O’Connor resigns from women’s soccer program
Friday, December 7, 2007
By Tyler Hancock
Christian University announced the resignation of Sean O’Connor from
the Lady Eagle soccer program on Wednesday afternoon. O’Connor spent
two years as the head coach of the Lady Eagles, compiling a record of
24-12-4 over that span.
“The decision for Coach O’Connor to leave was shocking, but under
the circumstances, it is best for him and his family,” goalkeeper Lisa
Jorgensen said. “I respect Sean for making the decision he made. It
will definitely be a change for us as a team because he has meant so
much to so many of us.”
According to oceagles.com, O’Connor and his family will be moving to Scandinavia.
He played soccer professionally for Tyreso FF and Hanriken SK teams in Stockholm, Sweden.
He and his wife, Sylvia, who is originally from Stockholm, have ties in Scandinavia.
“I’m extremely appreciative to my players for their hard work and
dedication,” O’Connor said in an oceagles.com story. “I’ve absolutely
and thoroughly enjoyed my time at OC, but a change of scenery is
something my family needs.”
In 2006, O’Connor led the Lady Eagles to one of the most historic
seasons for any athletic program in Oklahoma Christian history. The
Lady Eagles went undefeated in the regular season with a record of
17-0-2 and a Sooner Athletic Conference championship.
That team also advanced to the NAIA National Tournament and O’Connor was named the SAC Coach of the Year.
“We appreciate Sean and all that he did to take our women’s soccer
program to another level,” Oklahoma Christian Athletic Director DeWayne
Hall said. “His 2006 team will always hold a special place in OC’s
This year, the Lady Eagles struggled in the regular season, going
5-9-2. O’Connor and the Lady Eagles were able to bounce back in the SAC
Tournament by upsetting the top two seeds in the first two rounds.They
fell 6-5 in the championship game to Rogers State University to finish
the season 7-10-2.
“Coach O’Connor has certainly meant a lot to the program, leading
the school to its best season in program history,” Jorgensen said. “It
will be difficult not having him around, but the most important thing
is him and his family.”
O’Connor’s .650 winning percentage at Oklahoma Christian is the highest in the women’s soccer program’s history.
Some players have gotten spoiled playing under the leadership of Coach O’Connor.
“Sean made the program what it is today,” midfielder Heather Spencer
said. “I have only known the good life of Sean’s program for college
soccer. He has done so much for us girls that I can’t even explain.”
The mark he leaves on the program will be bigger than his on-field accomplishments.
“I have learned many things from him about life and about soccer,”
Jorgensen said. “The most important thing he shared with us as a team
is his passion for the game, which I believe no one else could beat.”
Even though the players will miss their coach and his guidance, they support his decision.
“At Oklahoma Christian we learn that our family comes first,”
defender Alyssa McElvany said. “That is what Coach O’Connor believes
in, so we support him for that.”
The departure of O’Connor leaves the Lady Eagles without a coach for
the time being, but the team said the program will continue to grow.
“Although we will miss him as a coach and as a friend, our team has
the ability to bounce back from anything,” McElvany said. “We, as a
team, will continue to grow and progress into getting better with
whatever coach we have.”
While O’Connor will be in a different country, he will continue to
have an impact on the Lady Eagles through the lessons he taught.