Dr. Todd Olsen | Head Coach
Dr. Todd Olsen took over the Lynchburg women's soccer program ahead of the 1994 season and in the time since has built a perennial conference and regional powerhouse and a consistent NCAA postseason tournament participant, capping it off with a national title in 2014.
Olsen led the 2014 Hornets to a 27-0-1 record, tying for the most wins in Division III history en route to the national championship. He was named ODAC, state, regional, and national Coach of the Year for his efforts. His team produced three All-Americans in the 2014 campaign, while sitting atop the national leaders in defense and scoring the entire season.
Since his arrival, the Hornets have posted 20 winning campaigns and have advanced to the NCAA tournament 15 of the past 18 seasons. In 2000, Dr. Olsen led his team to the school’s first ever NCAA tournament win for either men or women. Since 2000, his squads have been to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament (2009, 2014), the Elite 8 four times, and the Sweet 16 seven times. Under Olsen’s leadership, his teams have won more than 362 games. Also during his tenure, the squad has produced 72 all-region, 84 all-state, 153 All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference, five Academic All-Americans, and 13 NCAA All-Americans.
A native of Pittsburgh, Olsen received his bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education in 1985 from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pa., where he was a two-time Academic All-America selection. After graduation, Olsen traveled to England and attended Loughborough University, earning his master’s degree in 1987 after completing a comprehensive soccer coaching regimen. In 1992, Olsen rounded out his academic career at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a master’s degree in public health and a Ph.D. in epidemiology.
Aside from on-the-field coaching and classroom teaching, Olsen is actively involved with service and study abroad projects both locally and globally. He has taken the women’s soccer team on soccer/service trips to Argentina and Costa Rica. In addition, he has partnered with Sports Outreach Institute and serves in a volunteer role as the Community Public Health Epidemiologist. He has traveled to Africa multiple times in this role, where he is able to utilize his unique background as soccer coach and epidemiologist. He has developed and implemented community health workshops and programs on community public health issues in Kenya and Uganda. His work has helped serve some of the world’s poorest people with these training sessions.
In 2012, Olsen was inducted into the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame, which honors his philanthropic and coaching achievements. In the fall of 2012, he was inducted into the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jessica Gonzalez | Assistant Coach
Jessica Gonzalez joined the Hornet coaching staff in the 2014 season after spending the last five years as a player in the Lynchburg women's soccer program, providing key leadership from her midfield position. She earned All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference honors four different times in her career, posting an impressive 19 points in her senior campaign on seven goals and five assists.
Gonzalez spent three summers as a camp counselor at the Naval Academy Soccer Camp while also working the Lynchburg soccer camps. She served as the assistant coach for the Brookville High School varsity girls' soccer team.
She graduated from Lynchburg College with a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in special education in 2013 and her M.Ed. in adaptive special education in 2017.
Natalie Deacon | Assitant Coach
Natalie Deacon, a native of West Chester, Pa., joined the Lynchburg coaching staff in the 2017 season following a four-year playing career under the leadership of head coach Dr. Todd Olsen.
In her four years, spanning from 2013-2016, the Hornets posted an 84-8-6 record, which included three Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances, and a Division III national championship in 2014. Twice a team captain, Deacon played in all 98 games, tallying 88 starts as an outside back. She was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, three-time All-ODAC selection, a two-time VaSID All-State honoree, and the 2016 women’s soccer ODAC/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Immediately following her time on the pitch, Deacon transitioned to the track in 2017, where she became a two-time NCAA All-American in the indoor mile and the outdoor 1500m, as well as a 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-American.
During her time at Lynchburg, Deacon had the opportunity to travel twice to both Uganda and Kenya to serve alongside Coach Olsen with Sports Outreach Institute. On these trips, she was able to see the power of sports as a platform to restore hope and transform lives. She has assisted Coach Olsen in implementing the Women of Worth long-term project, which strives to empower young women using the tools of soccer and education.
Deacon also served as the varsity assistant coach for the girls' soccer program at Heritage High School in Lynchburg from 2015 to 2016 and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
Deacon received her bachelor's in exercise physiology major and with a minor in coaching, graduating from Lynchburg College in 2017 with a 3.97 cumulative GPA. She is currently enrolled in Lynchburg's nonprofit leadership studies master's program.
Matt Newton | Assitant Coach
Matt Newton joined the Lynchburg women's soccer staff as a graduate assistant prior to the 2018 season, bringing with him a wealth of coaching and winning experience.
The head girls' soccer coach at Jefferson Forest High School in nearby Forest, Va., since 2015, Newton has taken the Cavaliers to the VHSL Group 4A tournament each of the past two seasons and led JF to the state title in 2017. He earned 4A coach of the year honors in that season. He's been on the staff at Jefferson Forest since 2010.
Newton is a 2011 graduate of Liberty University and earned his master's degree from that institution in 2015 and has since served as an adjunct instructor in Liberty's College of General Studies. He has worked in information technology and faculty support in the Lynchburg area.
Kevin Smith | Assitant Coach
Kevin Smith joined the Lynchburg women's soccer staff prior to the 2018 season as a volunteer assistant. Smith has been coaching soccer for the past 30 years at the club, ODP, and high school levels. In addition, he has individually trained 4 U.S. National Team, 48 Regional ODP, 136 Virginia State ODP, and over 200 college players in his highly successful Smithsonian Soccer Academy in Southeast Virginia. He serves as the technical, cognitive, and creativity trainer in the Hornets program.
Smith has served as the head coach of the Virginia Beach City FC Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) team (2016-2018), Technical Director Smithsonian Soccer Academy (2004-present), Director of Coaching for the Hampton Roads Strikers (2011-2016), Southeast District Olympic Development Program Head Coach (2004-present), and as a club and high school soccer coach (1988-2018).
Smith holds bachelor's and masters degrees from Old Dominion University and worked 29 years as a senior intelligence analyst and watch center manager with the Defense Intelligence Agency from 1982-2012. He has the following soccer certifications: NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma (2013), KNVB Royal Dutch National Youth Diploma (2003), NSCAA Advanced National Diploma (2002), NSCAA National Diploma (2001), NSCAA National Youth Diploma (1999), and USSF D License (1998).
Smith is married to Pam Smith, and they have three daughters: Shannon, 31; Kelley, 23; and Taylor, 18.
Rachel Cooke | Assitant Coach
Rachel Cooke joined the Lynchburg women's soccer staff as a graduate assistant in the winter of 2019 after a fine playing career for the Hornets.
A two-time All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference midfielder, Cooke helped the Hornets to four NCAA Division III tournament appearances and three conference championships. She was a mainstay in the center midfield as a two-year starter.
She earned her degree in environmental science from Lynchburg in 2018.