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The end of a dream

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default The end of a dream

Post by boyaremyarmstired on Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:08 am

Hi, folks. Long-time Pilot supporter, first time poster.
I wanted to ask a question that my friend and I have been puzzled with since Clive's passing.
All of us knew that the women's program would take a hit without his recruiting and coaching magic.
And, when the school announced that they were hiring Smith to take the reins, most of us felt concerned, but assumed that it was an interim hire.
But, years on, Smith was still there. The program slipped and slipped into obscurity.
My question: Why did the university not make a big hire, a high-profile coach who would keep the team in the top echelon of collegiate soccer? Was it money, school size...?
Your thoughts and insights would be much appreciated.
Thank you for the opportunity to ask the question.

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Post by SoreKnees on Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:55 am

boyaremyarmstired wrote:Hi, folks. Long-time Pilot supporter, first time poster.
I wanted to ask a question that my friend and I have been puzzled with since Clive's passing.
All of us knew that the women's program would take a hit without his recruiting and coaching magic.
And, when the school announced that they were hiring Smith to take the reins, most of us felt concerned, but assumed that it was an interim hire.
But, years on, Smith was still there. The program slipped and slipped into obscurity.
My question: Why did the university not make a big hire, a high-profile coach who would keep the team in the top echelon of collegiate soccer? Was it money, school size...?
Your thoughts and insights would be much appreciated.
Thank you for the opportunity to ask the question.

I don't really have any insider information (as some on this board will), but I feel like it was probably personal loyalty. Not many were ever fired in the UP soccer program. He was well liked by the players as an assistant and I wonder if Clive wanted him to succeed him. Plus, he was really successful in the early years, until all those quarter-final losses at UCLA.
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Post by OldePilot on Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:17 pm

This is certainly not insider information, but rather some facts regarding Garrett Smith’s tenure. The final four seasons (2014-2017) were indeed disastrous. However, in his first eleven seasons, the teams were 212-38-17...not too shabby. The Pilots won it all in 2005, and in 2007 Smith was named the NCAA Coach of the Year. During that eleven year stretch, there was only one losing season and the Pilots were in the quarterfinals numerous times. Certainly Clive’s recruits were valuable in the first couple years after his demise (Christine Sinclair anyone), but Smith did OK on the recruiting circuit through most of the 2000’s. Loyalty may well have been the reason he was kept for a couple years...UP was 17-3-1 in 2013 prior to the bad run...so an immediate dismissal for a coach with his record wasn’t realistic.

I’ve always felt that the success of the Pilot Women was a little like that of Immaculata University (remember them?) who won the first three collegiate women’s basketball titles, partially because nobody was paying attention yet. Portland cleaned up on the PAC 12 and any number of the Power Five Conference types for a number of years in the 1990s and 2000s. Then recruiting got much tougher as the bigger schools began to pay attention to Women’s Soccer. UNC benefitted greatly from the years when not everyone was playing/paying attention.

Portland accomplished something that may well be impossible for a school our size, with our budget, not to mention our academic requirements, in this day and age. We won two national championships to Clive and Garrett’s credit (and Sinclair and Huie and Rapinoe and Woznuk and so on), but it wasn’t going to happen every year...and sadly perhaps not again.
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Post by DoubleDipper on Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:00 pm

Very well said, OldePilot!!  The comparison to Immaculata is spot-on in my opinion.  

While the women's game isn't as fast or as physical as the men's, it has become a highly technical game that is a far cry from what was happening 20 years ago. Now that other countries have seen the women's game as viable more money has been invested and it is paying dividends. Japan, France, England, Australia, Germany, and China are producing players that have exquisite skill, vision, and movement that create problems for the best of teams. And the same is true for women's soccer at the college level where there are now many very strong programs that often include players from overseas...and Canada too!  

Women's soccer life under Garrett was good until it wasn't, and at that point he was under a multi-year contract that UP was loathe to break due to the financial penalty (although not on the same scale as Coach Porter's contract).

And face it, as a UP player, grad (1992), and coach, he was/is part of the UP family...and loyalty still goes a long way with some.
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Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:38 pm

I don’t see a lot of comparison with Immaculata. The Mighty Macs  won championships beating the likes S.Dakota State and Southern Mississippi. There weren’t any dominant big time schools funding programs. The last time UP won, they beat Stanford and UCLA and Texas and two time champs Notre Dame, and  SCU in the same year. Those big time programs had been fully funded and top 5 for a decade. Texas spent men’s basketball coach money to get Petrucelli away from Notre Dame.
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