The all-time winningest coach in Old Dominion soccer history, Alan Dawson begins his 20th season at the helm of the ODU men’s soccer program in 2016. With a career record of 343-146-45, Dawson ranks in the top 15 in all-time winning percentage in collegiate men’s soccer. In addition, Dawson’s 214 victories at ODU are the most in Old Dominion soccer history.
The Northern Ireland native has guided the Monarchs to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, all of which have come in the last 14 years. ODU has twice advanced to the Sweet 16 under Dawson, with those appearances coming in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007. In addition, seven of Dawson’s squads of been ranked in the final NSCAA Top 25 of the season, including the 2006 team that was ranked 14th in the final poll.
A four-time conference coach of the year, Dawson has pioneered to Monarchs to two conference tournament titles and three conference regular season titles. Most recently, ODU won the 2014 Conference USA Championship on its home field in Norfolk, Virginia.
Over his 20 years at Old Dominion, Dawson has produced nine NSCAA All-Americans, five conference players of the years, five NSCAA Academic All-Americans and 11 MLS Super Draft selections.
YEAR-BY-YEAR AT OLD DOMINION
2015: The Monarchs compiled an 8-5-3 record and finished fourth in the C-USA regular season standings. ODU reached a high ranking of No. 9 on the year, while Niko Klosterhalfen was named the conference's Freshman of the Year. The '15 squad fell in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championship to eventual champ FIU.
2014: ODU captured the school's first ever C-USA Championship, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Monarchs, who finished with a 13-7-1 record, played one of the nation's toughest schedules and finished with an NCAA RPI of 20. Dawson won his 200th career game at ODU in 2014, when the Monarchs defeated William & Mary in October.
2013: The Monarchs finished 11-6-1, including a 7-2-0 mark in Conference USA play, in the team's first season in the league. ODU reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, while the Monarchs lost only one game on the road (at sixth seed Georgetown in the NCAAs ) and tied nationally-ranked Maryland. Tim Hopkinson had a career year for ODU, garnering C-USA Player of the Year and second team NSCAA All-American honors.
2012: The Monarchs were 11-3-3 and ranked as high as fourth nationally by Soccer America and College Soccer News on Sept. 18 after defeating then second-ranked Creighton. This year's squad qualified for the NCAA Tournament, but fell in the first round.
2011: Dawson won his 300th collegiate game on Nov. 11 in the CAA semifinals against Georgia State. The Monarchs, who compiled a 12-6-2, ranked as high as seventh nationally and finished the regular season second in the CAA and CAA Tournament runner-ups. The Monarchs ranked second nationally in goals scored with 48 for a 2.4 per game average.
2010: The 10-7-2 Monarchs defeated then second-ranked North Carolina in a regular season match at the ODU Soccer Complex. ODU recieved an at-large spot to the NCAA Tournament and promptly knocked off defending National Champion Virginia in the first round, before falling in the second round at Penn State.
2009: The Monarchs compiled an 11-5-2 record as senior Nane Joseph earned NSCAA second team All-American honors and was selected in the fourth round of the MLS Super Draft by Toronto. Steffen Rabben was named ODU Scholar Athlete of the Year with the prestigious Wilkins/Howard Award.
2008: ODU tied for second in the CAA and newcomer Steffen Rabben became the fourth Monarch under Dawson to earn CAA Rookie of the Year honors, as the team compiled a 9-7-3 overall record.
2007: The 15-4-2 Monarchs captured the CAA Championship and advanced to the round of 16 after beating Providence and sixth-ranked Brown. David Horst earned CAA Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight year and became the first Monarch ever selected in the first round of the MLS Super Draft.
2006: ODU compiled a 14-6-2 record and advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA College Cup, knocking off Winthrop, and 10th-ranked North Carolina before losing a 2-1 decision to eventual national champion UC Santa Barbara. ODU also ranked among the nation's top 20 in attendance, while Edson Elcock was tabbed a first team All-American by the NSCAA.
2005: The Monarchs rolled to a 15-4-2 record, reaching the CAA Championship match for the second straight year and earning a No. 10 seed in the NCAA College Cup. During the season, ODU knocked off nationally-ranked Virginia, Davidson, and NC State. Dawson was named CAA Coach of the Year for the fourth time and the Virginia Coach of the Year by VaSID for the second time, while Brian Cvilikas was named the CAA Player of the Year.
