Photo by Heather Middleton
From Staff Reports
Throughout his soccer coaching career, Gareth O'Sullivan has built a strong reputation when it comes to developing teams into championship-caliber programs. He proved that with an NCAA Division II national championship at Christian Brothers and aims to bring that same desire to the Clayton State Laker women's soccer program.
Clayton State Director of Athletics Mason Barfield announced on Thursday the hiring of O'Sullivan as the new women's soccer head coach at Clayton State. O'Sullivan is the fourth head coach in the history of women's soccer at Clayton State. He replaces T.O. Totty, who stepped down after 13 seasons at the Laker helm.
"After a long process that involved a very accomplished pool of applicants and candidates, we felt that Gareth had the chemistry of experiences that fit our needs here at Clayton State," said Barfield. "His direction in leading Christian Brothers to an NCAA Division II national championship gives him the experience to understand what it takes to accomplish such success.
"We are pleased to have someone that has accomplished such success."
A native of Ballina, Ireland, O'Sullivan most recently was the head coach of the Atlanta Beat of the WPS (Women's Professional Soccer) this past spring and summer. He was also a professional head coach in the Icelandic Premier League for three seasons. However, it's at the NCAA Division II level where O'Sullivan has made his mark, serving as head coach at Gulf South Conference programs Christian Brothers and West Georgia.
O'Sullivan was head coach for both the men's and women's teams at Christian Brothers from 1997 to 2002. He posted a record of 87-19-3 with the Christian Brothers women, leading the Lady Bucs to three straight Gulf South Conference championships, an NCAA Division II national runner-up finish in 2001 and the NCAA Division II national championship in 2002.
As the men's head coach, O'Sullivan went 61-49, leading the Bucs to the 2000 Gulf South Conference championship and advancing to the NCAA Division II "Sweet 16."
From Christian Brothers, O'Sullivan started the women's program at West Georgia. After the inaugural season in 2004, he helped pace the Wolves to a 13-7-1 mark in 2005, advancing to the Gulf South Conference Tournament semifinals. Overall, O'Sullivan has a 174-82-12 record at the NCAA Division II level, including 105-26-5 as a women's head coach.
He was a three-time Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year selection. While at Christian Brothers, O'Sullivan coached three Division II All-Americans, including two-time Division II National Player of the Year Missy Gregg.
O'Sullivan started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Centenary from 1993 to 1995. Prior to coaching, O'Sullivan played professionally with Sligo Rovers in the Irish Premier league, the Memphis Express and the New Orleans Gamblers in the USISL A League and was drafted by the Indiana Twisters of the CISL.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Memphis in 1992. Gareth will be moving to the Morrow area with his wife Anna, son Liam, and a brand new addition to his family who is due March 22nd.