CSUEB women’s soccer coach retires

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

How do you let go of something you have literally been invested in your entire life?

That’s a question head women’s soccer coach Amy Gerace had to answer when she came face to face with the decision that she was going to step down from her position as head coach — a position that she has held for 17 years.

But even before coaching, Gerace played soccer her entire life, including two years here at East Bay back in 1996. So her connection and love for the University is immense.

“It’s been a huge part of not only my life, but my family’s life as well,” Gerace said. “My son has already asked me when are we going back to East Bay, that’s all he knows. I’ve grown so much at East Bay, since I was 19 years old. The longest time I have been away from the campus is six months, when I graduated. So it’s definitely something that’s been different.

Gerace has been a huge factor in many of the female college women soccer athletes lives throughout her time year.

As a former player for the women’s soccer team, back in my freshman year (2015) I can attest to this. Gerace has put her players first throughout her tenure here. An easy person to talk and open up to.

She has been a person of understanding and has supported her players through whatever decision they make; always putting player’s happiness first.

“It’s sad to see Amy leave,” Junior defender Savannah Schultz said. “She is a great person and coach who has made a huge impact on so many of our lives. She definitely will be missed.”

Not every coach has that ability, but Coach Gerace has been very gracious during her time, which explains her longevity. 17 years. Not many coaches can say that.

She stressed how important her player-coach relationships, and how that was the hardest part in letting go.

“It’s without a doubt the hardest thing to step away from,” Gerace said. “It’s only been a week and I already miss it. You get so invested in the lives of the players, so it’s not just about coaching them. Coaching them on the field becomes  relatively small. You help them grow and navigate through the college life, one of the most pivotal times of your life.”

She challenges her players and also stresses the importance of their off the field success. In saying that, she had 68 of her players earn Academic All-CCAA honors, the most by any progam here at CSUEB.

Gerace’s decision to leave was not one out of disconnect from the sport, it was one connected to a personal decision. With three young children, she felt as though it was time to truly dedicate her time to her family as soccer was hindering that.

“At some point I knew with having small kids I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this forever and be the type of my I wanted to be especially with the time that this job requires,” Gerace said. “My son, it’s his last year of kindergarten and I just felt like I really wanted to refocus and be more involved. It started to feel like my time with that was starting to slip away from me, so I had to make a decision.”

Decisions like this are never easy to make, but most oftenly necessary and you can only respect her choice to put her family first. She’s definitely served enough time up on this hill in Hayward.

The CSUEB Athletic Department is in the process of searching of a new coach as of now and is forming a selection committee. “ I cannot disclose who the members of the committee are,” Assistant Athletic Director Ken Parsons said. “But after review of applications, applicants will be invited for a remote interview and the committee will then determine which candidates will be brought for final interviews.”

The department is hopeful the new appointed coach will begin at the start of the spring quarter.