Megan Swann appointed first-ever UC Merced soccer coach
Diablo FC alumnus, coach realizes a dream moving to college ranks
Megan Swann will begin a unique new phase in her life starting July 1 when she takes the reigns of the University of California Merced women’s soccer program. The unique aspect for the 27-year-old Clayton Valley High School grad is that she will be starting a brand new collegiate varsity soccer program at the almost new UC Merced campus.
When she takes on this exciting post Swann leaves behind two jobs she cherished as a coach for Diablo FC since its inception in 2008 as well as the most successful girls soccer coach ever at Ygnacio Valley High School over the past two winter seasons.
“One of the great things about Diablo FC is we have great coaches,” said Diablo FC director of coaching Brian Voltattorni. “And the unfortunate thing about having great coaches is we have to learn to say good-bye to those coaches when they move on to bigger coaching programs; such is the case with Megan and UC Merced. The university is very fortunate to have such a great coach lead its women’s program for years to come.”
“My goal and dream has always been to be a head college coach. I applied for the job and they invited me down for an interview. About three weeks later they called me again to run a training session and then offered me the position,” Swann said.
"We are excited to have Megan as part of our UC Merced team, serving as our historic first women’s soccer coach," notes Marie Supanich, UC Merced’s Athletic Department’s Senior Women’s Administrator. "Her ties with Diablo FC and the East Bay will surely help in the initial recruiting process as we venture into intercollegiate women’s soccer. Also, having played at an NAIA institution, Megan is experienced with the level of commitment and competition it takes to be successful at this level."
Swann was a four-year varsity standout at Clayton Valley, including one league championship season, before graduating in 2003. She went on to play for Vanguard University in Orange County at an NAIA school. As a sophomore at Vanguard she began to coach soccer and “absolutely loved it.” She graduated from Vanguard in May 2007 and moved back to the Bay Area. Voltattorni gave her a coaching job at Mt. Diablo Soccer League and she became a junior high science and health teacher at NorthCreek Academy. She continued to play in a women’s league for three years.
“Megan has been a tremendous asset to Diablo FC for the past five years. It is always great for a club to have the opportunity to bring back one of its own alumni to coach on the same fields they grew up playing on,” Voltattorni said, alluding to Swann’s youth club soccer with Diablo Valley Soccer Club. “Megan is very passionate about the game and coaching. She is a true teacher of the game.”
Besides her club coaching experience Swann worked her way up from assistant coaching positions with Clayton Valley and Las Positas College before taking over at Ygnacio Valley as head coach in 2010. Swann brought the Warrior girls to the North Coast Section playoffs for the first time in school history, compiling a 27-16-1 record over two seasons.
At both Diablo FC and Los Positas Swann worked with legendary Brazilian soccer player Sissi do Amor, the former Brazilian World Cup star and two-time Olympian. "Megan is a very passionate and dedicated coach. She will bring her experience, dedication and desire to teach players to get to the next level," remarked coach Sissi.
UC Merced is the 10th and newest University of California campus. It opened in September 2005 and seven years later Swann is converting the school’s club program to NAIA collegiate soccer. Her long-term goal is to move Bobcats soccer to NCAA Division 2. Before that Swann is busy buying equipment, selecting uniforms and still recruiting players for the inaugural season. Her first Merced training camp begins Aug. 12.
Reprinted from Clayton Pioneer
By Jay Bedecarre