Azem Named AU Head Women’s Soccer Coach
Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 4:38PM
Editor

Samar Azem, former assistant women’s soccer coach at Presbyterian College, has been named the Trojans’ head women’s soccer coach as announced by Anderson University Director of Athletics Nancy Simpson. Azem is expected to begin her duties Monday, Aug. 8. 

“I am thrilled that Samar will be taking charge of our women’s soccer program.” said Simpson. “She comes with a tremendous level of ability, Division I coaching experience, and a passion for the game that is unsurpassed. She will fit well with the Anderson University family and mission, and I look forward to continued team success under her leadership.”

Azem has worked with every facet of the women’s soccer programs at Presbyterian, Mercer University and Brevard College, while focusing on working with the goalkeepers. During her stint with the Blue Hose, Azem helped guide the Blue Hose to their most successful season during their transition to NCAA Division I, as Presbyterian claimed five wins in 2010, with the PC net-minders earning five shutouts on the season and producing the strongest goals-against-average (1.99 GAA) by a PC team during the transition.    

“I want to thank Nancy Simpson for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of Anderson University and lead the women’s soccer program,” said Azem. “Anderson is a great place with a unique and enriching environment. There is a great deal of energy and progress within the institution and athletic department for our program to continue developing within. Jason Dowiak established a resilient group of student-athletes and I look forward to meeting them and getting to know each of them. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we begin cultivating an exceptional program, and I’m certainly excited to get started!”

While at Presbyterian, Azem took the lead in designing, creating and implementing PC’s first-ever winter camp and worked with supporters and community groups to raise funds for facility upgrades and to boost awareness in the community. 

Prior to arriving at Presbyterian, Azem served as the top assistant coach for two seasons at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. The Bears earned the program's first-ever regular- season Atlantic Sun Conference championship and posted their first regional ranking in school history during her first season on the bench, during which Azem guided the goalkeepers and was also heavily engaged with every area of the program. She coached and trained goalkeeper Jean Worts, whose goals-against-average ranked 11th in the nation among Division I goalkeepers, while the overall defense ranked sixth nationally. 

During Azem’s tenure, Mercer players garnered league Defensive Player of the Year accolades, as well as Freshman of the Year honors and also earned a total of 11 all-conference awards.

Prior to joining the staff at Mercer, Azem served as an assistant coach at Brevard College, working with recruiting, team travel arrangements, scouting and game-day preparations. She also developed strength and conditioning programs for the Tornado players in addition to assisting in the compliance department.   

Azem brings extensive club and camp coaching experience to Anderson. While at Mercer, she trained goalkeepers at the Central Georgia Soccer Association and the Macon Soccer Club, two of Central Georgia’s largest soccer clubs. Axem has trained and evaluated young players at Carolina Elite Soccer Association and has also organized and overseen camp and clinic sessions with a number of top Georgia clubs in the Atlanta region.

During her collegiate playing career at Campbell University, Azem helped lead the Fighting Camels to the A-Sun conference regular-season and tournament championships in 2004 and the following season she was named to the All-Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Team for her performance in goal as she helped the Camels return to the conference tournament title match. Azem also garnered A-Sun all-academic recognition and earned the squad’s Coaches Award twice (2005-06).

The Jos, Nigeria, native competed at the Hillcrest School where she was a three-sport standout. During her final three years at Hillcrest, Azem was the team captain for the soccer, basketball and volleyball squads. She also earned the soccer team's MVP award in 2001 and was voted as the Senior Class President in 2003.

She has also been involved in community endeavors as she was part of the Mashiah Foundation. This foundation volunteered with the National Honor Society to create an HIV/AIDS awareness program for high schools across Northern Nigeria. Twelve high schools implemented the plan and over 1,000 guests attended the seminar.

Azem graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and a minor in psychology from Campbell in 2007 and earned her master’s degree in education from Mercer in 2010.

Article originally appeared on The Anderson Observer (http://andersonobserver.com/).
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