Dave Brandt, who was let go as Riverhounds coach after a year and a half primarily due to not having an ‘A’ coaching license, will return to the college game at the NCAA Division III level with another nationally prominent program — Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
As The Flying Dutchman’s ninth head coach all-time, Brandt, 55, will succeed Dr. Steven Smith, who retired as head coach in February after 28 seasons and 372 wins at Hope.
Former Riverhounds, Messiah and Navy head coach Dave Brandt taking the helm at DIII Hope College in Michigan https://t.co/hoaAg4KK5l
— Matt Ralph (@MattRalph_tBG) March 20, 2018
“I have been really impressed with the people at Hope and the institution as a whole,” Brandt said. “That’s why I’m coming to Hope College.”
“I’m passionate about the molding and mentoring of young men. That can be done at any level, but I would add, as I look back at my time in Division III, Division I and the pros, certainly some of my most challenging, amazing and competitive memories were in Division III. I don’t draw any lines between divisions and levels. Soccer is soccer. Teams are teams. Players are players. I’m excited to be coming to work with the Hope program.”
“We are excited and blessed to have Coach Brandt joining Hope College and our men’s soccer program,” Co-Athletic Director Tim Schoonveld said in the school’s official release. “He is a proven winner, understands Christian higher education, and is going to be an amazing addition to our team. We are looking forward to having him partner with us to compete with excellence and transform the lives of our student-athletes. He is an outstanding person who is going to make Hope College a better place.”
After Brandt was let go from his coaching post in Pittsburgh, he reflected on his departure.
“To say we were shocked is an understatement,” Brandt said in November. “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.”
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.