John Daly enters his 27th year as the mentor of the William and Mary women’s soccer program, establishing himself as one of the elite coaches in the nation. A U.S. citizen since April of 2000, the London-born son of Ireland has guided the Tribe to 20 NCAA tournament appearances, including 16 of the past 20 years. He has also helped guide the College to an NCAA-record 31 consecutive winning seasons. Daly has coached the side in 528 matches, amassing a record of 361-145-42 (.697) overall and a mark of 132-31-12 (.789) in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Amongst his peers, Daly by all measures ranks as one of the top 20 coaches in NCAA history. When the College defeated Delaware in double-overtime on Oct. 3, 2008, Daly became just the fourth women’s soccer coach in NCAA Division I history to win 300 games all with the same school. All told, Daly is the ninth coach in Division I to accomplish the remarkable feat of 300 victories and the 19th across all divisions in the NCAA.
Long the winningest-coach in school history, Daly surpassed his predecessor, John Charles, in 1992 with a 3-1 decision over New Hampshire to record his 64th victory and has since piled up an additional 229 wins. Daly had another milestone during the 2008 season when he coached his 450th career match against Columbia, becoming only the sixth coach in Division I history to reach the milestone at one school.
The magnitude of Daly’s accomplishments, which include capturing 10 CAA titles, seven Regional Coach of the Year awards, and five CAA Coach of the Year plaques, has not been lost on the greater William and Mary community. In 2004, the College named its new all-grass stadium in joint honor of Daly and former men’s coach Al Albert, “the ultimate accolade” in a storied coaching career. Over the past seven seasons the College is 49-14-4 (.761) at Albert-Daly Field, and is 60-19-11 (.728) in nine years at the facility.
National prominence has been a hallmark of Daly’s teams and players throughout his tenure. He led the Tribe to NCAA tournament in 1987, his first year at the helm, and scored a 1-0 victory over archrival Virginia in the first round to reach the quarterfinals. Nineteen more trips to the national playoffs have followed, with the Tribe amassing a record of 11-18-2 (.387) and reaching the second round in six of the last 13 years. The national rankings have seen the College among the top-25 for all or part of 27 consecutive seasons, including a program-high No. 3 billing in both 1989 and 1994. In recent years, W&M reached as high as 11th in 2006, 24th in 2007, 25th in 2008, 22nd in 2009, 14th in 2010, and 14th in 2011 and 20th last season.
Under Daly’s tutelage, 14 W&M players have garnered a total of 31 All-America honors, including two National Players of the Year in Megan McCarthy (1987) and four-time All-American Natalie Neaton (1995). In 2007, Claire Zimmeck and Dani Collins were each tabbed to the All-America third team by the NSCAA, the first time since 1999 that the coaches have so honored a player from William and Mary. In 2011, Mallory Schaffer became the newest Tribe women's soccer player to earn All-America honors under the guidance of Daly.
Along with the success on the pitch, Daly’s players have also distinguished themselves in the classroom, as 11 Tribe players have earned Academic All-America recognition under Daly’s watch. Robin Lotze was a three-time honoree from 1988-90, while Tara Flint was selected in 2002 and 2003. Anna Young also garnered the distinction with a GPA of better than 3.8 in accounting following the 2006 season. In 2009, both Dani Collins and Abby Lauer earned the honor, marking just the third time that two players earned the distinction in the same season in William and Mary history.
The 2012 season saw the seven-consecutive season in which the Tribe posted at least 10 victories. William and Mary won the CAA regular season for the second straight year and hosted the CAA Tournament at Martin Family Stadium. The College advanced to the championship match, falling in PK's to champion Hofstra. As a result of another strong season, Cortyln Bristol, Mallory Shaffer and Kiersten Harp were named to the All-CAA First Team, while Dani Ruter and Emily Fredrickison took home second team accolades. Freshmen Nicole Baxter, Leci Irvin, Caroline Casey and Barbara Platenberg garnered all-rookie honors. Shaffer again was named the conference's player of the year, while also earning her second straight NSCAA All-America citation.
In the spring of 2011, Daly coached the Region One Under 17 Olympic Development team in Sochi, Russia. The team played national teams from Kazakstan, North Korea, Japan, Russia, Estonia and Krasnador Region, going 3 and 3 to finish 5th in the tournament. Daly also received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Women's Award at the convention in January, following in the footsteps of some of the most famous names in women's coaching including; Anson Dorrance (UNC, US Women's National Team), Tony DiCicco (US Women's National Team), April Heinrichs (US Women's National Team), Michelle Akers (US Women's National Team).
