Emory University head women's soccer coach Sue Patberg has announced the appointment of Valorie O'Brien as assistant coach.
O'Brien comes to the Emory program after spending the past year as the Director of Soccer Operations at the University of South Florida. O'Brien was part of the staff that saw the Bulls capture the program's first American Athletic Conference tournament title on the way to making USF's third NCAA Tournament appearance in the past four years.
Prior to her stint at USF, O'Brien served as the head coach of UMF Selfoss – a member of the Icelandic Sports Club that competes in Iceland's Premier League. In addition, she enjoyed a successful stint as the head coach at the Varsity Girls Head Soccer Coach & Soccer Camp Director at the Orangewood Christian School (2013-15) in Maitland, Florida. She helped lead that team to a FHSAA Class 1A district title and was named the state's Class 1A Coach of the Year.
As a player, O'Brien was a four-year member of the women's soccer program at South Florida, where she served as team captain since her freshman year. Her final two campaigns saw her start 26 of 27 contests and register six goals. One of her markers during her final season was the tying goal in regulation in an eventual tie with defending national champion Notre Dame.
"We are excited to have Valorie join our Emory Eagles program," Patberg stated. "She has a lot of the qualities that we were looking for to fill the position – playing and coaching at a high level, excellent knowledge of the game and the ability to build relationships - and I'm confident that she will make significant contributions to our program."
O'Brien graduated from South Florida in December, 2011 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. After her graduation, she played professionally and was a youth soccer coach for UMF Selfoss. She is in the process of obtaining her master's degree in sport leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Valorie is a native of Winter Park, Florida.