Spring Hill College Director of Athletics Jim Hall announced today that the college has named Allison Whitworth as its new head coach of women’s soccer. Whitworth, an alumna of Auburn University, joins the Badgers following a successful three-year stint as the lead assistant/goalkeeper coach and recruiting coordinator with the Ohio University Bobcats in Athens, Ohio.
"I am excited to join the Spring Hill College Badgers and for the opportunity to lead the soccer team,” said Whitworth. “I am thankful to Athletic Director Jim Hall and President Dr. Christopher Puto for entrusting the team to me as we complete the transition to NCAA Division II in the Gulf South Conference. I am very excited to get to know the current players and help them achieve their goals and aspirations. I would not have this opportunity without the many coaches, teammates, players, friends and family who have supported and taught me throughout the years. I am looking forward to continuing the growth of the women’s soccer program at Spring Hill and expanding the Badger family with more quality student-athletes."
While at Ohio, Whitworth’s keepers tallied 322 saves with 10 shutouts over three seasons and in 2014 she joined the Region II Olympic Development Program staff as a goalkeeper coach. The Bobcats have placed two players on the Mid-America Conference All-Freshman Team over the past three seasons along with earning nine MAC All-Academic Team members in 2015. Since 2011, every team coached by Whitworth has succeeded in earning the NSCAA Team Academic Award – a record she looks to continue at Spring Hill where it has been won every season since 2011 and six of the last nine years.
As a recruiter for the Bobcats, Whitworth signed MAC All-Freshman Team member forward Steph Rowland who played in all 18 games for Ohio as a freshman during the 2015 season and led the team in five offensive categories, including goals (5), points (11), shots (33), shots on-goal (18) and shots on-goal percentage (.540) to set an Ohio record for freshman goals scored. Whitworth also recruited goalkeeper Vanessa Cordoba who earned the starting role for the Bobcats as a sophomore in 2015 after winning a gold medal at the Bolivarian Games with the U-20 Columbian National Team.
“I am thrilled that Allison has agreed to lead our women’s soccer program,” Hall said. “Her background as both an All-SEC player and Phi Beta Kappa member is a rare combination and will allow her to serve as a great role model for our student-athletes. Additionally, she has very strong soccer ties in Alabama, Atlanta and Nashville that we hope will greatly benefit our program due to the high number of quality student-athletes in those areas.”
Whitworth spent two seasons (2011-12) as an assistant coach/goalkeeper coach at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). During her time in Murfreesboro, the Blue Raiders went a combined 24-14-1 and recorded 14 shutouts. MTSU ended 2012 with the second-best record in school history, finishing with a 14-5-1 mark and claiming a share of the Sun Belt Conference regular-season title. While at MTSU, Whitworth was responsible for recruiting goalkeeper Kelsey Brouwer who finished her career with the school record for career wins, finished second overall in career saves, first in career shutouts with 27 and was named the winner of the C-USA Spirit of Service Award in 2013.
A Birmingham native, Whitworth spent three seasons in the Women's Professional Soccer League, suiting up for the Atlanta Beat. She was originally drafted in 2009 by FC Gold Pride in the eighth round (54th overall), becoming the first Tiger player to be drafted into a professional soccer league.
Whitworth capped her Auburn career by setting a school career record of 356 saves including 132 during her senior season to lead the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Her 356 saves place her third in the league record book. She registered 22 career shutouts, including eight in each of her final two seasons to tie for eighth in SEC history. Her 1.02 goals against average as a senior helped her garner First Team All-SEC honors for her second appearance on the All-SEC squad after earning Second Team recognition as a junior.
Whitworth's accomplishments at Auburn were not just limited to the soccer pitch. She was named to the 2008 NSCAA/Adidas Women's Collegiate Scholar All-America Third Team and was honored as the SEC Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District IV Team member, earning First Team recognition in 2008 following a Third Team spot in '07.
Auburn's women's sports nominee for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship that has been presented since 1986 to the SEC's top female scholar-athlete, Whitworth garnered academic honors such as the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was an Auburn University Top Tiger four times throughout her collegiate career.
Whitworth graduated summa cum laude from Auburn in December 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Exercise Science. She completed her M.Ed. in Kinesiology: Health Promotion at Auburn in 2009 and is currently working toward a master’s degree in Sports Administration at Ohio.