Meet Coach Mimi Nartey, a remarkable woman whose journey through soccer and education has left an indelible mark on both fields.
Coach Mimi’s passion for soccer was ignited at a young age. She played competitive club soccer for multiple national championship teams and participated in the U.S. Olympic Development Program at the regional level. She played in several international youth soccer tournaments across Europe and received several distinctive accolades and a scholarship from Gatorade. She was a top recruit at dozens of NCAA Division I programs and earned an “All-Ivy” distinction as a player at Columbia University, where she did her undergraduate and graduate education.
As a teenager, she earned a spot on the Ghana National Women’s Soccer Team and eventually earned a silver medal in the 2002 FIFA African Cup of Nations. Her dedication and skill contributed to the team’s strong showing in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She also played for the Portland Rain in the W-League that preceded the NWSL.
Beyond her prowess on the field, Coach Mimi is an accomplished academic. She transitioned seamlessly from the soccer field to the classroom, becoming an award-winning college professor of environmental sciences and public health at prestigious institutions such as UCLA, LMU, and Occidental. She taught a course entitled “Women’s Sports and Empowerment” at Occidental College, and she has a TEDx talk on that subject.
With a heart dedicated to nurturing young talents, Mimi embarked on a coaching journey spanning over 25 years, focusing on youth soccer. Coach Mimi’s leadership has guided numerous youth teams to victory, capturing the Cal South State Cup championship and securing a spot in the finals of the same esteemed tournament in consecutive years.
A testament to her international coaching expertise, Coach Mimi proudly led a youth girls’ team to the playoffs of the Gothia World Youth Cup in Sweden, a feat that reflects her ability to empower and inspire young players to excel on the global stage. Several of the players she has trained and mentored have gone on to play at completive college soccer programs and have represented multiple nations in youth and senior FIFA Women’s World Cups, and she was named Honorary Head Coach at LMU. Her impact extends far beyond the field, shaping the lives of countless individuals through the beautiful game of soccer and academic mentorship.
Coach Mimi currently coaches a girls’ team at Beach FC and is a parent educator to her middle school son, Lincoln, and high school daughter, Liya, in the Da Vinci Connect program. Liya played on the Wiseburn-Da Vinci varsity soccer team as a freshman last year.
Coach Mimi aims to continue to weave her legacy as a pioneering force in both soccer and education, leaving an imprint on the sport, her students, and the aspiring athletes she guides toward excellence. She is looking forward to a memorable season with the Wiseburn-Da Vinci Wolves!
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” – Oscar Wilde