Gonzaga names Paul Meehan Gonzaga's men’s soccer head coach - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gonzaga names Paul Meehan Gonzaga's men’s soccer head coach

Photo: Gonzaga Athletics Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

By Gonzaga Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University Director of Athletics Mike Roth named Paul Meehan the head coach of the men’s soccer program, the school announced Tuesday.

“We are excited to announce Paul Meehan as our new men’s soccer head coach,” Roth said. “He has been an integral part of the program over the past five seasons, and has the experience to lead this program into the future. Paul is a great recruiter and will continue to bring in student-athletes that will be successful in the classroom and out on the field.”

Meehan spent the past five seasons as a GU assistant coach, helping lead the Zags to top-25 national rankings in each of the past two seasons. After starting 2017 3-0, GU checked in at No. 22 in the poll, which followed a No. 20 ranking early in the 2016 season. Meehan replaces Einar Thorarinsson, who announced his retirement Monday after 23 years as the GU head coach.

“Paul has done a fantastic job with recruiting, scheduling, and coaching, and we are excited to see him flourish in his new role as head coach,” Senior Associate Director of Athletics Shannon Strahl said. “He has the experience and dedication to be successful and build on the current foundation.”

In his five seasons at GU, Meehan has also helped coach 16 players that have earned All-WCC honors, including 2013 WCC Player of the Year Nick Hamer and Defender of the Year Josh Phillips. The Zags have finished in the top five in the league twice, while also leading the league in goals allowed with just 21 in 2015.

“It is truly an honor to be selected to direct the Gonzaga men’s soccer program,” Meehan said. “I’d like to thank Mike Roth and Shannon Strahl for giving me this opportunity. I’d also like to thank Einar for bringing me on board nearly five years ago, as it has been my pleasure to work with him and learn from him. I am especially grateful to my family – they have endured multiple moves and have provided faith, love, and support every day. I could not be happier or more blessed than I am today. The senior class were excellent leaders this fall and will be sorely missed. I look forward to the challenges and journey that lie ahead with Coach Higgins and the returning players.”

Meehan is no stranger to the reins as head coach, coming to Gonzaga after a three-season stint leading Corban University, where he led his squad to back-to-back winning records after inheriting a program that had seen three-straight losing seasons. Prior to his arrival at Corban, Meehan spent three seasons (2006-08) as Oregon State University's Associate Head Coach, where he helped bring in former Beaver Danny Mwanga, who was named 2008 Pacific-10 Conference Freshman of the Year, 2009 Pac-10 Player of the Year, and the No. 1 overall selection in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by the expansion Philadelphia Union.

Meehan has also had coaching stints at NCAA Division I members Marshall University (1997-98, 2003-06) and Fresno State University (1998-99). With Fresno State, Meehan helped lead the Bulldogs to the 1998 Western Athletic Conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Men's Soccer Championships.

Meehan's collegiate coaching career began at Bellevue Community College in Washington, where he established an 82-43-16 record that included three Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) titles and two Coach of the Year honors.

After growing up in Seattle, Meehan played collegiate soccer at then-NAIA member Western Washington University from 1980-82. He served as team captain and was an all-conference selection in 1981. He graduated in 1983 with a degree in physical education. Following his time at Western Washington in 1984, Meehan helped lead Team USA of the American Indoor Soccer Association to a 4-5-2 record and played with the American Indoor Soccer Association’s Milwaukee Wave reserve team.

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