Senior midfielder Bella Ponzi kicks the ball. On Oct. 28, 2021, the University of Georgia soccer lost to Vanderbilt at the Turner Soccer Complex 1-2 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Sidney Chansamone, @sid.chansa)

Georgia soccer head coach Keidane McAlpine announced on Tuesday that Jason Lockhart will join the program as the team's new associate head coach.

“Jason has a very good ability to simplify the game for players,” McAlpine said. “His talent as a teacher will help raise the standard of our team.”

McAlpine and Lockhart worked alongside one another for the past 10 seasons at Washington State and University of Southern California. He was USC’s associate head coach for the past four seasons.

“It’s special to have a friend and such a quality teacher of the game come with us from USC to Georgia,” said McAlpine. “There’s a level of comfort there that cannot be matched.”

While McAlpine and Lockhart were on the USC staff, the team never finished worse than fourth place in the Pac-12 and they have won the NCAA Tournament games in six out of seven previous seasons.

Lockhart works with a majority of offensive players. Throughout the past four years, he has continuously created Pac-12 Forwards of the year, in 2019 it was Tara McKeown and for 2020 and 2021 it was Penelope Hocking. Along with the three-consecutive Forwards of the Year, he has also helped produce a Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year, Croix Bethune (2021), a Pac-12 freshman of the year, Penelope Hocking (2018), and a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, Morgan Andrews (2016).

Lockhart is an important key to any coaching staff and throughout his time at both USC and Washington State, has shown that he is able to put up numbers and build players up.

While he was at Washington State, he helped the program tie with the program’s record for wins in a single season, 14 wins. Along with tying with the program’s records, his players were also able to set or tie with 27 school records. At the end of the 2013 season, Washington State ranked seventh nationally defensively, only allowing 11 goals.

Before coaching at the collegiate level, he worked at the club level for Vestavia Soccer Club and the Birmingham United Soccer Association. He and McAlpine worked alongside one another in Birmingham. He served as the girls’ director of coaching and the Elite Clubs National League head coach. He has also been a part of the Region III ODP staff and the head coach of the 14-18 age group.