Grand Rapids Community College’s first soccer coaches are bringing more than 40 years of experience, championships and personal success to the jobs.
Lizzy Hornack, a two-time All-American at Davenport University, and Demiekco Smith, who has ties to the University of Michigan-Flint program, will guide the new GRCC teams when they take the field in fall 2023.
“We’re starting these programs on the right foot with excellent coaches,” Athletic Director Lauren Ferullo said. “We’re not just fielding a team. We’re building a program and a culture. Lizzy and Demiekco have years of experience working with student-athletes, helping them be successful on the field and in the classroom.”
Hornack, a native of Manchester, England, is a 2014 Davenport University alumna and is assistant coach for the university’s women’s team.
She was a two-time All-American at Davenport, earning the honors in 2010 and 2013. She is atop Davenport’s leaderboard in nine categories, including points, with 131; goals, 55; and game-winning goals, 14.
“I’m very excited to start GRCC’s women’s soccer program,” she said. “It’s an honor to be the first-ever head coach. I’m excited to get to work on building this program and having a positive impact on the lives of student-athletes.”
After college Hornack played two years in a semi-pro league with Grand Rapids Football Club, winning the national championship in 2017.
She has served as assistant coach and the junior varsity head coach for Davenport in 2014 and 2015, then became girl’s director of coaching for the Soccer Club of Rockford. She was director of operations two years later. She coached a girls’ team to a State Cup championship in 2022, and coaches two National League teams.
Hornack also coached at CATS FC in Caledonia and Vardar West in Byron Center. She was the head junior varsity coach at Rockford High School and the assistant varsity coach at Grandville High School.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Davenport.
Smith has 27 years of soccer coaching experience, including serving as head women’s coach for University of Michigan-Flint and the assistant for the University of Michigan-Flint men’s soccer program.
Smith has led several successful programs, including winning three indoor national championships with his 2 Designs All-Star Team. Those teams were undefeated in 30 games. He also coached his high school to a Conference Championship leading his team to a 20-0 regular season record.
He was presented the High School Boys and Girls Conference Coach of the year award and the High School Boys and Girls District Coach of the Year award.
He most recently was head coach for the Wellspring Prep High School girls’ soccer team.
Smith earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint in Public Administration and a master’s degree from Bowling Green in Criminal Justice. He earned bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and an associate degree from Ferris State University.
Smith works for the Department of Health and Human Services as a section manager in Kent County.
“I’m excited to be the first head coach of the GRCC men’s soccer program and I’m looking forward to building a competitive team,” he said.
With the addition of both soccer programs, GRCC now offers 10 athletic programs, including men’s and women’s cross country, golf, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball.
Students interested in participating can fill out a questionnaire here.