Jessica Smith | Head Coach
On Feb. 7, 2020, Jessica Smith became the new Roos head women’s soccer coach. The former University of Kansas player recently was on the Kansas State University coaching staff for three seasons. She becomes the third head coach in Kansas City history, since the program’s inception in 2009.
“We are thrilled to have Jessica Smith join our KC Athletics family,” said University of Missouri-Kansas City Director of Athletics Dr. Martin. “As a former student-athlete and coach, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to comprehensive excellence. Jessica has been a dynamic recruiter of prospects in this region, which is critically important for the continued elevation of our women’s soccer program. Her passion, enthusiasm, and vision for this opportunity was clearly conveyed at every step of the interview process. Jessica will not only be a great mentor and coach for our student-athletes, but will also be a respected leader in the athletics department and campus community.”
Jessica was part of the inaugural K-State women’s soccer program beginning in 2016. She started as an Assistant Coach and was elevated to the Associate Head Coach position in 2018. Her primary responsibilities included practice preparation and development for the team’s offense, university and community engagement and recruiting evaluation. In her third season in 2018, she helped the Wildcats earn votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll for the first time in program history courtesy of a 3-0 start.
"I'd like to thank Dr. Brandon Martin and the hiring committee for the great privilege of being the next leader of Kansas City Women's Soccer,” said Smith. “I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to build upon the program's history of success. With our great resources and support, we will work tirelessly to elevate every aspect of the program and drive towards our goal of becoming a consistent NCAA Tournament team. Our successes will begin with the relationships we have within our team and I can't wait to start connecting with our players on and off the field."
Jessica takes over a Roo program that has won three of the last six conference regular-season championships. Last year, Kansas City finished 13-4-4, which marked a school-record for fewest losses and was the third-straight year with 12-or-more victories.
Prior to K-State, Smith served as an assistant coach on the Kansas staff from 2011 until 2015. During her time on the sidelines with the Jayhawks, she helped guide the program to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2011 and 2014 and a trip to the Big 12 Conference tournament final in 2015.
Under Smith’s guidance, the Jayhawks’ offense tallied 35 or more goals in four seasons as the 2011 team registered one of the top offensive seasons in program history. KU scored the second-most goals in school history (46) and totaled 131 points, which was the third-highest single-season mark in program history.
In 2013, Smith was selected as one of 15 women by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for their inaugural 30-Under-30 Coaching Program for rising coaches.
Before she joined the KU coaching staff, Smith coached at various levels in the Kansas City metro area, including as a varsity assistant coach for both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Olathe Northwest High School. During her time at ONWHS, she helped guide the Lady Ravens to back-to-back region championships in 2008 and 2009, while assisting with the Ravens’ boy’s regional championship team in 2007. Several of her players on both the girls’ and boys’ sides went on to play soccer at the collegiate level.
In addition to her coaching duties at Olathe Northwest, Smith served as a coach with the Kansas State Olympic Development Program (ODP) girls’ program. In 2008, she was an assistant with the 1992 team, which was the first Kansas ODP team (boys or girls) to win an ODP Regional Championship. Her team went on to participate in the US Youth Soccer National ODP Championship tournament.
Smith has also spent time working with TOPSoccer programs throughout the state of Kansas in 2008 until 2011 as a chairperson as well as a coach. TOPSoccer is U.S. Youth Soccer’s outreach program for children with special needs.
Starting in July 2019, Smith has been with the KC Fusion Soccer Club as the Director of Girls. Some of her duties there focused on coach education, player training and overall soccer program management.
As a student-athlete from 2002-05 with Kansas, Smith played in 83 career games and was team captain in 2005. She was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and helped the Jayhawks win the Big 12 regular season title in 2004 and aided the 2003 squad to a third round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Smith scored 16 goals in her career with the Jayhawks including seven in her freshman season. Her 16 career goals ranks in the top 20 in school history. She also dished out 10 assists. She garnered a pair of Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors and was named to the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week in 2005. She graduated from KU in 2006 with a degree in sports and fitness management.
Smith was an NSCAA All-American at Wichita Southeast High School. The product of Wichita, Kansas, is the program’s all-time leading scorer after graduating in 2002. At the end of her senior season in 2002, Smith was named Miss Soccer for the state of Kansas and the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year.
In 2012, Smith was an inaugural inductee into the Wichita Southeast High School Athletics Hall of Fame and in 2018 was named to the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame.
Smith and her wife Casey, reside in Olathe and have a son, Leo.