Pitt’s athletic department is not messing around when it comes to hiring new soccer coaches.
The University’s Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced Tuesday the hiring of former Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum to lead the University of Pittsburgh women’s soccer team.
Waldrum becomes the fourth head coach in program history, bringing an array of experience to Pittsburgh, having won two national championships at Notre Dame and since has been coaching professionally with the Houston Dash, along with stints with Trinidad and Tobago National team and serving as an advisor to the Nigerian National team.
“We are thrilled to announce Randy Waldrum as our head women’s soccer coach at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Lyke. “Coach Waldrum’s proven experience of developing elite players and building and sustaining highly successful programs is most impressive. It is evident his passion for positively impacting young people is what drives his success. His championship pedigree and passion fits perfectly with the soccer culture we are creating at Pitt and we are eager to watch our program emerge under his leadership. This is an exciting time for our women’s soccer program and for the Pittsburgh soccer community.”
Waldrum saw unprecedented success in his tenure at the helm of the perennial powerhouse Notre Dame women’s program. In his 14 seasons, he led the Fighting Irish to two national championships, capturing the College Cup title in 2004 and 2010. His teams won eight Big East Tournament titles and appeared in eight NCAA Final Four games in that span.
A two-time national coach of the year (2009 by Soccer America; 2010 by NSCAA), Waldrum was the first coach in NCAA history to lead a team to a national title in his/her first season with a program. He wrapped up his tenure at Notre Dame with a mark of 292-58-17 (.819) and holds an overall record of 399-108-29 (.771) as a head coach on the women’s side. His record ranks fourth in all-time wins as an NCAA women’s head coach and third in win percentage.
“I would like to thank Heather Lyke for giving me this wonderful opportunity to lead the women’s soccer program at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Waldrum. “I believe in the vision and excitement that she has brought to the Pitt athletic department and I look forward to being a part of that vision. I would also like to thank Chris Hoppe, who led this search, as it was truly professional in every way.
“I am extremely excited to get started competing in the best conference in the country in the ACC, working with this group of players that are so hungry for success. There is much work to be done for sure, as past results have not been what is expected, but I am confident that with all of us working together we can bring this program into national prominence and build a program of excellence.”
Waldrum joined the Fighting Irish after beginning a program at Baylor, building the Bears into a threat in the Big 12 from scratch. In three seasons with Baylor, Waldrum guided the Bears to an overall mark of 46-14-3 after spending the 1995-96 starting up the program. He was named the Big 12 and NSCAA Region Coach of the Year after a 15-5-1 record in 1998, as the Bears reached as high as 12th in the nation en route to a Big 12 Conference title.
Prior to his tenure at Baylor, Waldrum spent six seasons at the helm of the Tulsa program, serving as head coach for both the men’s and women’s programs from 1989-1994. He led the men to a record of 66-33-6 and the women to a mark of 61-36-9, remaining the winningest coach in both teams’ history.
In his playing career, he was a standout at Midwestern State University, earning all-district honors in each of his four seasons in Wichita Falls, Texas. He graduated in 1981 with a degree in physical education and a minor in political science. He moved on to play professionally with the Los Angeles Skyhawks and Indianapolis Daredevils of the American Soccer League.
In addition to his impressive resume in the NCAA, Waldrum also spent time in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), becoming the head coach of the Houston Dash expansion team in January of 2014. In his three seasons with the Dash, Waldrum coached seven national team players who laced up with their respective countries in the Rio Summer Olympic Games, including Team USA members Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian and Pittsburgh native Meghan Klingenberg.
Waldrum has also served as the head coach of the United States U-23 National Team since 2012, winning the Four Nations Cup in 2012 and 2013 as well as the Three Nations Cup in 2012.
Waldrum and his wife, Dianna, have one son, Ben, who currently serves as a coach in the youth development program with FC Dallas.