Photo courtesy of Cal.ISIPhotos.com
The new head coach of the UVU women’s soccer team is seeking to establish a culture in which the players are always improving and having fun in order to build on the success the program has experienced in recent years.
“Today is another great day to be a Wolverine,” UVU Athletic Director Vince Otoupal said to WolverineGreen.com when the hire was announced. “We are getting a great and experienced coach who will take our women’s soccer program to new heights. We could not be more excited to have Coach Lemay join the Wolverine family.”
Lemay’s résumé includes a year as an assistant coach with San Diego State University and as an assistant with the University of California Riverside for three years.
For the past four years, Lemay has worked as the associate head coach for the University of California Berkeley in the Pac-12 Conference.
Born in New York, Lemay grew up in Michigan and attended Eastern Michigan University to play soccer. After his collegiate career wrapped up he spent a brief stint with a semi-pro soccer club. He then moved to California, where he spent the next 16 years coaching various soccer teams.
Lemay, who becomes the fourth women’s soccer coach in the UVU program’s 14-year history, hasn’t spent extensive time in Utah prior to accepting the job. Other than a few ski trips and layovers at the airport in Salt Lake City, Lemay’s first experience in Utah came three weeks ago when he moved to the Salt Lake City area. Lemay said the outdoor activities available in Utah, including being a place for his children to learn to ski, played a role in accepting the job at UVU.
When Lemay was hired, a number of coaches around the country commented, including Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
Lemay and Kerr became friends when they both lived in San Diego and their kids went to the same school. Coincidentally, as Lemay accepted the job in Berkeley, Kerr became the Warriors’ coach and the two became next door neighbors again. At Cal, Lemay spent time around Kerr’s daughter Maddy, who played volleyball for the Golden Bears, and son Nick, who played on the basketball team.
“Chris is a fantastic coach who connects with his players both on and off the field,” Kerr told WolverineGreen.com. “Players love playing for him. He’s going to be highly successful.”
Lemay believes UVU will be successful right off the bat because of the atmosphere he hopes to cultivate around working hard and having fun. He wants to build on the 2015 WAC championship and help the program achieve more success.
“I have every reason to suspect that we’re going to be very competitive in the conference,” Lemay said. “There’s a great foundation in place when I was offered and accepted the job.”
Ty Bianucci is a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Golden State Warriors who started on the sports beat for The Review, but now contributes investigative stories. He, along with two of his colleagues, were awarded the Sunshine Award in 2018 by the Society of Professional Journalists.