Georgia is turning again to Southern Cal for another one of its new head coaches.
Keidane McAlpine, who guided the Trojans to eight straight NCAA tournament appearances during his time there, is the Bulldogs' new soccer coach, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.
USC won the 2016 women's national title in McAlpine’s third season and reached the quarterfinals in 2019.
The Trojans fell in the NCAA tournament second round this season as the No. 11 ranked team in penalty kicks to Penn State.
McAlpine’s USC roster included five players from the Atlanta area. The team went 14-3-3 this season and 8-1-2 in the Pac-12 and he was named Pac-12 coach of the year.
Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks also went to USC to land national championship winning track coach Caryl Smith-Gilbert this summer for his first head coaching hire at UGA.
“This is a great day for the University of Georgia and our soccer program,” Brooks said in a statement. “Our aim is to compete for postseason success and championships, and Keidane has done that at every level. His teams have consistently been among the nation’s elite throughout his coaching career. He is passionate, energetic, knowledgeable and leads with integrity -- things that will resonate with our current student-athletes, recruits and his colleagues. Keidane is the perfect fit to lead our soccer program.”
McAlpine replaces Billy Lesesne who did not have his contract renewed after seven seasons. Georgia went 11-5-3 this year, but missed out on the NCAA tournament.
“As a young person born in Alabama, I dreamed of being a head coach in the SEC," said McAlpine, who has a 182-89-37 career record in 15 seasons. "I am humbled and thrilled to lead this group of young women and build on the incredible potential of Georgia Soccer. I want to thank President (Jere) Morehead, Josh Brooks and Stephanie Ransom for bringing me to Athens. They showed incredible energy and commitment to soccer, which made this an opportunity I could not pass up. There is something very special happening here in Georgia Athletics and I am happy I can be a part of the journey.”
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) November 30, 2021
McAllpine also was head coach at Washington State in 2012 and 2013, making NCAA tournament appearances both years and a program best second place finish in 2013 in the Pac-12.
The Huntsville, Ala., native was a four-year starter at Birmingham-Southern and was an assistant for the women’s program and then its head coach.
This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Georgia soccer's new coach is Keidane McAlpin, hired from Southern Cal.