Professional sports can be cruel. Just ask Dave Brandt.
Despite holding an advanced National License with National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), even though he’s had more than 20 years of head coaching experience, won six collegiate national championships, and at the time of his departure from coaching at Navy held the highest winning percentage of any coach in NCAA history — he was ruled ineligible to coach the Riverhounds because he didn’t have a United States Soccer Federation National A coaching license.
“To say we were shocked is an understatement,” Brandt told DKPittsburghSports.com. “I am just deeply disappointed. Did all the hard work over a tough year and a half and really feel like we were poised to kill it in 2018.”
I caught up with Brandt after the Hounds announced his dismissal as head coach, filing this story for DK Pittsburgh Sports.
While Brandt expressed his disappointment, he was ready to move on, and back to his coaching roots at the college level.
With positions open at Penn State and Temple (where he received his masters degree), Brandt may not have to go far to find a new job at college level.
While it didn’t work out here in Pittsburgh, here’s hoping that Brandt will get a chance at taking over the reins at one of those programs close to home.
MORE ON DAVE BRANDT
• Ultimately, it was mostly Brandt’s lack of playing and coaching experiences at the pro level that prevented him from obtaining an A licence. For a complete look at the requirements to obtain an A license, you can find more information at the U.S. Soccer website.
Many countries around the world require high-level coaching licenses for all levels, especially at the highest levels, including professional ranks. In Spain, they have more than 8,000 coaches with what is an equivalent of an UEFA A license. In the United States, according to former President of D.C. United and now CEO of US Club Soccer, Kevin Payne, there are only a ‘couple hundred’ with similar licenses.
• Here’s Brandt’s complete Riverhounds record:
- 2016 – 5-13-4 (took over for fired Mark Steffens in May)
- 2017 – 8-12-12
- Overall – 13-25-16
• Here’s an overview of some of Brandt’s collegiate accomplishments:
- Winningest active coach at the Division I level with his .786 career winning percentage (310-72-34).2013
- Patriot League Coach of the Year.
- 2013 NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
- In 2013, led Navy to its first NCAA Tournament since 1988 and the program won its first NCAA Tournament game since 1971.
- Four-time NSCAA Coach of Year (2000, 2002, 2004, 2008).
- Reached NCAA Division III Championship weekend in eight of his last nine years at Messiah.
- Led Messiah to six NCAA titles and 52 post-season wins, the most in Division III history.
- His 2005 team is one of five schools since the NCAA went to three divisions in 1974 to go through an entire season undefeated (24-0-0) and the 24 wins were the most of those five schools. The 24 wins are tied for the second most (with just two other teams) in NCAA history.
- Fastest coach ever at any level to 200-win mark.
- Coached five NSCAA Players of the Year recipients, 19 NSCAA All-Americans, 46 NSCAA All-Region selections, 14 Conference Players of the Year and 87 All-Conference performers.
- Led Messiah team to 11 MAC Commonwealth regular-season titles and eight conference tournament titles. Was named the league’s coach of the year eight times.