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Graduate assistantship prepares CPASS student for a successful coaching career

WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown has created a soccer dynasty in Morgantown. However, it is not the winning records nor the titles that have defined her tenure at WVU, but rather the players she has inspired along the way. CPASS graduate student, Bryana McCarthy, is one of those players.

McCarthy, hailing from Ajax, Ontario, Canada, played with the team 10 years ago while earning her undergraduate degree in athletic coaching education.

After receiving her undergraduate degree, McCarthy went on to play professionally in both the U.S. and Germany before deciding to hang up her boots and focus on a coaching career. She said it was an easy decision to return to WVU to continue her education and start her pursuit.

Currently, McCarthy is working toward her master’s degree in athletic coaching education while serving as the graduate assistant for the WVU women’s soccer program. She has a myriad of responsibilities in this position, but mainly focuses on meals and travel for the team, as well recruiting and team administration.

“I truly don’t know that I could list everything I do since it’s a broad list of tasks,” McCarthy said. “I kind of have my hands in just about everything.”

McCarthy’s dream is to be a head coach. Her graduate assistantship is the first step in the right direction. This position allows her to both network and learn from the best.

“The value of my GA position is beyond what I could ever dream of,” McCarthy said. “I get to work under one the best coaches in the country. I also coach U14 girls, as well as provide individual training session for a good chunk of the upcoming talent in Morgantown. So, despite my main daily tasks being administrative, I still get a lot of coaching under my belt.”

She credits Coach Izzo-Brown as a significant mentor. “She believes in me. She allows me to be her shadow and soak up all of the experiences and ins and outs of coaching at the collegiate level,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy plans to combine her WVU degrees and experience from her elite graduate assistantship to begin her career in the soccer coaching industry. It is no doubt that she will eventually change players’ lives the same way Coach Izzo-Brown changed hers.

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