WOMEN’S SOCCER COACH IS ALL ABOUT SUCCESS
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, Calif.
CREDENTIALS: As both a player and a coach, Lieberman left an indelible imprint on the UCLA Women’s Soccer program. During her days as an all-conference center midfielder, she helped lead the Bruins to back-to-back PAC-10 Championships in 1997 and 1998, and served as an assistant coach for UCLA’s national championship-winning squad in 2013. That impressive resume caught the attention of USD Executive Director of Athletics Bill McGillis, and Lieberman couldn’t be more thrilled at the opportunity to helm a program she believes to be loaded with potential. “I had some really great conversations with Bill, and it just felt right. I think I’ve made a lot of good decisions trusting my heart and my gut, and I couldn’t be happier about this opportunity. There’s plenty of talent on this team, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish.”
DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Lieberman shared her parents’ passion for soccer and tennis, and showed talent in both sports from an early age. By her sophomore year in high school, she knew she’d have to focus her energies on one in order to reach her full potential, and the court’s loss was the pitch’s gain. “My mom is from Brazil, and my dad is from Philadelphia. He grew up playing tennis and my mom grew up playing soccer on the beach. I would have loved to have played both all the way through high school, but it was just too tough to commit the time, and I knew in my heart soccer was where my future was.”
A FIRE INSIDE: The way Lieberman sees it, success comes from an unflinching desire to be better, every single day. In a team sport like soccer, that type of commitment requires selflessness from players and coaches alike, and Lieberman is focused on finding student-athletes who are willing to put in the work to bring USD to unprecedented heights. “First and foremost, it’s the character of someone. School and soccer both need to be taken seriously. For me, character comes before soccer, which might sound a little strange, but that’s what I focus on when I’m looking for players. That’s how they get better, and we get better.”
IN THE PRESENCE OF GREATNESS: While she’s amassed volumes of amazing memories during her three decades in women’s soccer, Lieberman cherishes the time she spent playing with Mia Hamm, widely considered the greatest female player in the history of U.S. soccer. “I played a year with the Washington Freedom, and I was a teammate of Mia’s. She taught me so much about how to conduct myself on and off the field, and the work it takes to be the best. As great of a soccer player as she was, she’s an even better person, and that’s not an exaggeration.”