A long-time member of the Tribe men’s soccer program, Chris Norris enters his 22nd season overall at the College and his ninth as the program’s head men’s soccer coach. After guiding the Tribe to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament and both the CAA regular season and conference tournament titles in 2010, Norris has posted winning seasons in five of the past six seasons.
In 2011, the Tribe posted its fifth-consecutive winning season under the direction of Norris as it finished the year with a record of 10-9 and mark of 7-4 in the CAA. The College started the season ranked 13th in the nation and climbed to to 8th in the country after defeating No. 5th-ranked SMU, 3-2, on Aug. 27, in Dallas, Texas. Under the watch of Norris, Nicolas Abrigo was selected to the CAA First-Team, while Will Smith garnered second-team accolades. Freshmen Marcus Luster and Michael Teiman were selected to the league all-rookie team under the guidance of Norris in 2011.
The 2010 season was a fantastic one for the Tribe and Norris, as the College advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Norris also guided the Tribe to the CAA regular season and tournament titles. In 2010, Norris led the Tribe to a 15-3-2 overall record with a mark of 8-1-2 in conference play. The 15 victories in 2010 were the most for the College since the 2002 season, while the CAA championship was the seventh in school history. The Tribe's advancement to the third round of the NCAA Tournament marked the eighth time that the College had reached the Sweet Sixteen in school history, the first since the 2002 campaign.
For his efforts, Norris was named not only the CAA Coach of the Year in 2010, but he was also honored as the NSCAA South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year. Both accolades are the first for Norris in his coaching career. Norris' South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year honor is the fourth in the history of the program and Norris becomes just the second Tribe coach to earn the award. Former head coach Al Albert was a three-time region coach of the year honoree.
Also in 2010, Norris saw two of his players earn impressive individual honors. Senior Nat Baako was honored as a Second-Team All-American by the NSCAA and also became the first player in William and Mary history to be named the NSCAA Senior College Men's Scholar All-America National Player of the Year. Classmate Alan Koger had a great season in 2010, culminating with him being taken by the New England Revolution in the third round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
The 2009 season was a memorable one for Norris and the Tribe, as the College finished the season with a 13-5-1 record overall and a mark of 8-2-1 in the CAA, tying the Green and Gold for second in the league. The Tribe reached the national rankings in October, reaching the 25th spot in the NSCAA poll after starting the season 8-3, including a win over #20 Old Dominion at Albert-Daly Field. The 13 wins was the most for the Tribe since the 2002 season, and the eight conference victories matched the school record set back during the 1996 season. Individually, Andrew Hoxie was named the CAA Player of the Year, the first Tribe player to earn the accolade since Wade Barrett in 1997. Among numerous honors, Hoxie was named a Third-Team All-American by the NSCAA and in the winter, was drafted in the third round of the MLS SuperDraft. Joining Hoxie on All-CAA teams were Nat Baako (1st), Roger Bothe (2nd), Alan Koger (2nd), Price Thomas (3rd), and Caleb Thomas (Rookie).
In 2008, the Tribe had a fantastic campaign that saw the College finish the year with a 11-7-3 record and a 6-4-1 record in the CAA. With its record W&M earned the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, the highest the Green and Gold have ever been seeded under Norris. Despite losing in the semi-finals of the CAA tournament, the College earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, marking the 13th time William and Mary had earned an invite to the tournament. In the first round of the tournament, the Tribe hosted Winthrop and soundly defeated the Eagles, 3-1, advancing to the second round of the championship for the sixth time in the program’s history. The College would then travel to take on No. 1-seeded and defending national champion Wake Forest. The Tribe played the Deacons valiantly before falling to the eventual national semi-finalist in overtime.
The 2007 season saw the Tribe turn in some impressive performances, further validating the program’s high expectations for the future. Despite starting five freshmen for the majority of the 2007 campaign, W&M posted its best CAA league record since 2002. The Tribe finished the year at 6-4-1 in league play and advanced to the CAA Quarterfinals after missing out the previous two years. The Tribe also posted back-to-back ties against national and ACC powers North Carolina, 0-0, and Virginia Tech, 1-1, during the month of September. The Hokies went on to finish the year with a No. 3 national ranking after advancing to the NCAA College Cup semifinals. W&M started a school-record six freshmen on a pair of occasions in 2007 and set a program-best mark for shutouts in CAA play with six.
It is not the first time the Tribe have reached new heights under Norris’ direction, as W&M posted the program’s first ever victory over a No. 1-ranked opponent in 2004. Norris took over the post as head coach at the College following the retirement of long-time, legendary coach Al Albert. Norris spent nine seasons as a Tribe assistant and four years as a standout defender for the Green and Gold before being named head coach on Jan. 23, 2004.
