Worthen Named Head Coach At FAU|
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Assistant men's soccer coach and former South Carolina standout Joey Worthen was named the new head coach of Florida Atlantic on Tuesday afternoon the school announced. He will lead the men's program for the Owls.
"We are very pleased and proud for Joey as he is named the head coach at Florida Atlantic University," head coach Mark Berson said. "We are very familiar with the program because we both compete in Conference USA. I know he will do a great job there. Personally it is difficult to see Joey, Natalie, and their children leave us, but this is a wonderful opportunity and we wish them the very best as he begins his career as a head coach."
Worthen becomes the 14th former Gamecock player or assistant to take over as head coach elsewhere. He joins coaches who have gone on to take positions at St. John's, Furman, Clemson, University of Chicago, Brown, University of Central Florida, Appalachian State, Evansville, Washington College (Md), Bates, Regis, Kentucky (w) and Morehead State (w). In addition, former Gamecock players and assistant coaches have gone on to Major League Soccer at two franchises as director of operations, and two more as assistant coaches.
Worthen spent five seasons as an assistant coach for Carolina and helped lead the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances. He helped coach and recruit 22 all-conference players and nine players that went on to earn pro contracts. The Gamecocks also excelled in the classroom, earning a 3.0 or higher GPA as a team in all five seasons Worthen spent in Columbia, including the nation's highest team GPA in 2012-13.
As a player, Worthen was a four-year starter for the Gamecocks, and served as team captain during his senior season. He was named the Independent Rookie of the Year in 1998, while he helped lead Carolina to the NCAA Tournament in 1998, 2000 and 2001. In his career, South Carolina posted 50 victories, while individually, Worthen scored 25 goals and collected 15 assists for 65 points. He scored 12 game winners for Carolina.
Following his time with the Gamecocks, Worthen went on to play nine years professionally. He spent time with Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer, while also playing for the Carolina Railhawks and the Richmond Kickers. He was named the Rookie of the Year while playing for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, when he led the team in minutes, starts and assists. He played in the 2005 USL Championship game with the Kickers, and then in 2010 helped the squad capture the Championship title.