Chad Riley, historically successful men's soccer head coach, departs for Notre Dame

by Evan Morgan | 1/5/18 12:33am

by Katelyn Jones / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

After five seasons as the head coach of men’s soccer, Chad Riley was named men’s soccer head coach at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.

“My wife and I are excited to come home, not only to Notre Dame but to the South Bend community,” Riley said in a Notre Dame press release. “This is our home, and we look forward to getting back involved with this wonderful community.”

Riley had a historically successful run on the Big Green sidelines. He joined the program in 2012 as an assistant to then-head coach Jeff Cook. After a 9-7 season in which Dartmouth finished second in the Ivy League, Cook left to pursue coaching opportunities in Major League Soccer and Riley took the reins. The Big Green finished the 2013 season in eighth. But the pieces were in place for a turnaround, and the fully healthy Big Green went 12-5-2 the next season, scoring 35 goals and allowing just five Ivy League goals on its way to the first of four consecutive Ivy League crowns. Riley was named Ivy League Coach of the Year for his efforts. Dartmouth repeated as champion in 2014, finishing with a 12-6-1 mark, and Riley also repeated as Coach of the Year. Riley’s team dipped to 9-5-5 in his fourth season as head coach, but a 5-1-1 mark was enough to give Dartmouth the Ivy League title, as the Big Green became the first team in 31 years to win three consecutive league championships. Dartmouth posted a dominant 12-3-2 record in 2017, Riley’s fourth year as head coach. Wyatt Omsberg ’18 and Dawson McCartney ’21 won Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year conference honors, respectively, and Riley was honored for a third time as Coach of the Year. The Big Green won 45 games in Riley’s time as head coach, the best four-year stretch in program history. Dartmouth also earned NCAA championship victories against Fordham University (2014), Hartwick University (2015) and St. Francis College (2016) and earned the No. 15 seed in last season's tournament.

Before coming to Dartmouth, Riley paced the South Bend sidelines from 2006 to 2011 as an assistant for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame went 71-37-21 in that time and appeared in five NCAA tournaments, winning the Big East title in 2007 and 2008. Riley, a former Notre Dame midfielder, graduated in 2004 and has the second-most assists in Fighting Irish history.