BY ADAM ROGAN
Both the Drake men’s and women’s soccer teams hired an additional coach in February.
Men’s – Kyle Smith
Drake head coach Gareth Smith announced on Feb. 16 that Kyle Smith (unrelated) would be returning to the Drake Men’s Soccer coaching staff.
“(Kyle’s) personality and his mindset lines up with the Bulldog Way, the tenets of who we are: integrity, character, pursuing excellence,” Gareth Smith said. “He is a Drake guy through and through.”
Kyle Smith, a graduate of Lambuth University, had been an assistant coach for two years under former Drake head coach Sean Holmes in 2011 and 2012 alongside Gareth Smith, who had still been an assistant at the time.
Kyle Smith spent the last three years as the head coach of at Cumberland University, an NAIA program.
Last year, he coached Cumberland to a conference championship with a record of 18-2-1. Cumberland’s record improved in each of Kyle Smith’s three years at the helm.
However, Gareth Smith is looking to utilize his new assistant’s talents in more ways than just coaching on the field.
“(Kyle) has an exceptional work rate in that he’s prepared to go anywhere and everywhere to find the best possible recruits to match up with who we are at Drake and who we want to bring in,” Gareth Smith said.
Drake finished 2015 with a record of 13-5-3, a conference championship and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, an eight-win increase over 2014 in Gareth Smith’s first season as head coach.
Women’s – Kevin Brennan
One week later, Drake Women’s Soccer head coach Lindsey Horner announced that Kevin Brennan would become the program’s second assistantcoach, alongside Mike Regan, who has been a part of the program since 2012.
“Kevin brings a lot of experience,” Horner said. “He’s going to bring a completely different perspective. It’ll be good for us to reevaluate where we’re at and some of the holes we have, moving forward before next fall.”
Brennan graduated from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2007 after four years of playing defender. He joined the school’s coaching staff soon after.
Brennan later became head coach of both the men’s and women’s programs at Cardinal Stritch and held that position for five years.
In 2015, the women’s team won a school-record 15 matches under Brennan and also scored more goals in one season (49) than it ever had before.
Drake already has the top-scoring team in the Missouri Valley Conference (82 goals in 2015) and Brennan will surely aim to help keep the goals coming next season.
However, Brennan looks to make an impact on the other side of the ball.
“I pride my teams on being very solid defensively,” he said. “I’d say that’s naturally the first thing that my eyes are going to be drawn to is how we are defensively.”