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Ute soccer team gets a new coach

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Rich Manning, associate head coach at Santa Clara University, has been named head women's soccer coach at the University of Utah, according to Chris Hill, director of athletics.

Manning, 37, brings a wealth of coaching experience with him to Utah. Most recently, Manning spent four years (1998-2001) on the women's soccer coaching staff at Santa Clara. He was an assistant coach for three years before being promoted to associate head coach last fall.

Manning helped direct the Broncos to four NCAA tournament appearances, three NCAA College Cups (national semifinals) and the 2001 NCAA Championship. During his tenure, Santa Clara went 84-11-2 and won three West Coast Conference championships. The West Coast Conference is regarded as one of the premier soccer leagues in the nation.

Manning recruited and coached some of the top soccer players in the nation at Santa Clara. Nine players from his tenure have made the U.S. National Team. Eight played last season in the WUSA. Manning has also coached two National Players of the Year in Mandy Clemens (1999) and Aly Wagner (2001).

Prior to joining the Santa Clara coaching staff, Manning worked with numerous youth programs in Southern California. From 1994-97, he was head coach at Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School, where he produced two California Interscholastic Federation championships and sent eight players to NCAA Division I programs. On a personal level, Manning garnered 1996 CIF Coach of the Year honors and was named the 1997 Orange County Coach of the Year.

Along with his success at Los Alamitos, Manning has helped develop the S.C. Blues soccer club in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., into one of the West Coast's top youth programs.

Manning played at Santa Clara from 1982-86 under the guidance of former U.S. National Team coaches Steve Sampson and Ralph Perez.

Manning graduated from Santa Clara cum laude with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, followed by a master's in education from Azusa Pacific University.

Manning said, "The University of Utah presents a great opportunity for me — the kind that I knew it would take to drag me away from the great program at Santa Clara and the personal ties that I have there."