Crick Takes New Role Head-On

A photo of Crick on the soccer pitch in a bright yellow and black Drovers uniform
Originally from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, Crick attended USAO on a soccer scholarship.

A familiar face is taking on a new role to kick-off the 2023 Drover soccer season. From midfielder, to assistant coach and now head women’s soccer coach, Niall Crick has been a vital piece of the Drover soccer program for over 10 years.

Crick has been on Jimmy Hampton’s legendary coaching staff since 2012. His career started after a four-year collegiate career resulting in numerous national tournament appearances and NAIA All-American honors. Upon graduation, Crick was hired as the women’s soccer assistant coach in 2012 and worked closely with international students on campus. He was inducted into the USAO Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019 to honor his impactful career as a player.

Crick’s various roles on campus as an alumni staff member allow him an important perspective as a head coach.

“Knowing some of the challenges that may come with a smaller institution, but also the really great qualities that come from a place like this are things that I think I can lean on,” said Crick. “My experiences can help our student-athletes because I know how to navigate that. I know how to talk with staff members and professors here. I can help our students navigate the town itself, and how it might be different from the places that they came from.”

Originally from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, Crick attended USAO on a soccer scholarship, placing him in an environment and gameplay vastly different than the one he knew.

“Edinburgh is a city of nearly a million people, really crowded,” said Crick. “So, you can imagine the culture shock of getting off the plane and driving to Chickasha. But I quickly felt at home because of the togetherness of the soccer team and the coaching staff. Once classes started, the professors were just as amazing at making me feel at home. That’s the experience I want for our student-athletes, not just the internationals but for all our student-athletes. That leads to a successful team.”

For Crick, success as he takes on the new role is defined by the experience his student-athletes have during their time as a Drover athletically, academically and personally.

“My wife and I played here and graduated from here,” said Crick. “I have worked here now for 11 years, so I am deeply passionate about the success of the college. My goal is to help student-athletes have an experience where they feel the family environment we have here. That’s the main thing I am focused on as well as having as much success we can on the field.”

Crick is inheriting a solid program crafted by one of the most talented in the industry.

“Hampton has prepared me for this role in so many ways,” said Crick. “He is one of the elite coaches in soccer, nationwide. More so, the experiences off the field are some of the things I will hold the closest moving forward. Being able to approach different scenarios and dealing with people from different walks of life and different mentalities. He has incredible experience confronting those things and hopefully has passed enough on to me so that I can deal with those myself.”

Led by Hampton and staff, the Drover women’s soccer program has made six national tournament appearances and clinched eight Sooner Athletic Conference Championships on the foundation of numerous SAC and NAIA weekly awards. Last season alone, the Drovers nearly swept the conference postseason awards. Hampton earned Coach of the Year while his players earned the conference Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards.

“We’ve had a really strong five to six years now recently gaining some national recognition,” said Crick. “Hopefully we can take that next step to make us a genuine national contender.”

After 25 years of coaching both soccer teams, Hampton will start a new chapter as well, remaining active as the men's head coach while Crick becomes only the second head coach in the program's history.

The 2023-24 women’s soccer season schedule is officially set. For schedule updates and game results, stay tuned to so you can be a part of the Drover magic this season.

“I just want to encourage people to come out and watch this season,” said Crick.” We are coming off a few successful seasons with a lot of returning players and an exciting new group. We expect to have a great year. Come be a part of it!”