UW's Chuck Sekyra Named Head Women's Soccer Coach at SPU

Feb. 24, 2003

SEATTLE - Chuck Sekyra, an assistant coach at the University of Washington the past three seasons, Monday was named head coach of women's soccer at Seattle Pacific University. Sekyra, 37, succeeds Bobby Bruch, who resigned Dec. 24 after two years.

'We are very happy for Chuck. Seattle Pacific University is very fortunate to have a coach of Chuck's caliber and a person with very high morals and integrity,' remarked Washington women's soccer head coach Lesle Gallimore. 'Chuck has been an integral part of our program over the past three years, and it is difficult to say good-bye. We're just happy that he's only across the freeway. He will do a terrific job at SPU.'

Sekyra is the fourth Washington women's assistant coach to become the head coach at an NCAA institution. Tara Erickson (formerly Bilanski) is the head coach at Portland State and Erik Oman was recently named the interim head coach at Colorado College.

Current Husky assistant coach Amy Griffin (formerly Allmann) served as the head coach at New Mexico before joining the Washington staff.

Sekyra has close ties to the Puget Sound soccer community and to Seattle Pacific in particular. He is a 1989 graduate of SPU, played on two NCAA championship teams and was assistant men's coach from 1998-99. He is head coach of the Washington state girls ODP (Olympic Development Program) Under-16 team, Region IV ODP staff coach and recently resigned as soccer coordinator for Arena Sports, a company which operates several local indoor soccer facilities.

As a member of Gallimore's UW staff, Sekyra (pronounced SEHK-ruh) assisted in recruiting, scouting, training session development and fund-raising. In his first year, the Huskies had their finest season, winning the Pac-10 championship, advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and going 18-3-0. The 2001 team also went to the playoffs.

'Coach Sekyra rose to the top of a distinguished pool of applicants because he is a respected leader with deep roots in the northwest soccer community. Chuck was energized about returning to his college alma mater and coaching this talented group of women. Our team's future will be in good hands,' said athletic director Tom Box, who received nearly 40 applications during the seven-week search process.'

'I am coming home,' said Sekyra. 'To have the opportunity to come back to where I was first inspired to become a coach is very motivating. I have very high goals for this program. The potential for Seattle Pacific to be one of the top programs in college soccer is realistic and exciting, and I welcome the challenge.'

The Seattle Pacific women's program has been in existence for only two seasons, but the Falcons won their final nine games and went unbeaten in the last 11 en route to the 2002 GNAC championship and a record of 13-4-2. Of the 24 players on the squad, 23 are eligible to return in 2003. Twenty-two are sophomores and freshmen.

Sekyra, who has 14 years of coaching experience, began his career in 1989 as boys varsity coach at Seattle's Lakeside High School, guiding the team into the state championship game in his first season. He moved to Blanchet High School in 1992, coaching the girls varsity from 1991-97 and the boys from 1996-98, as well as teaching history and political science. Blanchet placed third in the girls state tournament in 1994 and the boys were state quarterfinalists in 1998. He has a U.S. Soccer Federation 'A' coaching license. Since 1998, Sekyra has been a ODP regional staff coach for U-17 boys (2000-01) and U-23 women (2000-02).

In his first season on Cliff McCrath's staff, Seattle Pacific reached the NCAA Final Four in 1998. Sekyra was a defender for some of McCrath's most storied teams from 1985-88, including a starting role on the '86 squad which became the first in Division II history to win back-to-back national championships. He played for F.C. Seattle from 1996-97.

A native of the Seattle suburb of Kent, Washington, Sekyra attended Kentwood High School, where he was the 1983 North Puget Sound League MVP and all-state selection. He attended Green River Community College in 1984.

Sekyra earned bachelor's degrees in both history and political science from SPU in 1989 and obtained his education degree and teaching certificate in 1992. It was at Seattle Pacific that Sekyra met his wife, Rhonda. The couple has a daughter and resides in the Eastside community of Newcastle.

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