UPEI Director of Athletics and Recreation Bill Schurman announced today that Graeme McDonald and Glenn Smiley will take on duties as head coach and associate coach, respectively, for UPEI Women’s Soccer.
“UPEI Athletics and Recreation is extremely excited to welcome a coaching team of this calibre to lead the women’s soccer program. Graeme and Glenn are proven leaders in the soccer world and will bring energy, skill, and strategic thinking to the soccer program.”
No strangers to UPEI, McDonald was assistant coach for the women soccer Panthers during the 2012 season while Smiley is a CIS All-Canadian and two-time UPEI Sports Hall of Fame member (inducted in 2003 as an individual and in 2006 with his team) who played for the Panthers during their reign of success from 1982 to 1986. Together, Smiley and McDonald created the highly successful Soccer 1 Academy, which has attracted PEI's top youth soccer players to its elite training programs.
McDonald moved to PEI in 2010, bringing his extensive “football” experience with Scottish professional youth academies and his remarkable eye for the game. His work with the youth academy at St. Mirren FC of the Scottish Premier League allowed him to learn from the best European coaches and connect with qualified FIFA agents around the world. He also learned a great deal working with disadvantaged youth in Glasgow, Scotland making him a versatile teacher and problem solver. McDonald has extensive coaching qualifications from the Scotland Football Association and FIFA.
“I’m honoured to coach a team with such great potential for success,” said McDonald. “We have a solid mix of experienced players and great opportunity to secure new recruits. With UPEI hosting the men’s CIS soccer championship in November, it’s an exciting time to be a part of the Panther soccer family.”
In addition to coaching, McDonald will lead the recruiting and business side of the men's and women's soccer programs at UPEI.
Smiley is a highly regarded and experienced soccer coach and player at the varsity, national, and professional levels. He has coached successful premier and provincial teams, and brings great technical and tactical awareness to the sport, with players and parents alike applauding Smiley’s approach and focus on the whole athlete.
Smiley added, “I am excited to return to UPEI—this time as a coach. I know Graeme and I can bring a new energy and vision to the game. I think our experience coaching together will lead to great cohesiveness among team members, and I am really looking forward to developing this team.”