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Coaching great Anson Dorrance to present at 2013 Covention

NATIONAL AND WORLD CHAMPION COACH DISCUSSES THE INFLUENCE OF THE NSCAA AND THE CONVENTION ON HIS CAREER

By Dean Linke, @VoiceofNSCAA

If you know anything about soccer in the United States, or anything about NCAA Division I athletics, you probably know the story of Anson Dorrance.

Under his watchful eye, the North Carolina Tar Heel women’s soccer team has won 21 of the past 31 national championships. His record in 34 years is an amazing 738-45-26. 

He’s an NSCAA Honor Award winner. He’s in the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He's a world champion, leading the 1991 US Women’s Team to the first-ever Women’s World Cup title. He's an author.

When it comes to coaching – at any coaching level – Anson Dorrance is a living legend and will speak at the 2013 Convention in January.

Dorrance, along with Mike Jacobs (Evansville), Alan Kirkup (Florida) and Marlon LeBlanc (WVU) will be a part of a panel presented by Prozone that will break down the role of performance analysis in developing the college game and athlete. That session will take place Saturday, Jan. 19 at 11 a.m.

“Any time I am asked to do anything for the NSCAA, including the Convention, I have always agreed,” Dorrance said. "I have always felt like I owed the NSCAA a huge debt because they invested in me long before I could ever think about paying them back.

“As a young coach, my coaching resources were two-fold. The NSCAA Convention and the US Soccer coaching schools.”

Dorrance, who has coached 70 First Team All-Americans and 17 National Players of the Year, said it makes him proud to know that those two resources helped him, and many others who work in the women’s soccer game, conquer the world.

“For us to be able to do what we did beginning in the late 80s and early 90s would be like Mexico conquering the world in ice hockey,” Dorrance remarked. “Who knows? If Mexico had the same resources that the NSCAA provides to soccer coaches, maybe they could be world champions in ice hockey.”

He recalls nearly every NSCAA Convention he has ever attended, including his first.

“It was in San Francisco in 1977,” Dorrance said. “My coach at UNC, (Dr. E.) Marvin Allen (Jr.) took me with him. I was his head coach designate and I learned under him. 

“Marvin received the NSCAA Honor Award in 1969 and I remember thinking then that I would like to work in this game long enough to also win that award.”

That wasn’t the first time Dorrance's aspirations were charged.

“I heard (1985 Honor Award winner) Cliff McGrath (Seattle Pacific) speak at the Convention and I remember saying to myself that I would love to have the stage presence and speaking ability of Cliff. Then, to have Cliff give my introduction when I received the Honor Award in 2010, it was an unbelievable experience. He retired from his NSCAA post after that, which truly makes it heartwarming.”

Little by little, Anson has been collecting mentors along the way at every Convention he's attended.

“I wanted to have the integrity of (1989 Honor Award winner) William Shellenberger (Lynchburg). I sought the poise and competitive fire of Indiana men’s coach (1997 Honor Award winner) Jerry Yeagley. I was moved by the organizational ability of UConn’s (1995 Honor Award winner) Joe Morrone.

“These are coaches who were and continue to be significant contributors to the NSCAA and I wanted to model my life after them. They had a huge impact on mentoring and motivating me to become the best coach I could possibly be with every stage of my growth.”

Dorrance said that’s why he served for so many years as a national staff coach. 

“I know I said this earlier, but whenever I am asked to do something for the NSCAA, I always do it. These are my mentors, and who says 'no' to their mentors?”

“I look forward to the Convention every year,” Dorrance said. “And, this year my wife, M’Liss, is going with me. So now, I can go to an NSCAA Convention where I can learn, where I can teach, and where I can socialize with all of my colleagues. 

“To embrace the game with my mentors and my wife. We can celebrate our game together.”

You can see Anson speak, along with many other world-class clinicians, at the 2013 Convention in Indianapolis.

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