In 2011, Daly guided W&M to its 10th CAA title with an, 1-0, overtime triumph over rival VCU. On a personal note, Daly earned CAA Coach of the Year and Region Coach of the year honor's as it was his sixth and seventh time claiming each distinction. In addition to winning the College's 10th CAA Championship and earning multipe coach of the year accolades, Daly directed the Tribe to its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance (third most all-time), and to a regualr-season mark of 17-3-2, which included a 10-1 ledger in the CAA. The 17 victories made it the sixth-straight season in which the Tribe posted 10 or more wins. In the national polls, the College climbed to as high as 14th in the country. As the result of another fine sesaon under Daly's tutelage, Cortlyn Bristol, Mallory Schaffer and Diana Weigel garnered First-Team All-CAA accolades, while Emily Fredrikson took home second-team honors. In addition, Schaffer was named the CAA Player of the Year and became the 14th player during Daly's tenure to be named an All-American.
The 2010 season marked the fifth-consecutive campaign in which the Tribe won at least 10 matches during the year. In a season that saw the College earn a national ranking as high as #14, the Green and Gold ended the year with a record of 10-7-2. The Tribe's best victory of the season came on August 29, when W&M shocked the No. 12-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in State College, 2-1. Individually, the Tribe had four players earn All-CAA recognition, led by Diana Weigel and Mallory Schaffer who each earned first-team distinction. Cortlyn Bristol was named to the all-conference second team, while freshman Audrey Barry earned both Third-Team All-CAA honors as well as a spot on the CAA All-Rookie team.
The 2009 season was yet another successful one for Daly and the Tribe. After a season-opening loss, the College responded by winning eight of its next nine matches, including road wins over #17 Brigham Young and #21 Utah. The Green and Gold would finish the season 12-7, extending its NCAA-record of consecutive winnings seasons to 28. Individually, Diana Weigel was named the CAA Defender of the Year after leading a stingy Tribe defense that allowed only 1.16 goals a contest and registered nine shutouts during the season. Weigel, who was named to the All-CAA First-Team, was also named First-Team All-State by VaSID. Krissy Vornadore was named second-team all-conference, while Kaitlin O’Connor was named to the third team. Earning All-CAA Rookie team recognition was Cortlyn Bristol, who’s three goals on the year were all game-winners.
The 2008 season was a historic one for Daly. Along with winning his 300th match and coaching his 450th, Daly also set a number of other milestones. Daly led the College to a 15-7-1 record and the second round of the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year. The College also captured its third-straight CAA regular season title, with Daly becoming the first coach to win 100 CAA games with the Tribe’s 1-0 victory at George Mason on October 24. With the College’s NCAA tournament berth, Daly also became just the third coach in NCAA Division I history to make 20 trips to the tournament. Individually, the Tribe had three players earn All-American honors for their fine play during the season. Claire Zimmeck was named an All-American by both the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz, while Dani Collins earned All-American accolades from the NSCAA. Freshman Diana Weigel had a fantastic rookie season for the College and was named to the Soccer Buzz Freshman All-American team.
The 2007 season was another prime example of W&M’s fortunes under Daly, with two All-Americans leading the Tribe to a 15-5-2 record and the second round of the NCAA tournament. The tone for the season was set early, with a 1-0 victory over then No. 2-ranked North Carolina at the VCU Invitational, the first time since a 4-3 penalty-kick shootout in the 1987 WAGS championship tilt that W&M had bested the Tarheels. The victory came in the midst of a 486 minute shutout streak, extending to include all or parts of six matches. The team claimed its second-consecutive CAA regular season crown with a 9-1-1 record and an outstanding defense that finished the year with a program-record 11 goals allowed (0.48 goals-against average, also a record) and 13 shutouts.
The 2006 season also proved to be particularly impressive in the annals of Tribe soccer. In addition to winning the CAA regular season championship and earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament, Daly guided the College to a 16-1-4 record overall and a 10-0-1 mark in conference play. The overall winning percentage of .857 was a school record, while the squad finished the season with a program-record 17-match unbeaten streak. Additionally, W&M was ranked 13th nationally in the final Soccer Buzz poll and earned a No. 7 ranking in the final RPI released by the NCAA.
The 2000 season was also a memorable one for Daly, as he achieved his 200th career victory with an exciting, 1-0 overtime win against Richmond. In 1999, Daly led the Tribe with nine freshmen on its roster to a 19-4-0 record and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16, and was rewarded by being named the William and Mary Society of Alumni Coach of the Year. In 1997, the College smashed the previous program-record for victories and beat 20 of its 25 opponents, including two wins in the NCAA tournament to advance to the quarterfinals.
A key figure on the W&M soccer scene long before taking over as head women’s coach in 1987, Daly was an assistant coach of the then-women’s club team in 1979. He also assisted with the men’s program before taking a full-time assistant’s position with the women’s side before the 1986 season.
Active at many levels of soccer, Daly served as assistant coach of the Region I (East) team that traveled to Holland and Italy in March 1989. In addition, he is a Region I Olympic Development coach with the United States Youth Soccer Association and has coached the Virginia under-19 girls’ soccer team. Currently, Daly is Region I advocate to the National Program for U15, U16 and U17 teams, and has served as the coordinator of the NSCAA Women’s Coach of the Year program for the past several years.
An avid golfer, he also enjoys the performing arts, Irish traditional music, travel and anything to do with William and Mary.