Wednesday, January 8, 2014


ANDERSON, S.C. – Nancy Simpson, Anderson University Director of Athletics, has announced that women’s soccer head coach Samar Azem has stepped down from her position to accept an assistant coaching job at her alma mater, Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C.

Azem returns to the place where she won Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships in 2004 and was named to the all-Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Team the following season. Azem also earned all-academic recognition and earned the team’s Coaches Award twice during her collegiate years.

After her playing days, Azem had coaching stints at Brevard College, Mercer and Presbyterian College before coming to Anderson prior to the 2011 season. While with the Trojans, Azem compiled 21 victories and advanced to the semifinals of the SAC Tournament in her first season. In her short time with AU, Azem coached 12 players to postseason all-South Atlantic Conference honors, including three after the 2013 season.

“I am excited to go back to my alma mater and work with the administration and coaching staff, but it was a difficult decision to leave the wonderful community, administration, staff and players I've grown to appreciate and enjoy at Anderson,” Azem said. “My time at AU has been extremely rewarding and I am thankful to Nancy Simpson for allowing me to represent and lead Anderson University women's soccer and for her guidance and support. I would also like to thank my players, for believing in the direction of our program and for everything they've given back to me and foundations they've set for the program. I am truly appreciative of every one of them and look forward to keeping up with every bit of their future success at AU.”

Azem has also worked with youth players from the Clemson Anderson Soccer Academy (CASA) and Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) and brought players from both academies together for free clinics at the university.

”I am tremendously grateful to Samar for leading our women's soccer program in such outstanding fashion for the past three seasons,” Simpson said. “She has certainly raised the bar for this program, and I look forward to continuing to build upon her body of work. I wish the very best to Samar as she returns to her alma mater.”

The Jos, Nigeria native also involves herself with the Mashiah Foundation which volunteered with the National Honor Society to create an HIV/AIDS awareness program for high schools across northern Nigeria. Twelve high schools implemented the plan and over 1,000 guests attended the seminar.