Arizona assistant coach Kate Norton has left the program to join Surf Soccer Club as its new associate director of coaching.
Surf SC, based in Southern California, is one of the premier youth soccer clubs in the country, producing 11 national championships, more than 150 national team players, and a countless number of other elite players, including Arizona forward Brooke Wilson, UA’s top recruit in 2018.
“I believe Surf SC is moving in the right direction and I look forward to continuing to build a championship culture,” Norton said in an in-depth interview with SoccerToday.com. “After coaching at Arizona in the Pac-12, that’s a big deal to me. I take pride in what we achieved with the Wildcats.”
Norton joined the Arizona coaching staff prior to the 2017 season, replacing Kylie Louw who left for NAU (and was recently named the Lumberjacks’ new head coach). In two seasons with Norton on staff, the Wildcats went 24-11-6, making the NCAA Tournament both years after missing the postseason in 2016.
Known for her extreme attention to detail, Norton, one of two assistants on staff, had a wide-ranging role at the UA. Among other things, she orchestrated Arizona’s practices and conducted film study. (You can read more about that here).
“Her ideas are good, she’s super detailed and organized,” UA head coach Tony Amato told me in 2017. “She doesn’t miss a beat, so she’s been super valuable, especially to me. You just want your assistants to be competent and take some things off your plate and she definitely helps with that.”
Before joining the UA staff, Norton worked in operations for the Seattle Sounders and was a major soccer figure in Tucson, serving as the Camps and Clinics Director for FC Tucson from 2012 to 2016 and the Director of the Tanque Verde Soccer Club from 2010 to 2016. Norton is also a U.S. Soccer coach and scout.
The Wildcats are expected to hire a replacement this spring. Arizona also lost four players to transfer, including top assister Amanda Porter.
Their first spring game is Saturday, March 23 against BYU in Glendale.