Well, that didn’t take long.
After Mark Steffens announced after the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1 win over Toronto FC II on Saturday that he was being relieved of his duties, the team announced that they have a new coach – Dave Brandt.
Brandt has been a successful coach at the colleagate level with Navy and was one of the rumored candidates when the Hounds conducted their last coaching search prior to hiring Steffens.
Here’s the official release from the Riverhounds:
Dave Brandt, the winningest active coach in Division I men’s soccer and four-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Coach of the Year, has been named head coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, team owner Tuffy Shallenberger announced Sunday.
Brandt will be joining the Riverhounds after spending the past seven years at the United States Naval Academy. In his 19 years of coaching experience, Brandt has coached his squads to over 300 wins and holds a .786 career winning percentage (310-72-34) and is the fastest coach in NCAA men’s soccer history to reach the 200-win mark.
The club will hold a press conference on Monday, May 23, at 3 p.m. in Highmark Stadium to formally introduce Brandt.
“I could not be more excited about the opportunity to join the Riverhounds organization,” said Brandt. “The Naval Academy is an extremely special institution, and one that I will always hold close to my heart. My time there was a truly life-impacting experience, but the opportunity to coach professionally in a great sports city like Pittsburgh is one that I couldn’t turn down. I am now looking forward to my time with the Riverhounds organization, one which without question has great potential.”
Along with his seven years at Navy, Brandt spent 12 seasons as head coach of Messiah College in his hometown of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where he compiled a remarkable 246-25-14 (.888) record. His teams won six NCAA Division III National Championships, including the 2008 crown, and notched 52 postseason wins – both top marks in Division III history.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Dave, Diane and the entire Brandt family to our Riverhounds organization family,” Shallenberger said. ” Coach Brandt is exactly the type of person we were looking for in our next coach. I look forward to the Riverhounds fans having the opportunity to get to know him and his family. You can just see by Dave’s past success that he is someone who can come in here and make an immediate difference. His incredible win total at the collegiate level is something I believe will translate extremely well to the United Soccer League. We set out to find the best coach for this club and I think we have it with Dave.”
Brandt led the Naval Academy men’s soccer team to perhaps their greatest stretch of two-year play in the program’s history from 2013 to 2014. During this stretch, his team won a combined 27 matches – tied for the highest two-year win total in the program’s history.
In 2013, Brandt led the team on a 15-game winning streak after starting the season 1-3-2, eventually reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament and national ranking of No. 25 in the country. The 16 victories were a program record, the nine conference wins were a Patriot League single-season record, and the program’s NCAA appearance was the first since 1988 and victory in the tournament the first since 1971. Brandt was named Patriot League Coach of the Year, NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year for the club’s accomplishments.
The 2014 season followed a similar path, with the team finishing 11-4-5 and spending three weeks ranked in the NSCAA Top-25 Poll. Navy had considerable success against nationally ranked opponents, compiling a 2-0-1 record, which included a home victory over No. 10 Maryland. They finished the season on an 11-game unbeaten streak (7-0-4) to earn the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and conference-leading marks in both scoring offense and goals-against average.
At Messiah, Brandt’s 2005 squad was perhaps his most notable, as they were one of only five schools since the NCAA went to three divisions in 1974 to go through an entire season undefeated (24-0-0). The 24 wins were also the most of any of those five schools and tied for the second-most overall in NCAA history.
In all, between his time at Navy and Messiah, Brandt has coached five NSCAA Player of the Year recipients, 19 NSCAA All-Americans, 46 NSCAA All-Region selections, 14 Conference Players of the Year and 87 All-Conference performers.
Brandt’s soccer teachings are rooted in a compelling vision for teamwork, principled thought and action and expected outcome of making the whole greater than the sum of the parts. His playing style places emphasis on “possession emphasizing penetration” – a playing style that lends itself to be fast, athletic, skillful, and, most of all, exciting to watch.
His knowledge of the game has been met with high regard among NSCAA circles, as he has earned his NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
Brandt received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from Messiah College in 1985. He received his Master’s of Education in Athletic Administration from Temple University in 1990.
He and his wife, Diane, have a daughter, Alexandria, and a son, Danny.
Brandt will inherit a Riverhounds squad that may have found their footing as of late, nabbing their first win of the season last night against Toronto F.C. II, 2-1, at Highmark Stadium. He will coach his first game with the Hounds this Saturday, May 28, as Pittsburgh faces the Red Bulls II at 10 p.m. in New York.
Head Coach, Messiah College (1997-2008)
Head Coach, United States Naval Academy (2009-2015)
Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Messiah College, 1985
Master’s of Education in Athletic Administration, Temple University, 1990
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Children: Alexandria, Danny
Steffens ends his time at the Riverhounds with a 12-13-11 record.
He took last year’s 11-9-8 team to the first round of the USL playoffs, as well as an appearance in the fourth round of the US Open Cup. Prior to his time in Pittsburgh, Steffens managed the Charlotte Eagles for seven years. He won two championships, was awarded Coach of the Year twice and is a USL Hall of Fame inductee.