Emory University

Emory Athletics
26 Eagle Row Atlanta, GA 30322
Division 3 Georgia Southeast
Private Medium National competitor


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Sue Patberg

Sue Patberg was appointed head women's soccer coach at Emory University prior to the 2005 season. She has led the program to unprecedented success during her time with the team, and became the first Emory women's soccer coach to be named the National Coach of the Year, earning the honor from D3Soccer.com in 2012.

Known for consistently producing one of the top defenses in the country, Patberg has led the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament nine times in 14 seasons, including a program-best runner-up finish at the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships and a quarterfinal finish during the 2010 campaign. Her squads at Emory have won at least one game during eight of her nine tournament appearances. Patberg has captured a pair of University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, most recently during the 2011 season.

At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Patberg's 25th campaign as a collegiate head coach, she has a 324-141-59 career record that includes 17 NCAA tournament appearances. Her 14-year mark at Emory stands at 178-54-41, good for a .727 winning percentage.

She has coached a pair of all-Americans while at Emory, defenders Grace Lam (2007 and 2008) and Lauren Gorodetsky (2010-13), with Gorodetsky earning the D3Soccer.com Defender of the Year and the NCAA Tournament Most Oustanding Defensive Player honors in 2012. Under her leadership, the Emory women's soccer program has had four UAA Player of the Year selections (Gorodetsky in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and Whitney Briggs in 2008), 80 all-UAA team members and 27 all-region honorees. In addition, she has had seven Academic all-Americans and 26 Academic all-District selections during her time with the team.

In 2016, Patberg led the Eagles a 9-5-3 overall record that included a pair of wins over top-25 teams in #4 Chicago and #23 Centre. On October 25th, Patberg became the 56th member of the 300-win club as the Eagles topped Division II Brevard College 5-0 at the Woodruff PE Center.

During the 2012 campaign, Patberg lifted the team to its first NCAA Final Four appearance, and claimed a win over Wheaton College (Ill.) in the semifinals to give the Eagles' a berth into the NCAA Championship game. Earlier in the year, she claimed her 100th career victory with Emory with a 6-0 win over Birmingham-Southern College on September 21st.

Patberg guided the Eagles to a record-setting campaign in 2011, recording the first undefeated regular season in Emory Athletics history and matching the program record for wins in a season with a 17-1-2 overall record. The Eagles advanced to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships, marking the team's third trip to the sectionals of the tournament under Patberg. Emory's 2011 squad also set program records for goals-against average (0.24) and shutouts (16). For her efforts during the season, she was named the NSCAA/Mondo South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.

Patberg became the first Emory coach to lead the team to back-to-back 16 win seasons, accomplishing the feat during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In 2010, she once again reached the 16-win plateau, guiding the squad to a 16-2-4 record and achieving a final national ranking of fifth in the NSCAA season-ending poll, the highest final ranking in the program’s history.

Of her 21 years of experience as a collegiate head coach, the 12 years before joining Emory were at Division I schools where she earned 146 wins and eight NCAA tournament appearances.

Patberg came to Emory after spending five seasons as head coach at the University of Georgia (2000-2004). While at Georgia, Patberg guided the Lady Bulldogs to a record of 49-45-9 and two NCAA tournament appearances. Her first year at UGA saw her team reach the finals of the Southeastern Conference tournament while in 2001 her team finished with a national ranking of 22nd and third regionally. Her team also advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. In 2003 Patberg also led Georgia to the NCAA tournament, where they advanced to the second round.

Before coaching at UGA, Patberg was the women's soccer coach at the University of Minnesota where she compiled a record of 97-42-9. She also has the distinction of being the first-ever coach of the program. Her accomplishments at Minnesota were highlighted by five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1995-99. Her 1997 team was ranked as high as ninth nationally. She also garnered two Big 10 Coach of the Year honors in 1995 and 1997.

Patberg also served as an assistant women's soccer coach at Colorado College from 1991-1993 and the University of Maryland from 1990-1991. At Colorado College she was part of a staff that helped direct the 1992 team to the NCAA Division I final four.

To go with her collegiate coaching experience she has also been involved on the national team level. Patberg was the U.S. under-16 national team coach from 2003-2005. She also served as an assistant coach on the U.S. under-21 national team from 2000-2003.

Patberg graduated from the University of Massachussetts with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management in 1989. While at UMass she was also a member of the women's soccer team where she was a four-year starter from 1985-88. During her collegiate career, she helped her team to four NCAA tournament appearances and three final fours. Patberg was voted most valuable player and best defensive player during the 1987 season, while also helping her team to the national championship runner-up.

Patberg is married to Dr. Kurt Patberg, and they have two sons, Luc and Tye.

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Valorie O'Brien

Valorie O'Brien joined the Emory Women's Soccer coaching staff as an assistant coach in January 2018. She immediately made an impact on the staff, helping the Eagles to their first NCAA tournament berth in four seasons and an overall record of 14-5-1 as the team reached the round of 32 in 2018.

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.

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 also obtained her master's degree in sport leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University in the 2018.

Valorie is a native of Winter Park, Florida.

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Clayton Schmidt

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