PHOTO ALBUM - Sammy Towne
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG second-year women's soccer head coach Steve Nugent named former Auburn standout Sammy Towne assistant coach Friday. Towne joins the Spartans who posted a 7-3-1 record in the Southern Conference last year in Nugent's inaugural campaign.
"I am so happy that Sammy has agreed to join us," Nugent said. "Her work ethic and personality will be a valuable asset to our team. We had a great group of candidates and it was very clear from the start that her enthusiasm and passion for coaching was going to be a very good fit for UNCG. Sammy will be a strong role model for our players and will be a valuable asset to us both on and off the field, helping to make the student-athlete experience here at UNCG memorable."
Towne spent last season as a defensive assistant student-coach at Auburn, helping the Tigers win their first-ever Southeastern Conference Tournament championship and a second round appearance in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Under her assistance, Auburn posted a 15-7-2 overall record, allowing 31 goals while posting eight shutouts on the year.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me to join the UNCG program," Towne said. "I am looking forward to working with Steve and helping these student-athletes advance to the NCAA Tournament. I am very appreciative of Karen Hoppa and the Auburn soccer program for all the knowledge and experience they have given me during my career."
Towne was a four-year varsity letterwinner for the Tigers and a two-time team captain as a defender. She led Auburn to four straight winning seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances, totaling 43 wins and 26 shutouts anchoring the Tigers' defense. She played in 84 career games, which ranks second all-time in Auburn history, while her 79 career starts rank 10th all-time.
"Sammy had a great career for us at Auburn as a two-time All-SEC player and a two-time team captain," Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa said. "She was a great leader for our team and played through numerous injuries during her career. She has a tremendous personality and her knowledge of the game, especially on the defensive end, will be an asset to the UNCG program. Her leadership skills and strong character will make the transition from player to coach a smooth one. We are excited for her opportunity at UNCG."
Towne was named Second Team All-SEC as a junior and a senior, starting all 41 games on the backline. She earned All-SEC Tournament accoaldes as a junior, leading the Tigers to the SEC Tournament semifinals. Additionally, she was awarded the Auburn Inspirational Female Athlete of the Year in 2011.
"Sammy's success as an All-SEC performer on the field and in the classroom brings a unique perspective to our team and I am sure her impact will be felt immediately," Nugent said. "I had the unique pleasure of coaching Sammy as a youth player and that familiarity will help us achieve great things together. Because of her perseverance as a player, there is no doubt she will help us to succeed as we navigate a very tough schedule in 2012. Please join me in welcoming Sammy to the UNCG family."
Towne and the Spartans hit the field for the first time in 2012 August 11 as they host 20-time national champion North Carolina in an exhibition contest at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
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