The Tribe rebounded from a tough 2005 campaign to post a 8-8-3 mark during the 2006 season. W&M won the ODU Stihl Soccer Classic with victories over No. 29 UNC Greensboro, 5-1, and Loyola (Md.), 2-1. It marked the first time since the 1998 season the College had captured the event crown. The Tribe also posted a pair of ties against nationally-ranked foes in No. 22 George Mason, 0-0, and No. 23 James Madison, 2-2, during the 2006 ledger.
The 2006 season also saw a Tribe appearance on television. The College’s contest against Old Dominion on Oct. 26 was part of the NSCAA/Fox Soccer Channel College Game of the Week. It was the first Tribe game on TV since the 1996 season.
During Norris’ first season leading the Tribe, the team extended its streak of consecutive winning seasons to 30, which ranks sixth in NCAA Division I history. W&M went 5-1-3 in its first year at Albert-Daly Field. In just the program’s second game at the facility, Norris guided the Tribe to a 1-0 victory over then-No. 1 and eventual College Cup semifinalist Maryland on Sept. 22. The shutout was one of only two Maryland suffered during the 2004 season that saw the Terps finish the year ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense.
After dropping the season opener in Norris’ first year at the helm, the Tribe went unbeaten over its next seven contests (5-0-2), including the victory over Maryland. The unbeaten streak was the longest for the College since the 1999 squad won eight-straight contests from Oct. 23 through Nov. 14.
The Green and Gold allowed opponents to score just 21 goals in 2004, the fewest since 1999, resulting in a 0.99 goals against average for the team. Four W&M players earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors, including first-team selection Pat Scherder, who also earned all-state and second-team all-region accolades.
In his nine years at the helm of the Tribe, Norris has coached 23 All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) honorees and eight CAA All-Rookie team selections. In 2009, Andrew Hoxie became the first player to be name CAA Player of the Year under the tutelage of Norris.
Norris joined the Tribe soccer staff in 1995 after a solid playing career at the College. He made the transition from the field to the sideline and played a major role in helping former head coach Al Albert develop one of the premier soccer programs in America.
During his time as an assistant, the Tribe compiled a 128-62-16 (.660) record with seven NCAA Tournament appearances, four CAA tournament championships and three CAA regular season crowns. Norris also saw 32 players earn All-CAA honors, 30 earn all-state accolades, seven All-America honors, two CAA Players of the Year, one CAA Defensive Player of the Year, one CAA Rookie of the Year and five Major League Soccer draft picks. Of those five players selected to play at the highest level in the United States, three were first round selections, including Steve Jolley, Wade Barrett and Adin Brown, all of which have gone on to long and distinguished professional careers.
A captain his senior year, Norris was the team’s defensive leader, starting all four seasons (1991-94). During his career, W&M compiled an impressive 1.04 goals against average, including two seasons (1992 and 1994) with a team GAA of less than 1.00. During both the 1992 and 1994 seasons, Norris led the Tribe to the top of the CAA regular season standings.
He was a two-time All-CAA performer and was also selected to the VaSID All-State squad and the All-South Atlantic second team in 1994. The team’s Most Valuable Player as a junior, Norris received the Coaches’ Award in 1992 and earned W&M Rookie of the Year honors in 1991. Norris also earned the team’s Freshman Academic Achievement Award in 1991 and graduated from the College with a degree in kinesiology.
Prior to his return to William and Mary, Norris served as junior varsity boys’ soccer coach at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg. Along with his coaching duties for the Tribe, Norris is involved in coaching with the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club and serves as the director of the Colonial Kicks Soccer Camp. He holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) premier diploma and serves as an associate staff member for the NSCAA. The Norris File
Alma Mater: William and Mary, 1994
Hometown: Fairfax, Va.
Education: 1995, Bachelor’s in kinesiology from W&M Profile As a Player
• Played in 84 games with 81 starts from 1991 through 1994
• Scored three goals and 16 assists in career as a defender
• Team compiled a 56-20-11 (.707) record and a 1.04 GAA in four years
• Led team to a then-school record 18 wins in 1994
• NCAA Tournament appearances in 1992 and 1993
• First-Team All-CAA (1993 and 1994)
• First-Team all-state (1994)
• Second-Team All-South Atlantic Region (1994)
• W&M Most Valuable Player (1993)
• W&M Coaches Award (1992)
• W&M Best Rookie and Freshman Academic Achievement Awards (1991) As an Assistant Coach
• Helped lead W&M to a 128-62-16 (.660) record over nine seasons (1995-2003)
• Four CAA titles
• Seven NCAA Tournament appearances
• In 1996 the team set a school record for wins (20) and winning percentage (.854), recorded the only perfect season in CAA history (8-0-0) and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament As a Head Coach
• Named CAA Coach of the Year and NSCAA South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in 2010
• Led the Tribe to the Sweet Sixteen in 2010, ending the season ranked No. 9 in the country
• Guided the College to the 2010 CAA regular season and conference tournament titles
• Has coached one CAA Player of the Year, 23 All-CAA players, and eight all-rookie selections