In just four seasons, Steve Springthorpe has quickly transformed the Bulldog soccer program into a WAC title contender with appearances at the WAC Championship game three straight years. His work in turning around the Fresno State soccer program has been acknowledged by the conference, as he enters his fifth season as the Bulldog Head Coach.
Last season was another exceptional year for the Bulldog soccer program. Fresno State placed second in the WAC and had an overall record of 13-7-1. Late in the season, the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run that landed them in the final game at the WAC tournament, where Fresno State placed second losing a tough match to Hawai'i (1-0).
Springthorpe led the `Dogs not only to a second place finish in 2007, but also helped players earn spots on the WAC All-Conference teams. Amanda Reyes and Allison Sill named first team All-WAC and Selena Gill, Nicole Guiteirrez, and Andrea Alires names second team All-WAC.
Along with coaching all-conference players, Springthrope leads his players to excel in the classroom too. In the 2007 season, nine of his players were named Academic All-WAC and 39 during his tenure at Fresno State. The team maintained a 3.307 GPA during the past season.
In 2006, Fresno State turned a corner as the Bulldogs 13-5-3 overall record stands alone as the best winning percentage for any team in school history. In addition, the Bulldogs won their first regular season WAC championship since 1999 with a 6-0-1 record.
In addition to leading the team to the best record in school history, Springthorpe has helped catapult the Bulldogs onto the national stage. Following a scorching start where the team began the year 6-1-1, including a 2-1 record against ranked opponents, the Bulldogs themselves entered the Top 25 for the first time since 1999, reaching as high No. 22 in the "Soccer America" poll, the highest the women's team has ever been ranked.
Emphasizing the individual talent on the team, Fresno State led the entire conference with 6 All-WAC selections, including five first-team members. Senior Rochelle Jagdeo again was the recipient of the WAC Defensive Player of the Year award, and goalkeeper Angie Larsen, forward Cortney Sobrero, and midfielders Alison Sill and Antonea Lugo joined her on the first-team, while forward Nicole Gutierrez brought home second-team honors. In the Western Region, both Larsen and Jagdeo were named to the Soccer Buzz All-West Region Team and Jagdeo was also tabbed for the NCSAA All-West Region 2nd-team.
In the 2005 campaign, Fresno State posted a 10-10-2 representing the team's first non-losing season since 2000, and most impressively, Fresno State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history, falling to a Santa Clara squad that eventually reached the national quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs were able to reach the postseason thanks to a memorable run at the WAC Tournament. Despite entering the conference tournament as a No. 5 seed with a 4-2-1 league record in a tie for second place, Fresno State posted three consecutive victories in as many days to capture its first-ever WAC Tournament title. After edging Utah State 2-1 in the quarterfinals, Fresno State upset No. 1 seed and regular-season champion Hawai'i for the second time in less than a week to reach the title match. The Bulldogs ultimately claimed the championship with a 1-0 victory over San Jose State- one of six shutouts in a nine-game stretch.
Fresno State has also excelled in the classroom during Springthorpe's tenure, totaling 30 Academic All-WAC selections over the last three seasons. Nine student-athletes were announced as Academic All-WAC honorees in 2006. In addition, Jagdeo was again named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Region VIII team, becoming the first player to receive the honor twice at Fresno State. She was also named a NCSAA Scholar All-American and was a member of the NCSAA Scholar All-Region Team.
Fresno State closed out the 2004 campaign with a 5-9-4 overall record and a 2-3-3 WAC mark in Springthorpe's first season. Despite losing multiple starters to injury and managing a roster that featured 11 freshmen among its 23 players, the Bulldogs chalked up some impressive highlights.
Prior to being named head coach on June 3, 2004, Springthorpe served as an assistant coach at the University of Florida for the previous five seasons.
In five years at Florida, Springthorpe helped the Gators win three Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season championships, three SEC Tournament Championships and reached the NCAA Tournament on four occasions. In 2003, the Gators were 19-4-2 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinal round. They were ranked as high as No. 2 in the country during the season and finished ranked No. 8 nationally.
In 2001, the Gators reached the Collegiate Cup Final Four, losing to Santa Clara 3-2 in overtime. Springthorpe helped the Gators to an 87-28-5 overall record in his five seasons at Florida, while coaching 12 All-Americans. While at Florida, he worked with the goalkeepers and was involved in recruiting and scouting. He served under Becky Burleigh, who ranks No. 3 on the NCAA's active winning percentage record list.
Springthorpe had nine years of collegiate coaching experience when he joined Florida in May of 1999. He was an assistant coach for the Methodist College women's team from 1987-95. During Springthorpe's tenure, the Lady Monarchs advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals three times (1989, 1989, 1990), reaching the Division III championship match in 1995. Methodist earned eight Dixie Conference Championships and student-athletes earned Division III All-America honors 20 times during Springthorpe's tenure.
Springthorpe has more than 20 years experience with individual coaching at summer camps, specializing in goalkeeping instruction. In addition, he served as North Carolina's Olympic Development Program goalkeeping coach from 1992-95.
As a player, Springthorpe played for the Greensboro Dynamo team from 1989-93. The team claimed the 1993 U.S. International Soccer League national championship. Springthorpe was a two-time All-South Region and a three-time all conference selection for Methodist College from 1983-87. He was captain of the Monarch team in 1986.
Springthorpe spent the three years prior to joining Florida as a promotions manager for PUMA North America. He graduated from Methodist in 1987 with a degree in sociology.
Springthorpe and his wife, Trish, have four children - Tyler (15), Elizabeth (13), Westley (10), and Jackson (7).
|2004||Fresno State||5-9-4||2-3-3||4-1-2 home record; most ties in school history|
|2005||Fresno State||10-10-2||4-2-1||NCAA Tournament appearance; WAC Tournament champions|
|2006||Fresno State||13-5-3||6-0-1||WAC Regular Season Champions; best record in program history|
|3 Years||28-24-9||12-5-5||2006 team allowed the fewest conf. goals in WAC history|
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