gryphons. In 2005, she suited up for her hometown Windsor Border Stars.
She will officially begin at UBC on January 8.