Cal’s Associate Head Coach Chris Lemay Named New UVU Women’s Head Coach
Utah Valley University’s new head coach is Chris Lemay, an amazing coach who is thrilled to take the team to the next level. Today was Lemay’s first day training the team — in preparation for taking on BYU this Saturday.
College Soccer News: Chris Lemay, the highly respected soccer coach with an amazing record is now the new head coach of NCAA’s Division 1 Utah Valley University (UVU) women’s soccer. Lemay has coached north of 50 players who are now professional players or who received invitations to U.S. Soccer National Youth Teams.
Leaving his four-year stint as Associate Head Coach at University of Cal Berkeley, today was Lemay first day on the new job.
Lemay has been inspiring soccer players to reach new heights for more than a decade. The youth soccer coach who used to walk the fields of San Diego Surf motivating youth players to dig deep and be their best is now taking on the highest level of the collegiate game. Attracted to the winning mentality of UVU, Lemay is proud to assume his new role.
“UVU wants to build the best women’s soccer program possible and they have high expectations. I was really attracted to their ambition to win and become known as an outstanding soccer school. I will create the best training environment and the results will take care of themselves.”
With an average of 1100 fans per game, UVU is in the top ten for overall attendance in all NCAA D1 universities. UVU is a Division 1 soccer program that competes in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). They were crowned the Conference Tournament Champions in 2015, which led to their first ever appearance in the NCAA tournament in school history.
Lemay plans to take the UVU women’s soccer team to new heights. Currently holding a NCAA Women’s Soccer D1 RPI rank of 136 out of 334 schools, Lemay plans on climbing those rankings.
Known for recognizing the value of hard work, Lemay believes it is important to build a path to achieving your goals.
“Success is the result of a process,” says Lemay. “I want my players to be the best they can be. I tell my players to concentrate on what they can control. Don’t worry about the referee, the weather or the other team. Focus on what you can do. Being successful on the field has nothing to do with being lucky — It is important to try to be a little bit better than you were yesterday.”
Motto: Play to your strengths and don’t focus on things you can’t control.
Hearing Lemay coach his players, even just once, gives the listener an insight into what makes him so special. Lemay has a decisive, direct and clear way of communicating how players can improve their game — and a realistic approach to achieving results. With constructive, positive overtones, Lemay unequivocally energizes his players to reach new heights and creates a dynamic team chemistry.
“Chris is a dedicated, inspiring and an extremely intelligent coach,” said defender Samantha Witteman, U.S. Soccer U23 Women’s National Team player. “He brings a special intensity to the game that is unlike anything I have experienced as a player and his positive energy is infectious. Chris will be an incredible head coach at UVU. I’m so excited for him to begin this next journey and the Lemay family are going to be a great addition to the UVU family.” Witteman also plays for North Carolina Courage in the NWSL.
“Chris Lemay is one of the most sought after coaches in America,” said Dr. Jared Sumsion, Utah Valley University Senior Associate Athletic Director. “We feel fortunate to be able bring him into the wolverine family and know that he will blend well with the current roster of student-athletes. Additionally, Coach Lemay has an extensive recruiting network and will position us for continued success both in competition and in the classroom.”
“We had over 130 applicants for this position (both national and international), Coach Lemay knows who we are and who we can become as a soccer program,” said Dr. Sumsion.
“Utah Valley University has an ambitious vision to bring ‘the beautiful game’ to the forefront out in the soccer hungry community of Utah—as well as being known nationally for a tough, competitive, and exciting brand of soccer,” added Sumsion. “Lemay has the ability to help us achieve that vision, and we have no doubt in our minds that we will become a powerhouse on the soccer scene.”
“Having worked alongside Chris for 4 years at Cal I have seen first hand the impact he can have on a player’s life, both in terms of player development and personal growth,” said Neil McGuire, University of California Berkeley women’s soccer head coach. “Utah Valley University is getting an outstanding coach and mentor for their players. Whilst sad to see him leave us we are all thrilled to see him achieve his goal of becoming a head coach.”
As associate head coach of the women’s team at Cal Berkeley, Lemay helped the team to a 51-22-11 record with four NCAA Tournament appearances. He also assisted in recruiting one of the best signing classes in the nation as the Bears earned the No. 3 ranking by TopDrawerSoccer.
Lemay has a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) “A” license and was named the San Diego Surf Girls Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2013.
As a youth soccer coach, Lemay coached for San Diego Surf SC’s girl top ECNL teams, leading his players to four Cal South State Cup championships.
“Lemay was one of our very best coaches,” said Jeremy McDonald – President of Surf SC who remembers Chris fondly. “He had a tremendous impact on our girls program and I know he will inspire UVU players to reach new heights as he takes over the reigns.”
“I wish Chris all the best he is a quality coach who is very driven and passionate,” said Colin Chesters, former SD Surf coach and now Houston Express Director of Coaching. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see Utah Valley in the Playoffs in the upcoming years and Chris getting the school consistently into the top 100. I’m sure Utah Valley just made a great hire.”
Prior to his career with Surf SC, he was the Del Mar Sharks’ Director of Younger Girls Programs and head coach for the U8 to U18 teams from 2001 to 2007, where he won three state cup championships.
During his own soccer playing career, Lemay was a four-year starter at Eastern Michigan from 1995-2000, where he graduated with a degree in communication and a minor in business management. Following his collegiate career he played for the USISL semi-pro soccer club Michigan Madness.
Lemay is clearly ready to embrace the role of Head Coach and confided that congratulatory texts from Directors of Coaching from around the country were rolling in.
“The greater Salt Lake city area is really gorgeous and my wife Tammi and I are excited to move here and start working. Utah has hidden gems, and I look forward to recruiting the best of the best from the state and outside the area — creating an even more diverse roster than we have now. The future is bright.”