George Jenkins has tabbed former GJ and University of South Carolina star Kayla Grimsley as the new Girls Head Soccer Coach. Grimsley is a graduate of George Jenkins High School and led the Eagles to the 2008 5A state title as a senior. She was a 3-time Florida High School Player-of-the-Year for George Jenkins High School. She also played for IMG Soccer Academy, was a 3-year member of the Region III ODP team (2005-07) Florida ODP team, and 4-year member of the Florida ODP team, serving as captain all four years. Her club team was ranked #1 in the nation in 2008. She joins staff at GJHS after having spent the last two seasons leading Bartow High School to their first district championship in school history in 2016 and again in 2017.
Grimsley graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2012 as the Gamecocks’ all-time leading scorer with 119 points while leading them to four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament and two Southeastern Conference Championships. Those SEC titles were the first in the program’s history. The Gamecocks went 61-24-10 during her four years, which included a school-record 19-win season in 2009 when they advanced to NCAA round of 16. In addition to her point total, Grimsley also ranks first in school history in career assists with 33, and second in career goals with 43 while playing in 95 games. She led the Gamecocks in goals and points all four years of her career, and hit double figures in both goals and assists as a junior and senior. She remains the only player in school history to accomplish that feat as of the 2016 season.
A 4-time All-SEC selection (three times on the First Team), Grimsley was voted the SEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year in 2010, and again in 2011 as a senior captain. She was named to the Herman Trophy Watch List in each of her final two seasons, and earned NSCAA All-American honors in both of them. She was also a 3-time NSCAA All-Region selection for the Gamecocks.
After graduation, Grimsley played professional soccer with Thor/KA in Akureyi, Iceland from 2012-15. In her first season there, Grimsley set the all-time Icelandic assist record with 54, and was named the “Best Player in Iceland” by the Icelandic Premier League Coaches and Players Committee. Her team won the Icelandic Premier League for the first time, qualifying them for the 2013 UEFA Women’s Champion League. Grimsley won two more “Best Player in Iceland” awards in 2014 and ’15 before returning to the United States.
Grimsley recently gained coaching experience in Iceland when she was head coach for Völsungur, a professional team in KSI league. She was also a member of the team where they currently sit at the top of the league.