USC's Khosroshahin named Coach of the Year

Mike Garrett, the USC Athletic director, set the bar high for his new women's soccer coach, Ali Khosroshahin.

"We evaluate you on national championships," Garrett, SC's first Heisman Trophy winner, told Khosroshahin when he arrived from Cal State Fullerton last winter.

"No pressure!" Khosroshahin joked.

The Trojans won the 2007 NCAA Division I women's title with a stunning postseason run to conclude their transformation that began with Khosroshahin's arrival and the tough workout program he installed for his players during the offseason.

Khosroshahin, the 2007 Soccer America Women's Coach of the Year, credits his success on the values of discipline and hard work he learned growing up in his Iranian immigrant family.

USC arrived at the Women's College Cup the heavy underdog against archrival UCLA, a team to which it had lost nine straight times, but the Trojans won, 2-1, on a pair of second-half goals by Amy Rodriguez.
In the final, the Trojans scored once in each half to beat Florida State, 2-0.

SC's championship didn't surprise the boisterous Khosroshahin.

"You seriously need to take a look at our athletic department," he said. "It's all about national championships. If we didn't get it accomplished this year, it would have been a huge disappointment and we'd have been working again tomorrow to get back to this point again. You have to have that belief in yourself and in your players. You have to believe in each other and believe in the plan. With this group, it took them a while to start believing but once they started it's been a spectacular run."

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