The hiring of Potter, who has taken Washington State to the NCAA tournament in three of the last four years, was announced Tuesday by OU VP/Athletics Director Joe Castiglione.
"Matt Potter has led Washington State's program to some of its greatest success, is highly regarded in collegiate soccer and is a long time coach in the Olympic development programs," said Castiglione. "We are excited to have him join the Sooner family and believe he'll be an outstanding leader for our current and future student athletes. We've made a strong commitment to our soccer program, including facility upgrades, and Matt is anxious to capitalize on that commitment."
Throughout the past nine seasons, Potter established the Cougars' program into one of the Pac-12's elite with a school record 88 wins (88-68-26 overall) at the helm, including five double-digit win seasons and three appearances in the NCAA tournament. The Cougars advanced into the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2009 and 2011. Prior to his arrival, Washington State advanced to three NCAA tournaments since the program's inception in 1989.
Potter replaces Nicole Nelson, who resigned in November after four seasons. He inherits a Sooner team that was 7-13 in 2011 and returns 10 starters.
"I believe in the potential of the players, the soccer program and the opportunity to build on the work of the previous staff," Potter said. "As a coach, I look forward to being in a position to compete both on and off the field with the resources, support and people that care in the growth of student athletes. This is something that is clear at the University of Oklahoma."
While coaching 30 all-conference selections and seven players that have taken part in national team camps or competitions at Washington State, the program's success in the classroom did not go unnoticed during Potter's tenure. He has helped mentor 103 student-athletes that have earned academic all-conference accolades and Washington State received the NSCAA Team Academic Award in 2011, marking the seventh time the program earned the honor under Potter.
Potter took over the helm of the Cougars in July of 2003, just a few months after being named an assistant in February. Potter was 6-11-2 in his first season after taking over for Dan Tobias, who took the head coaching job at the University of Arizona in 2003. Following his debut season, Potter's Cougar teams rattled off six straight winning seasons and the 2006 squad tied a program record with 10 shutouts.
In the past five seasons on the field, Washington State has enjoyed four campaigns with double-digit wins and a combined 54-37-14 record. The Cougars were also ranked in the top 25 polls in four of those seasons, including a school record eight straight weeks in 2009.
Most recently, Washington State returned to the big dance in 2011 and advanced to the second round for the second time in the last three years. The Cougars posted a 12-7-4 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the Pac-12 with a program best six wins in conference play (6-3-2 mark). Four Cougars earned all-conference honors and two were named to the coaches' association all-region team.
Prior to his stint in Pullman, Wa., Potter was the head coach for the women's team at Scottsdale Community College. In his only season with the Artichokes, he led Scottsdale to the 2002 ACCAC playoffs with a 9-7-1 record.
He spent eight years with the Sereno Soccer Club in Arizona, working as a head coach and trainer. Potter led the '88 girls team to a Region IV second place finish, three third place finishes and four Arizona state titles. That squad and the '84 girls team were consistently ranked as one of the top 10 teams in Region IV. Potter's '84 team won seven consecutive state titles and overall, he placed nine players on the Region IV team and three advanced to the youth national team pool.
He graduated from West London College of Brunel University in 1992 with an honors degree in physical education and religious, social and moral education. In 1991, he helped lead West London to the National British College title. Potter was also involved with the English national team, representing the country at the U-19 international level. He rose to the top of the game and played professionally for Watford F.C. as a central midfielder. He also worked as a community director with the Brentford Football Club in London.
Originally from Mere, England, Potter is married to Olga and has one daughter, Cassidy, and three stepdaughters Andrea, Marissa and Valerie.
Potter holds a USSAF "A" license and is currently the Region IV Olympic Development Program (ODP) head coach for the girls '88 age group. He has served on the regional staff since 1998 and also was give a preliminary and Teaching Award from the English Football Association.