Director of Athletics Janet R. Cone announced the hiring of Clifton Bush as UNC Asheville women's soccer head coach on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.
Bush was chosen as the head coach after a national search. He most recently spent the last season as an assistant coach with the UNC Asheville women's soccer program. He has served as the Director of Women's Soccer for the 2019 spring season.
Bush is the fifth women's soccer head coach in program history.
"Having studied management and organizational leadership and young adult development, Clifton brings a unique educational foundation and approach to our women's soccer program," Cone said. "He also has extensive coaching experience at all levels from youth to Olympic Development. Since arriving on campus, he has earned the respect and trust of our present student-athletes as well. His communication style, knowledge of the game and passion to improve each day will be important to our future success. I look forward to introducing Clifton to all of our Bulldogs fans and friends in the near future."
During his lone season as an assistant coach with UNC Asheville in the 2018 campaign, Bush helped lead the Bulldogs to impressive wins over The Citadel, Hampton and Winthrop.
In charge of the goalkeepers, Bush helped guide freshman goalkeeper Courtney O'Malley to the Big South All-Freshman Team after she started in 11 of the 16 games last year. She logged over 1,000 minutes and earned a stout 1.24 goals against average.
In total, Bush helped lead four Bulldogs to postseason awards including O'Malley with Ellie Stone earning Big South second-team and North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) All-State second-team honors. Justine James was named to the Big South All-Academic Team.
The 2018 UNC Asheville women's soccer team with Bush on staff also earned the Big South Women's Soccer Sportsmanship Award.
Bush is excited for the opportunity to officially take the helm of UNC Asheville women's soccer.
"Creating a high-performance environment with players that embody a growth mindset is so important to me, so I am excited to lead a group at UNC Asheville that are driven by positive values and determination," Bush said. "I have had the pleasure to really get to know Janet R. Cone and (Senior Associate Athletics Director) Terri Brne and the rest of the UNC Asheville community and I want to thank them for their support and confidence. I am excited to get to work and be part of the Bulldog Family."
A native of Tehachapi, Calif., Bush spent four seasons as an assistant coach at CSUB under head coach Gary Curneen before joining the UNC Asheville women's soccer program. He was promoted to Associate Head Coach after the 2016 season.
In charge of the CSUB goalkeepers also, Bush coached Tori Ornela to one of the most prolific careers in CSUB history. Ornela graduated in 2016 with the all-time school record in career saves with 369 and the second-most wins in CSUB history with 18. The keeper also had the seventh-most career saves among all active NCAA Division I keepers at the end of her career.
Bush also helped lead CSUB to its first-ever conference-winning season in the 2016 season with the Roadrunners collecting their most wins overall in their NCAA Division I history during the 2016 campaign. CSUB finished second place in the WAC during the 2016 regular-season and closed out the tremendous season in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament.
In addition to his now head coaching role at UNC Asheville, Bush also has experience in women's professional soccer where he has spent the past two seasons and continues to serve as an Opposition Analyst and Scout. He is also the Founder and Co-Host of the #NWSLRewind, which is a weekly podcast covering the women's professional league. As part of the podcast he conducts analysis and interviews with coaches, staff and players like United States women's national team star Mal Pugh.
Prior to joining the CSUB program, Bush spent time at Dominican University of California where he served as the top assistant during the 2013 season. Bush assisted with all aspects of the NCAA Division II program that received the NSCAA Academic Team Award.
Prior to his time at Dominican, Bush served as head coach at Treasure Valley Community College in Oregon in 2012, where he led the team to its first playoff berth in six years. In 2011, he was an assistant coach at the College of Idaho, where he oversaw both the men and women's keepers.
Bush earned his bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership and Management from George Fox University.
Before returning to the beautiful game to coach, Bush spent six years as a police detective in Caldwell, Idaho.
Bush holds a USSF 'A-Senior' License.