Jade Smith Stepping Into "Incredible Career Path"
PASS4Soccer client Jade Smith will be stepping into a graduate-assistant coaching role with St. Cloud University in fall 2019.
Smith has recently graduated from the University of Mary and will be going to SCU to do a Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration in Sports Management.
The Rochester-native will be the graduate-assistant and said it’s the perfect opportunity to stay within soccer, out in the US.
“It’s an incredible career path that allows me to stay within the sport,” Smith said. “To be able to give back to the game, which has done so much for me over the years, is incredible.
“I get to provide the opportunity, in which my head coach gave to me, the chance to play college soccer and gain a degree.
“That in itself makes the career worthwhile. I get to use the game as a tool to teach players so much more than soccer, aiding in their own personal and professional growth and, after four years, get to help them into their next steps after school.
“I honestly cannot think of a more rewarding job than that. My own coach has had such an impact on my life. If I can have a fraction of that on my own players, I will have a successful career with that win column in my players’ development, and I can retire happy knowing that.”
The forward played for West Ham United Ladies before going out to the United States in 2015 and has previous coaching experience in the game.
Smith, who has her FA Level 1 & 2 coaching badges, got her US Soccer National C licence last year.
The University of Mary graduate started out as a Head Coach at Magic Soccer FC, a local team, and is now the Technical Director of the girls program there.
She is also the Varsity Assistant Coach at Legacy High School and also spent time with the Regional Midwest Olympic Development Program as an intern coach.
Smith was the student-assistant at UMary in 2018, learning the ropes from Head Coach Sarah Cook, and spoke about how the role with St. Cloud came about.
She added: “St. Cloud play in the same conference, in the NSIC, that my school, UMary, play in. I’ve spent the last four years playing against them.
“Once my playing career was done, I started to look for Graduate Assistant positions and my current coach, Sarah Cook, reached out to our conference and Gretta Arvesen, the Head Coach at St Cloud came back.
“Sarah, and many coaches that I spoke to, had nothing but high recommendations for Gretta, as a coach and person, so I got in contact with her.
“Straight away from my first interactions in January, over the phone with Gretta, I was impressed with her coaching philosophy and professionalism in the game.
“I headed out to a visit in February and, as soon as I was on campus meeting with the coaching staff, faculty and players, I knew that I had to go next to this place.
“The program Gretta has built at St. Cloud is incredible. From its soccer to academics to its culture. I’m very excited to be joining such a great program, to be able to continue to develop professionally and bring my strengths to aid the team.”
Across the four years, Smith played 69 games for the Marauders, starting 50 of those games – the forward scored 11 goals and created nine assists.
During her freshman and sophomore years, the team finished the season, on both occasions, with a losing record, but majorly turned things around in her junior year.
After the team ended with a record of 12-5-2, they made it all the way to the Conference Tournament semi-finals, where there lost to Minnesota State University.
Smith said that here junior year was one of the “stand-out” times, across her four years with UMary, because of several reasons.
“My junior year was a huge stand-out, from start to finish,” the forward said. “We got the opportunity to travel to California for our pre-season tour, playing some very good teams out there.
“We then completely turned around our season, from the previous season, taking our program to the conference tournament and making it to the semi-finals for the first time in years.
“Together, the whole team built a strong foundation, within the culture of the program, which has set up our school for success for many years to come. That in itself made this team so special and made that year a pivotal part of my student-athlete experience.”