Dr. Greg Hooks is in his 22nd year as head coach of the USC Upstate men’s soccer team and enters his 29th season overall.
Hooks has had a tremendous coaching career at Upstate, highlighted by six NCAA Division II Tournament appearances with both of the school’s championship game appearances in 1995 and 1998. For his exemplary achievements, he was inducted into the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
Hooks has recruited and coached some of the greatest players in the history of the program. He has coached 12 All-Americans, 35 All-Region selections, 52 All-Conference picks, and 44 All-Tournament Team selections. Seven of his players have been named the Peach Belt Player of the Year and five have earned PBC Tournament MVP honors. Twelve players have signed professional contracts.
Since joining the ASUN in 2007, Hooks has coached one Player of the Year (Marvin Schmiege, 2014) and one Freshman of the Year (Gordon Wild, 2015).
Though Hooks has won 217 games while at Upstate, he has been successful throughout his coaching career. He has won 304 games in his 29 seasons as a head coach and owns a .643 winning percentage with a 304-169-38 overall record. He has been tremendous at Upstate, owning a .610 winning percentage and a 217-139-32 record in 21 seasons at the helm of the Spartan program.
Hooks has elevated the Upstate men’s soccer program to unprecedented heights in his 21 years at the helm of the program. He led the Spartans to five regular season Peach Belt championships and six league tournament championships in the 16-year history of the conference prior to moving to Division I. Under his guidance, Upstate made two appearances in the Division II national championship match (1995 and 1998) and six appearances overall in the NCAA Division II Tournament, including a spot in the 2006 tournament.
Hooks was the second-winningest active coach in NCAA Division II history at the time Upstate made the transition from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I membership. He finished his stint in the Peach Belt Conference as the second-winningest coach in league history. He owns a 24-6-1 (.774) record in PBC Tournament play which is the best-ever mark in the league. His 52-18-4 (.730) regular season record is also tops in conference history.
The Spartans advanced to their first ASUN Tournament championship game in program history in 2015 following a 7-7-1 campaign. Upstate would go on the road in the tournament to defeat Jacksonville and top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast, the first win in program history over the Eagles. The Spartans had the nation’s 15th-best offense averaging two goals per game while Wild finished first nationally in goals per game, points per game, shots per game, shots on goal per game and goals, and was third in points.
Hooks guided the 2012 Spartans to the program’s first berth in the A-Sun Tournament since moving to Division I in 2007 and garnered the No. 4 seed. In what was arguably the top season in the Division I era at Upstate, the Spartans tied for the most overall wins in the school’s Division I era and recorded the most ASUN wins in program history. Two Spartans were named ASUN All-Conference for their efforts.
Hooks led the Spartans to a 12-3-3 record, a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament, and a final No. 20 national ranking in 2006. He guided Upstate to a 13-3-2 record in 2005 with a final No. 13 national ranking. He led the 2004 Spartans to a 15-4-0 record and narrowly missed a third straight NCAA Tournament berth. Hooks coached the PBC Player of the Year and First Team All-American Gary Lynch.
In 2003, the Spartans swept through the Peach Belt undefeated, claimed their third straight Peach Belt Tournament championship, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Hooks led the 2002 squad to an 18-2-0 regular season record and the school’s eighth Peach Belt Conference Tournament title. The Spartans advanced to the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Tournament for the first time since the 1998 squad played for the national title. The Spartans ended the year with a 19-3-0 record and a No. 5 final national ranking.
In 1998, the Spartans posted an overall record of 23-1-0, hosted the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Final Four, and finished as the NCAA Division II runner-up. His 23 victories and .958 winning percentage were school and conference records. It is also ties Division I powerhouse Indiana as the best record ever in all divisions of NCAA play for a team that finished the season with one loss. USC Upstate won the PBC regular season and tournament titles, and stretched their winning streak over conference opponents to 20 games heading into 1999. Hooks was named NCAA South Region and PBC Coach of the Year.
The previous season, Hooks guided USC Upstate to an overall record of 20-4-0 and PBC regular season and tournament championships. The 20 wins were the most by a USC Upstate team since the 1983 team finished 21-1-1.
In his first year with the Spartans in 1995, Hooks led USC Upstate to an overall record of 17-5-2, a PBC Tournament Championship and a runner-up finish in the NCAA Division II Tournament, which USC Upstate hosted.
Hooks’ first coaching position was at Spartanburg Methodist College in 1985. He led the Pioneers to a 12-2-1 record and moved on to Lees-McRae (N.C.) College, where he compiled a 21-9-2 record in the program’s first two years. From there, Hooks went to Clemson (S.C.) University, where he was the top assistant for three years. While at Clemson, Hooks helped lead the Tigers to three Top 20 rankings, including an eight-week stay at No. 1 in 1990.
Hooks was named the head coach at the University of Charleston (W.Va.) in 1991. Over the next four seasons, he compiled a 54-19-3 record. His 1994 team was ranked as high as number four nationally.
Hooks graduated from the University of South Carolina, where he earned bachelors and master’s degrees in physical education. He received a Ph.D. in parks, recreation, and tourism management from Clemson in May 2001.
He has earned the Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, as well as his “A” coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation. These are the two highest soccer coaching degrees available in the United States.
A native of Valparaiso, Fla., Hooks and his wife, Laura, have two sons, Eric and Daniel.