Anson Dorrance, the women’s soccer coach at the University of North Carolina, is the recipient of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Honor Award for 2010. Dorrance was presented the award at the Association’s annual Awards Banquet, held at the Hilton Baltimore on Friday evening, January 14, in conjunction with the 2011 NSCAA Convention.
Dorrance has achieved unparalleled success at the collegiate level, where he has coached some of the greatest names in the women’s game. Mia Hamm, April Heinrichs, Kristine Lilly, Cindy Parlow, Carla Overbeck and Heather O’Reilly are just a few of the outstanding players who have helped Dorrance and the Tar Heels win 20 NCAA national championships, along with one AIAW national title.
His success also extends to the international game. He was the coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team that won the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991, laying a foundation for the success that the United States women continue to enjoy on the world stage.
In addition to being a coach of players, Dorrance also takes great pride in being a coach of coaches. A member of the NSCAA Coaching Academy’s Senior National staff, he has instructed countless coaches in the art of coaching soccer, helping elevate the level of coaching, and thereby the level of play, in the United States.
“I’ve always loved coaching coaches,” said Dorrance. “I’ve always tried to share what has worked for me with my colleagues. That’s something that’s always been part of my DNA.”
Born on April 9,1951, in Bombay, India, Dorrance’s family lived throughout the world because of his father’s career as an oil executive. He developed his passion for soccer while living in Kenya. While attending law school at North Carolina, he was persuaded by then-men’s coach Marvin Allen to succeed him as the Tar Heels coach. He led that team from 1977-88, compiling a 175-65-21 (.708) record. In 1979, he added responsibilities for the newly-formed women’s program and within two years had captured his first national championship.
In his 32 years at North Carolina, he has compiled a career record of 715-39-24, a .934 winning percentage. He has earned NSCAA National Coach of the Year honors five times and is the only coach to claim that honor for both men’s and women’s play. He received the NSCAA’s Bill Jeffrey Award, presented to honor long-term service to intercollegiate soccer, in 2006.
Past NSCAA Honor Award Recipients