Afrim Latifi Hired for New Clarion Univ. Women’s Soccer Coach

CLARION, Pa. – Clarion Director of Athletics Dr. Wendy Snodgrass announced today that Afrim Latifi has been named the interim head women’s soccer coach.  A former student-athlete with years of coaching experience, Latifi will begin working with the Golden Eagles immediately.

“I am honored and excited to accept the position of head soccer coach at Clarion,” Latifi said.  “I would like to thank Dr. Snodgrass and the members of the search committee for showing their confidence in me and giving me the opportunity to lead this program.  I can’t wait to start working with this group of young women as we try to build the program to prominence in the conference and the region.”

Latifi comes to Clarion after spending one year as the head coach at Bethany.  The team started out with three wins in their first five games, and closed out their season with a 2-1 win over St. Vincent in the season finale on October 27.  Emily Vetri was named an All-PAC Honorable Mention, with the freshman starting all 18 games and adding three goals and an assist.  Vetri was also named to the PAC Sportsmanship Team.

Before taking the Bethany job, Latifi spent two years as an assistant coach at his alma mater of Gannon.  He helped the Golden Knights achieve a record of 23-10-5 in his time there, as well as a bid to the 2017 NCAA Division II tournament and the semifinals of the 2016 PSAC Tournament.  Taylor Lewis was named the 2016 PSAC Freshman of the Year, and the Golden Knights featured three First Team and seven total All-PSAC players.

Latifi previously spent three seasons as the head girls’ soccer coach at Villa Maria Academy, where he coached the team to the 2015 PIAA Class AA state championship.  He compiled a record of 53-9-5 and led the Victors to consecutive appearances in the PIAA Class AA State Championship Game in 2014 and 2015. After a 1-0 loss to District One power Villa Joseph Marie in the 2014 state finals, Latifi and the Victors got revenge with a 1-0 victory over Villa Joseph Marie during the 2015 state championship rematch.

Latifi, who also served two seasons as an assistant coach for the Gannon men’s soccer program in 2011-12, spent four years playing with the Erie Admirals of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and served as a coach with the U12/U13 Erie Admirals Girls Soccer Club.

Latifi had a prolific career from 2007-10 while playing at Gannon. He graduated ranked sixth all-time in career goals (44), ninth in career points (102) and fifth in career starts (64). He also finished his career as the Golden Knights all-time leader in game-winning goals.

As a senior in 2010, Latifi finished as the PSAC statistical champion in goals (15) and points (35). His efforts earned him PSAC Player of the Year, Daktronics Atlantic Region Player of the Year, and All-America and all-region accolades from both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Daktronics.

Latifi received both a Bachelor of Science in Sport & Exercise Science (Pre-Physical Therapy) and a Master of Science in Sport & Exercise Science from Gannon.