My GRCC Story: Lizzy Hornack shares her journey from England to becoming GRCC’s first women’s soccer coach

Lizzy Hornack smiling.

The passion for soccer runs deep in Lizzy Hornack’s family.

“I played it all my life! It’s the only sport I know. It’s the only sport I did.”

Hornack is the coach of Grand Rapids Community College’s first women’s soccer team, which will take the field in fall 2023, along with a men’s team coached by Damiekco Smith.

Hornack appeared on the My GRCC podcast to talk about her journey from growing up in Manchester, England to becoming a two-time collegiate All-American to building a program from scratch.

She was introduced to the sport, called football in the rest of the world, by her brother and father.

“I have an older brother. He’s 18 months older than I was,” she said. “I was pretty much just following his footsteps. He wanted to play football, so I wanted to play football. He joined a boys’ team, so I joined a boys’ team. It’s been a thing since I was four. Whatever he did, I did. My dad played and he coached us.”

She came to the United States in 2010 to play with Davenport University, earning All-American 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.

She has been coaching at the collegiate and youth level since graduating with has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management, and was thrilled when she learned GRCC started a program.

 “When the athletic director, Lauren Ferullo, said, ‘Hey, I have a women’s soccer program,’ I was, like, ‘Love it! It’s got my name on it!’ and we went from there.”

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.

The My GRCC Story podcast is available here, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other hosting sites.

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