2004: The Monarchs were 13-6-2 and reached the championship match of the Colonial Athletic Association. For the first time in school history, ODU was awarded a No. 12 seed and a first round bye of the NCAA Tournament. During the regular season, the Monarchs defeated North Carolina, Rutgers and handed CAA rival James Madison its first loss of the year.
2003: The Monarchs reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Old Dominion defeated NC State, 6-3, at home in the first round before falling to No. 2 seed Maryland, 2-1. The Monarchs were ranked as high as No. 2 during a season that saw ODU race to a 14-0-0 start and become the last Division I team to lose a game. The Monarchs started the season with a nine game shutout streak and ended with a 15-4-1 overall mark. Dawson received his third CAA Coach of the Year award and was named the NSCAA South-Atlantic Coach of the Year. Trevor McEachron and Attila Vendegh both earned NSCAA All-American honors, with McEachron landing on the first team.
2002: ODU qualified for its first NCAA Tournament under Dawson, advancing to the second round of the big dance. Overall, the Monarchs posted a 10-9-4 record, including a 6-2-1 mark in CAA play. Attila Vendegh was named CAA Player of the Year after scoring a team-high 16 goals.
2001: The Monarchs went 8-7-2 and captured the CAA regular season crown with a 3-0-2 record in league play. Attila Vendegh was named the CAA Player of the Year, while Dawson earned CAA Coach of the Year honors.
2000: The Monarchs compiled a 10-6-2 record and finished second in the CAA regular season standings with a 6-1-1 mark. ODU fell in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament, while Attila Vendegh was named the CAA Freshman of the Year and a Soccer America Freshman All-American.
1999: ODU finished 15-4-0, winning the CAA regular season title with a 7-1-0 conference record. The season earned Dawson CAA Coach of the Year honors and the Virginia Sports Information Directors' Coach of the Year Award. Jimmy Tanner was named the CAA Player of the Year and a third team All-American by the NSCAA.
1998: The Monarchs went 8-8-2, including a 3-5-0 mark in CAA play, in Dawson's second season at the helm of the ODU program. Jimmy Tanner led the Monarchs in goals and total points, while Carlos Mendes led the team in assists.
1997: In Dawson's first year at ODU, the Monarchs compiled a 7-9-2 overall and a 3-5-0 mark in CAA play. The Monarchs finished seventh in the CAA league standings and fell in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS AT ODU
CAA: 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005
First Win at ODU: 1-0 vs Robert Morris (9-5-97)
PRIOR TO OLD DOMINION
Dawson served as an assistant coach at North Carolina in 1996, following a nine-year stine at DIII Methodist College. In 1995, he led Methodist to the NCAA Division III Championship game. While at Methodist, he guided the school to seven consecutive conference championships and six straight NCAA tournament appearances in only nine seasons.
He was inducted into the Methodist College Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. His combined career record at Methodist was 129-30-1 and his squads finished in the top 10 of the ISAA national polls for seven consecutive seasons. He garnered Dixie Conference Coach of the Year honors five times and South Region Coach of the Year honors in 1990 and 1995. He produced 32 All-South selections, seven All-Americans, and two Academic All-Americans during his tenure at the school. Dawson also coached three teams to undefeated seasons: in 1991 (15-0-3), 1992 (14-0-2) and 1993 (17-0-0).
Before coaching at Methodist, he served as a graduate assistant coach at UNC-Greensboro from 1984-86. UNCG reached the NCAA Division III quarterfinals in 1984 and won the championship in 1985.
OTHER COACHING VENTURES
Dawson served as head coach of the North Carolina Olympic Development team from 1989-94, winning the USSF Region III championship game in 1993. He was a USSF South Region staff member from 1992 to 1996, and served as the 1979 Region III head coach. He has also served as Chairman of the Intercollegiate Soccer Association South Region rating committee.
Dawson is a member of the NCAA Regional Selection Committee for the South-Atlantic Region. He also led the Virginia ODP team to back-to-back regional championships as the head coach in 1999 and 2000. He holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) `B' license, and a Full Irish Badge (Grade One) coaching license.
OFF THE PITCH
Dawson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Lock Haven University in 1984, and a Master of Science degree in physical education from the UNC Greensboro in 1986. He and his wife Mari have three children: Alec, Garrick, and Ellesse. Alan is the son of Isabel and Stanley Dawson of Belfast, Northern Ireland.