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Houston native Susan Bush, a former standout player at North Carolina, enters her fifth season as head coach of the University of Houston's soccer team.
The 2010 Conference USA Coach of The Year Susan Bush led the Cougars to the best finish in program history, capping off a 12-5-4 season by finishing third in the C-USA tournament. Bush also helped guide Senior Lauri Byrne and Sophomore Katelyn Rhodes to the All C-USA First Team and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America 2010 All-Central Region Team, the first Cougar soccer student-athletes to earn NSCAA All-Region honors since Sophia Mundy in 2005. After putting together an impressive freshman class in 2009, Bush led three of the newcomers to the C-USA All-Freshman Team. Cami Koski, Danielle Munoz and Jasmine Martinez all recieved All-Freshman Team honors, while Koski and Munoz were also named to the C-USA All-Conference Second Team.
Bush, the third head coach in program history, had previously spent two years on Houston's coaching staff working as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator before assuming the role of head coach on March 29, 2007.
During her third year under the helm as head coach, Bush helped guide Jessica Rathweg to her second consecutive All-C-USA Second Team honors. Striker Lauri Byrne tied for the team-lead in goals (3) on her way to becoming Third Team All-C-USA. Freshman Katelyn Rhodes also shined in her first year under Bush's instruction, as she tied for the team lead in goals with three.
In her second year leading the Cougar soccer program, Bush coached Stephanie Derieg to Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors and Jessica Rathweg to the All-C-USA Second Team. Under her guidance, freshman Jessica Zavalza provided Houston with a much needed offensive spark, finishing the year as the team's leading goal scorer and point earner.
During her first season as head coach, Bush saw one of her recruits, freshman forward Lauri Byrne, earn a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team. Byrne paced the Cougars in assists, shots, overall scoring and tied for the club lead in goals scored. In addition, redshirt freshman Islara Rodriguez spent time playing for the Puerto Rican national team as they sought a bid to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in China. The emergence of top-quality, young talent has given Cougar fans a glimpse of a successful future.
Bush's team also found success in the classroom. Twenty student-athletes have been named to the C-USA Commisioner's Honor Roll during her two years for maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. In addition, junior goalkeeper Shelby Scott and Nikkie Echeverria were named to ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI teams, while Scott and Islara Rodriguez earned spots on C-USA All-Academic Teams.
During Bush's time at Houston, she tutored Sophia Mundy, the first two-time All-C-USA First Team selection in program history. The program enters its 11th season in 2008.
Bush joined UH in 2005. Following her retirement from professional soccer, Bush worked in private business in Washington D.C. In her first season leading the program, Bush put together a top-flight class of newcomers, establishing herself as one of the top young coaches in Conference USA.
"I am extremely excited about assuming the head coaching position," Bush said. "I'm looking forward to leading this program and with a dynamic staff, support from the administration and a commitment by the players to achieve a higher standard, I feel confident in the direction we are heading at UH. My goal is to create a positive and winning atmosphere where our players will continually improve their abilities on and off the field.
"I cannot imagine a better opportunity than to lead an NCAA Division I program in my hometown of Houston. The University's campus, facilities and personnel are among the best in the nation, and there is no reason why this program should not compete on a national level."
No stranger to big-time soccer, Bush has competed at the highest level, earning 10 caps for the U.S. National Team from 1998-2003. Bush tallied three goals and six assists while playing for the USA. She was a member of the gold-medal winning teams at the 1999 and 2000 Nordic Cups, the 2000 Gold Cup and the 2000 Australia Cup. In the opening-round game of the 2000 Gold Cup, Bush knocked in a goal while assisting on four others, playing the full 90 minutes in the 8-0 win over Costa Rica.
She earned her first national team start on Dec. 16, 1998 against Ukraine. She was the youngest player and only high-school age player to earn a spot in residency camp during the run-up to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. She also spent time in national camp prior to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 earning a spot as an alternate for the Olympic squad.
Bush played collegiately at North Carolina and was a part of three national championship squads, two as a player (1999, 2000) and one as a student assistant (2003). Bush was the offensive MVP of the 1999 NCAA Championship game, a 2-0 defeat of Notre Dame, and a Second Team All-ACC selection in 2000.
In 2002, Bush captained the Tar Heels, was an ACC All-Tournament Team honoree and a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, presented annually by the Missouri Athletic Club to the top male and female soccer player in the college ranks. During Bush's playing career, UNC had a remarkable 90-8-4 mark with a 22-4-2 record in ACC play.
Following her collegiate career, Bush was a second-round pick of the San Diego Spirit of the WUSA. She played briefly for the Spirit, before the league ceased operations.
Bush attended UNC after a stellar prep career at St. John's High School. She was named a Parade High School All-American in 1998 and 1999 and was named the Parade High School Player of the Year in 1999. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in May of 2004 from UNC, double-majoring in history and political science.