Coach Erik Smith has been hired as UA Cossatot’s new soccer coach, as the college gears up for the 2019-2020 soccer season. Home games and practices will take place at the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen and tryouts for both the men and women’s teams will be announced very soon.
Erik Smith of De Queen was born in Dallas, Texas and fell in love with soccer at a young age. After graduating from Pine Bluff High School, Smith attended college at the University of Arkansas Monticello and Arkansas State University. At both schools, he participated in intramural soccer. At Arkansas State University he was a student-athlete who participated in Cross Country and Track. While he was there, he co-founded the Jonesboro Ultimate Frisbee Association. He competed in that college open division from 1997 to 2000. Erik Smith also played soccer in the Craighead County Soccer Association Men’s League from 1997 to 1999.
Mr. Smith began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at De Queen High School for the school’s soccer program. From 2008 to 2015, he was an assistant coach at De Queen for both the boys and girls high school soccer teams. As a coach, his high school boys’ team captured four consecutive state championships from 2009 to 2012. The lady leopards, he coached, had three successive undefeated conference seasons, as well as three straight state tournament appearances.
Coach Smith has helped coach soccer at UA Cossatot in the past, but now plans to be the head coach for the soccer program as the college has now joined the NJCAA. Mr. Smith is also the manager and chief fitness trainer at AMP Fitness in De Queen.
Coach Eric Smith said, “I am truly excited and honored to be blessed with this opportunity to train and coach soccer at UA Cossatot. UA Cossatot will allow me to continue doing what I love in my own community and with athletes that I may have previously trained.”
Those who play soccer at UA Cossatot can receive financial aid scholarships from the college. Coach Smith added, “I realize the blessing and benefit of an education. UA Cossatot will be able to offer scholarships to athletes who may not have had an option before when thinking of continuing their education. This program has the chance to not only benefit the students in playing and getting an education, but this program has an opportunity to boost the community as teams will travel to De Queen to play matches.”
UA Cossatot Chancellor, Dr. Steve Cole said, “Bringing Erik on board to coach our soccer teams is a huge plus for our student athletes. Those who know Erik know that he builds highly competitive teams that are high character teams. The students also get the added bonus of Erik being a personal trainer which provides our athletes an outlet to work on their general health and well-being while competing as a Colt.”
More information and details will be announced in the upcoming weeks about the exact date of the opening of the season and when tryouts will be. If anyone is interested in trying out or has any questions, please contact Coach Eric Smith at 870-279-0900, or you can go by Amp Fitness in De Queen for a visit.