A former collegiate and professional goalkeeper, with experience coaching at the NCAA Division 1, 2 and 3 levels, Hemant is currently the volunteer assistant coach for the University of Tennessee women's soccer team, having rejoined the staff in 2021. He has been involved in collegiate coaching for nearly 20 years, which includes stints as the goalkeeper coach for the Cornell University men's and women's soccer teams, the University of Colorado women's soccer team, the UT-Chattanooga women's soccer team, the Carson Newman University men's and women's soccer teams, and the Maryville College men's and women's soccer teams. He also was a member of the University of Tennessee women's soccer staff from 2004 to 2014. Hemant currently serves as Director of Goalkeeping for the Tennessee Boys' and Girls' ODP programs, and has been on the Region III Girls' ODP staff from 2017-2020. Hemant holds NSCAA Level 1, 2, and 3 Goalkeeping Diplomas.
During his playing career at Cornell University, the Short Hills, N.J. native earned All-Ivy league and All-Region honors. His team reached the NCAA Tournament in 1995 and 1996. In 1996, he set a school record for shutouts and solo shutouts in a season. Cornell finished the 1996 season ranked among the nation's top 25 teams, and the team was ranked in the top ten in NCAA Division I in goals-against-average. Sharma proved equally adept in the classroom as he was a member of the Dean's List and the winner of the prestigious James E. Rice writing prize.
After college, Hemant was drafted by three professional indoor soccer leagues that existed in the United States in the 1990s. He was a first-round draft pick of the Buffalo Blizzard in the National Professional Soccer League and a fifth-round draft pick of the Arizona Thunder of the World Indoor Soccer League. The two leagues later combined to become the Major Indoor Soccer League. Hemant also was drafted by the Mississippi Beach Kings of the Easter Indoor Soccer League. He played five years of pro indoor soccer and along the way, he earned special commendations from the Buffalo, New York and Gulfport, Mississippi mayor's offices for outstanding community service in helping to establish low income youth soccer programs.
Sharma is a 1997 graduate of Cornell University, with a bachelor of arts in English and a certificate in Financial Management. He received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Tennessee in the summer of 2009, and was the first recipient of the University of Tennessee's Otis Stephens Fellowship, granted for excellence in the study of American politics. He currently teaches in the University of Tennessee's Political Science Department and has co-authored three textbooks. The first is entitled An Introduction to the American Legal System, which was released by Wolters Kluwer publishers of New York. The second is Administrative Law and Policy, released in 2021 by Carolina Aademic Press. Another of his textbooks, An Introduction to Civil Rights and Liberties, is published by Great River Learning of Dubuque, Iowa. Hemant has also penned an article entitled "The Game is the Best Teacher" for the NSCAA magazine Soccer Journal, and co-authored an article entitled "The Decline of Pick-Up Soccer in the United States" for a British journal called Soccer & Society.
Allison Whitworth joined the Mississippi State Bulldog soccer program on March 4, 2019, after serving as head women’s soccer coach at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, since 2016. She moved into the senior woman administrator role in December 2017.
The Birmingham, Alabama, native had an impressive athletic and academic career at Auburn University before becoming the first Tiger drafted into a professional league. Whitworth was named the head coach of Spring Hill College women’s soccer in December 2015 following a successful three-year stint as the lead assistant/goalkeeper coach and recruiting coordinator with the Ohio University Bobcats in Athens, Ohio.
While at Ohio, Whitworth’s keepers tallied 322 saves with 10 shutouts over three seasons and in 2014 she joined the Region II Olympic Development Program staff as a goalkeeper coach for various events. The Bobcats placed two players on the Mid-America Conference All-Freshman Team over the past three seasons along with earning nine MAC All-Academic Team members in 2015. Since 2011, every team that Whitworth has coached has been awarded a NSCAA Team Academic Award.
As a recruiter for the Bobcats, Whitworth signed MAC All-Freshman Team member forward Steph Rowland who played in all 18 games for Ohio as a freshman during the 2015 season and led the team in five offensive categories, including goals (5), points (11), shots (33), shots on-goal (18) and shots on-goal percentage (.540) to set an Ohio record for freshman goals scored. Whitworth also recruited goalkeeper Vanessa Cordoba who earned the starting role for the Bobcats as a sophomore in 2015 after winning a gold medal at the Bolivarian Games with the U-20 Columbian National Team.
Whitworth spent two seasons (2011-12) as an assistant coach/goalkeeper coach at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). During her time in Murfreesboro, the Blue Raiders went a combined 24-14-1 and recorded 14 shutouts. MTSU ended 2012 with the second-best record in school history, finishing with a 14-5-1 mark and claiming a share of the Sun Belt Conference regular-season title. While at MTSU, Whitworth was responsible for recruiting goalkeeper Kelsey Brouwer who finished her career with the school record for career wins, finished second overall in career saves, first in career shutouts with 27 and was named the winner of the C-USA Spirit of Service Award in 2013.
A Birmingham native and 2007 graduate of Auburn, Whitworth spent three seasons in the Women's Professional Soccer League, suiting up for the Atlanta Beat. She was originally drafted in 2009 by FC Gold Pride in the eighth round (54th overall), becoming the first Tiger player to be drafted into a professional soccer league.
Whitworth capped her Auburn career by setting a school career record of 356 saves including 132 during her senior season to lead the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Her 356 saves place her third in the league record book. She registered 22 career shutouts, including eight in each of her final two seasons to tie for eighth in SEC history. Her 1.02 goals against average as a senior helped her garner First Team All-SEC honors for her second appearance on the All-SEC squad after earning Second Team recognition as a junior.
Chosen as a SEC Defensive Player of the Week in each of her final three seasons at Auburn including three times as a senior, Whitworth saw action in 73 career matches, posting a 1.13 career goals against average.
Whitworth's accomplishments at Auburn were not just limited to the soccer pitch. She was named to the 2008 NSCAA/Adidas Women's Collegiate Scholar All-America Third Team and was honored as the SEC Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District IV Team member, earning First Team recognition in 2008 following a Third Team spot in '07.
Auburn's women's sports nominee for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship that has been presented since 1986 to the SEC's top female scholar-athlete, Whitworth garnered academic honors such as the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was an Auburn University Top Tiger four times throughout her collegiate career.
While at Auburn, Whitworth was a member of numerous honor societies, including Phi Beta, Delta Epsilon Iota, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key, Cardinal Key, Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Lambda Delta, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the National Collegiate Athlete Honor Society. She volunteered in the Auburn community with Habitat for Humanity, Read Across America, the Auburn Food Bank and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund Walk. She helped collect food and toiletries for the Abused and Battered Women's Shelter and was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Whitworth graduated summa cum laude from Auburn in December 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Exercise Science. She completed her M.Ed. in Kinesiology: Health Promotion at Auburn in 2009 and is currently working toward a master’s degree in Sports Administration at Ohio.