January 2, 2020
It is often times a rare feat for a black soccer coach, specifically a female one to acquire a head coaching position at a predominantly white university, but this past Monday, Marsha Harper defied the odds as she was named the 7th head coach at the American University for the women’s program. Harper joins the women’s program after two years as an assistant head coach at the University of Massachusetts where she led that program to a 21-12-4 record.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to have been selected by Dr. Billy Walker, [American University Athletic Director], and [Assistant Athletic Director] Josephine Harrington, and the rest of the search committee to lead the women’s soccer program at American University,” said Harper, according to the American University’s website. “From the moment I walked through the doors, I could feel an overwhelming connection. An obvious passion for success, inspiring core values, backed by an outstanding academic institution are among several reasons this program will be successful and I am excited to be a part of it.
“I would like to thank Jason Dowiak, Sam Mitchell, all of the administration, and my entire UMass family for the last two years and for supporting me during my time in Amherst. Relationships are invaluable and I am incredibly indebted to all of my mentors, friends, family, and former players who have all individually helped shape me into the coach I am today. I am excited to be joining the American University family and I look forward to bringing my passion and vision to AU Women’s Soccer! Go Eagles!”
Prior to her assistant role at the University of Massachusetts, Harper spent two seasons at Richmond University and Assistant head coaching stints at Bowling Green University and Northwestern University.
We wish Marsha the best of luck!