Erin Otagaki Joins Cougar Soccer Staff

Jan. 24, 2006

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State Head Soccer Coach Matt Potter announced the addition of Erin Otagaki to the Cougar soccer staff Tuesday. Otagaki replaces interim assistant Kiki Lara.

'With the addition of Erin as a full time assistant, I feel we are once again a complete team with the right personalities in place to build on our solid foundation and improve on the success of last season,' Potter said. 'Erin brings a wealth of personality and experience to Washington State, having been involved with two premier programs headed by two outstanding individuals in Lesle Gallimore and Robert Klatte. I look forward to an even brighter future for Cougar soccer with Erin on board.'

Otagaki, a former Washington player and coach, returns to the Pacific Northwest after a two-year stint at Purdue where she served as an assistant under head coach Rob Klatte. Otagaki saw the 2005 Boilermakers finish second in the Big Ten Conference play and make their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2002.

Prior to her tenure at Purdue, Otagaki spent six years at Washington as a player and volunteer coach. In her four seasons as a Husky player, Otagaki competed in three NCAA tournaments and was a member of the 2000 Pacific-10 championship team. She was a two-time PAC-10 All-Academic honorable mention honoree, was named UW's 2001 Soccer Scholar Athlete, and earned her bachelor's degree in English in December 2001.

After graduation, Otagaki spent two seasons in Seattle as a volunteer assistant coach, assisting in practices and recruiting efforts while pursuing a master's degree in secondary education which she complete in March 2004. The Honolulu, Hawaii native also coached both club and Olympic Development Program teams, directed soccer camps, and remained active in the community volunteering her time at Children's Hospital, the Union Gospel Mission and the Center for Human Services.

In 2002, Otagaki was involved with the Wing Luke Asian Museum Sports Project and attended meetings to develop an exhibit highlighting Asian-American athletes in the Seattle community, which included her as a featured athlete.

Last summer, Otagaki continued her coaching education as an ODP Region II CIT and has already received her NSCAA Regional Diploma, a NSCAA goalkeeping license and is a USSF `C' licensed coach.

A graduate of Punahou High School in Honolulu, Otagaki twice helped her prep squad place third at the Hawaii state championships (1994, 1997). She participated in the ODP regional pool from 1995-96.

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