By: Tiana Schoney
Head Coach of the Lincoln University Women’s Soccer Team, Greggmar Swift, brings Edvin Mendez and Micheal Ohioze to his coaching staff. The trio coached together this past season at Merritt Community College in Oakland.
Coach Swift is originally from Bridgetown, Barbados, and went on to shine as a Track and Field champion at Indiana State University. As a Sycamore, he held several records in the 60 and 110 meter hurdles and was named a Five-Time All-American. Swift competed in the 110 meter hurdles in the London 2012 Olympic Games and had a gold medal victory at the Universiade Competition in 2015.
At ISU, Greggmar studied Insurance and Risk Management, and later completed his Master’s Degree at Ball State University in Athletic Coaching Education (Biomechanics). Prior to joining Lincoln University, he coached Women’s Soccer at Indiana State University. Afterwards he headed out west to Oakland where he coached the Women’s Soccer team at Merritt Community College. He just completed his third and final year at Merritt before moving on to Lincoln University.
Michael Ohioze was born and raised in London, England and has a lifetime of quality soccer experience. In his youth, he played for Fulham Football Club, and then played all throughout secondary school. When he was eighteen, Michael was able to showcase his talents and was brought over to the United States to play at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Ohioze successfully played all four years for the Fighting Bees Soccer team, predominantly playing Forward/Striker and Winger. During the soccer off-season, he ran on the Track and Field team, mainly to stay in shape. Little did he know that this would lead him to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he competed for Great Britain in the Men’s 4 x 400 race.
Coach Ohioze moved to the Bay Area to further his education and completed his Master’s Degree at St. Mary’s College of California in Sports Management. Ohioze was introduced to Coach Swift, and he brought him on as the Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at Merritt Community College for the 2019-2021 season.
Edvin Mendez is a proud Oakland native and mainly grew up in St. Andrews. He comes from an extremely athletic family and has been playing soccer for as long as he can remember. Mendez attended St. Andrew’s High School where he played every position besides goalie on the soccer team. After high school, he joined the Marine Corp and was able to play on a men’s open team in Orange County.
Coach Swift later brought Mendez onboard to help out with the 2021 season at Merritt Community College, as Ohioze was training for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. When Swift handpicked his coaching staff for the Lincoln University Women’s Soccer Team, Mendez was immediately brought on. Coach Mendez has quite the passion and dedication for the sport and continues to play here in the Bay Area as much as he can. Let’s hear what he has to say about the upcoming season.
These three coaches are truly on the same page with how they want to coach the ladies on the LU soccer team. Coach Swift explained that he handpicked these coaches for a reason, as Ohioze and Mendez both have strong soccer backgrounds. He gives a little more insight on the new coaching staff:
“Coach Ohioze and I were brought up under the same system and we mesh together perfectly. On the opposite hand, we have Coach Mendez who is from Oakland and was brought up in the United States system. He keeps us on our toes and challenges everything that we do by showing us the benefits of the opposite way which helps broaden our learning. Our coaching staff blends two styles of soccer together and with that we get a unique style here at Lincoln University. These two coaches have equal or more say than I do. It’s amazing how much we compliment each other and so much continuous growth.”
Many of the ladies joining the team are top recruits and could have played at some big-name schools. However, they selected Lincoln because of the coaching staff. These girls wanted to come to Lincoln to receive Olympic-level coaching and intensity.
Swift wraps up the overall culture for the LU Women’s Soccer program with, “We will have a high-intensity, high physicality, and a family-like atmosphere. But I also want the ladies to remember that even though there is a high-intensity, we need to have fun with it. Believe it or not, four years goes by so fast.”
With academics being the main priority, followed by intensity on the playing field, these athletes are in for an exciting season. The coaches are setting the bar high for Lincoln’s first ever Women’s Soccer Team.