Ukiah High Athletics has announced that UHS graduate, counselor, and local soccer aficionado Naomi Rhodes has accepted the head coach’s position for the girl’s varsity soccer team.
Rhodes told us she is a member of the Ukiah High School Class of 1994. She played on the varsity’s girls’ soccer team for her four years at Ukiah High School and was also a part of the track team.
For college, Rhodes said she attended the University of Oregon, where she played on their club soccer team and later playing for the University of Oregon’s NCAA Division 1 team.
After she graduated from college, Rhodes decided to make Ukiah her permanent home.
Rhodes said that she always had a thought about returning to Ukiah after graduating from college. Rhodes also met her husband here, who is also a Ukiah High School graduate.
Rhodes is very passionate about coaching soccer. “ I love coaching soccer because it allows me to connect with young players and teach them this game that I love,” she says. Rhodes has been coaching for many years, being the assistant women’s soccer coach at Mendocino College for eight years. She also co-founded the Mendocino County Soccer Academy, also known as MCSA, a competitive youth club in the community. Rhodes coached on the girl’s side of the team since the club began in 2013.
Rhodes thinks that physical activity is an essential part of living and is one of the best stress relievers available and free to anyone. “Even something as simple as taking a brisk 15-minute walk around the neighborhood can boost energy, relieve stress and anxiety, and offer a greater level of self-confidence,” Rhodes says. Also, Mrs. Rhodes thinks that it’s critical to teach youth the importance of physical activity.
Rhodes has been a counselor for the Ukiah Unified School District for six years. Rhodes worked one year at Eagle Peak, three and Pomolita, and now is in her second year at Ukiah High School as a dean/counselor.
Rhodes has many goals that she wants to accomplish with the girl’s varsity soccer team. Rhodes hopes to teach the players to play the game while holding them to high expectations regarding work ethic, commitment, and competitive drive.