PHILADELPHIA- Preparing for his first season in control of the Temple women’s soccer program, head coach Matt Gwilliam has announced that he has filled the vacancies to his assistant coaching staff. Former Chestnut Hill head coach Seamus O’Connor will be supporting Gwilliam as the team’s assistant coach, while Kelly Lynch, a four-year defender (2007-2010) at Virginia Tech, will serve as the graduate assistant for the Owls.
In five years at Chestnut Hill, O’Connor made his mark on Griffins’ soccer by returning relevance to both soccer programs at the school.
"I am extremely excited to be welcoming a coach with the background of Seamus,” Gwilliam said. “He's had success at every level he's worked at and more importantly, has a pedigree in helping to build and change programs. His enthusiasm for Temple and his connections make this such a great opportunity for all of us. Our entire staff feels that he is the perfect fit for the vision of Temple Soccer."
After overseeing the women’s squad at Chestnut Hill for the previous two seasons, O’Connor joins the Owls’ staff fresh off leading the Griffins to the school’s first postseason appearance as a member of the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
O’Connor began his tutelage at Chestnut Hill as the head coach for the men’s team in 2007. A year later, he took over as Director of Soccer through the 2009 season before exclusively devoting himself as the head coach of the women’s program.
Before his time with the Griffins, O'Connor established himself as a talented coach on the youth, collegiate, and professional levels.
His resume includes a stint as head coach of the Central Delaware Soccer Association (CDSA) Future, a member of the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL), which is the second ranked league in the world for women. Prior to the Future, O'Connor directed Immaculata University's men's program to a Pennsylvania Athletic Conference quarterfinal appearance in only their second year of existence.
In 2003, he led the Reading Rage of the United Soccer League/Premier Development League (USL/PDL) to an 8-8-2 record; the Rage's first .500 or better record in many seasons. The Reading Rage qualified for the Super Y League National Finals. O'Connor was selected as Head Coach for the Under 16 Boys' National Team to represent the Mid-Atlantic Region at the Super Y League National Olympic Development Camp. Additionally, he assisted Chestnut Hill College Assistant Men's Soccer Coach, Jody Roberts, in the development of Philadelphia Soccer Club's Coppa United into a top 35 team nationally ranked team.
A native of Galway, Ireland, O'Connor attended and graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology in 1997 where he was the starting goalkeeper for three seasons. While in college, he trained with League of Ireland clubs Athlone Town and Longford Town. His soccer education includes an FA of Ireland Coaching License, FAI Goalkeeping License, NSCAA National License, NSCAA Level 1 and NSCAA Level 2 Goalkeeping License.
After starting a school-record 85 games during her career at Virginia Tech, Lynch joins Gwilliam’s coaching staff as the team’s graduate extern.
The Mullica Hill, N.J. native comes to Temple after completing undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech in 2011 she earned a degree in business marketing. As a defender for the Hokies, she played in all 86 games, which tied her with classmate Jennifer Harvey with the school’s record for most games played in a career.
"I couldn't be happier to have Kelly join us here at Temple,” Gwilliam said. “She enjoyed such a remarkable career competing at the peak of Division I women's soccer. That experience will no doubt serve our players well. She possesses a great understanding of the dynamics required by the group to see success both on and off the field."
Lynch was part of a defensive unit that helped Virginia Tech record back-to-back, school-record nine shutout seasons (2008 and 2009).
In 2008, Lynch participated as a member of the U.S. Under-20 Women’s Soccer National Team player pool.
At the conclusion of her senior year, she was honored with the team’s Coaches’ Award along with a Top Six for Service Award for her work in the community. In addition to that, she was also recognized with the athletic department’s Strength and Conditioning award.
As a freshman, she anchored a defense that allowed a program-record-low 20 goals in a single season, helping her be named to the All-Mid-Atlantic and All-ACC Freshman Teams.
Before her playing days at Virginia Tech, she led club team FC DELCO Lightning to the Jefferson Cup and to two Eastern Pennsylvania State Championships and was named Gatorade Rookie of the Year.
The new-look coaching staff will make its debut when the Owls head to New Rochelle, N.Y. on Aug. 20 to open the 2011 season against the Iona Gaels.