Joey Worthen and staff sign seven new Owls
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Worthen will assume the helm of one of FAU's oldest programs and is just the third head coach in the program's 36 seasons.
"I would like to thank Pat Chun and the search committee for this opportunity to lead the FAU men's soccer program," said Worthen. "I look forward to working with these student-athletes to improve on the field, excel in the classroom, and to have a positive influence within the community. I also want to thank Coach (Mark) Berson at the University of South Carolina, who gave me an opportunity as a player and as a coach. I have learned a lot from him and I am grateful for his support."
Worthen comes to FAU from the University of South Carolina where he has been a part of the Gamecock staff since 2012. Over his five seasons on USC's staff, the Gamecocks posted a 39-33-6 record. His USC tenure was highlighted by a trip to the Conference USA Championship final in 2014. The team also hosted back-to-back NCAA Tournament first round games, and made an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in both 2015 and 2016.
In his time at USC, Worthen recruited and coached 22 Conference USA All-Conference honorees, one Freshman All-American, and nine players who went on to earn pro contracts. Classroom excellence was also a primary focus, as the squad earned a 3.0 or above G.P.A each of the five seasons he was at USC including the nation's highest G.P.A. in 2012-13. The work was not left to the classroom and the field. As a team, USC men's soccer dedicated 500 hours of community service in 2016.
Prior to his fulltime position as an assistant coach at South Carolina, Worthen served one season as a student assistant at USC (2011-12). Before his return to USC, he was a volunteer assistant coach at Huston-Tillotson University, a NAIA institution in Austin, Texas, while playing his final professional soccer season in 2010-11. While playing professionally, Worthen used his offseason to give back to the community and to begin his coaching résumé, serving as an assistant coach at Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, a role he undertook each year from 2002-10. Worthen has held a United States Soccer Federation National B license since 2011.
"We are ecstatic to have Joey Worthen as our men's soccer head coach. Joey is uniquely qualified to lead our program. He brings a decade of professional playing experience and has achieved success at every level of the sport. He will be a great teacher and role model and will create a championship culture within our program."
Worthen played professional soccer for nine seasons. He began his career playing two seasons for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2002-03), and was named the 2002 Rookie of the Year after leading the team in starts, minutes played, and assists. He played two seasons as well for the Richmond Kickers (2004-05), including advancing to the 2005 USL Championship Game. He moved to Real Salt Lake of the MLS for the 2006 season, and went on to play for the NASL Carolina Railhawks expansion team in the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He then returned to the Kickers, where he helped the squad capture the 2009 USL Championship title, and finished out his career with the Austin Aztex in 2010.
Prior to turning pro, Worthen was a letterwinner and starter for the Gamecocks from 1998-2001 and served as team captain during his senior season. He was named the Independent Rookie of the Year in 1998, while he helped lead the team to the NCAA Tournament in 1998, 2000 and 2001. In his career, South Carolina posted 50 victories, while individually, Worthen scored 25 goals and collected 15 assists for 65 points. He scored 12 game-winners for Carolina. In 1999, Worthen represented the United States in international play on the U-20 team.
Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Worthen obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 2013 with a concentration in retail/small business management from the University of South Carolina. He is on track to complete his Master of Science degree from USC in sports management (May of 2017). He and his wife Natalie have four children: Slade, Naomi, Simonne and Mila.