About six months after the University of Lethbridge relieved its former Pronghorns women’s soccer coaches of their duties for breaching COVID-19 sport protocol, Macky Singh has been named the seventh head coach in program history.
U of L athletic director Neil Langevin said the lengthy process that went into hiring Singh was an extremely competitive one.
“We actually had over 20 applicants, from all across the world,” Langevin said. “We were really amazed and happy with the amount of quality applicants — sometimes you get some that are not qualified — and Macky made it through two rounds of pretty intensive work that he had to do.
“To be really honest — and Macky knows this — it was very hard competition, and it was very close down to the end.”
Singh’s resume, which includes about 27 years of coaching experience, was one of the things that set him apart. Originally from Malaysia, the bench boss spent a number of years heading men’s and women’s programs in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC) at Olds College, and most recently at Keyano College in Fort McMurray.
During his time in Olds, Singh was named the ACAC men’s soccer coach of the year in 2017, and while at Keyano he won an ACAC Men’s Futsal Championship in 2019.
Singh began his coaching career in New Zealand, working at one point as the national technical director for the Universities Council in 1998, as well as the head coach for the New Zealand Universities Women’s National Team.
In 2005, he moved back to his home country and coached the Malaysia National Women’s team and Under-19 team.
In 2007, he made his way to Canada, where he’s been ever since.
“With all this experience, coming to the University of Lethbridge, the opportunity to coach the women’s program is really exciting and I hope that I’ll be able to grow, to improve the program and take the program forward,” he said.
“One of the things that I said in my interview was that the women’s program at the University of Lethbridge is a sleeping giant; there’s so much potential.”
Singh said the opportunity to take his wealth of ACAC experience and move to the U SPORTS level is one he’s thrilled about.
“A lot of those players in U SPORTS have ambitions maybe of playing pro someday, or maybe making the national team, so to be able to work in that environment,” he said. “The professionalism on the U SPORTS level is unbelievable, and you know I’ve coached at every level and the only spot I haven’t had an opportunity yet is at the U SPORTS level, so I’m really excited to finally make that transition.”
Langevin said he can’t wait to see what Singh can bring to the program, both in the near future and down the road.
“His international recruiting experience was a really big thing,” Langevin said. “But overall, it was really a knowledge and confidence in how he can deal with players, and be positive — move them forward in a challenging but positive environment.”
Singh’s first official day with the Pronghorns is Thursday.