Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013
After leading William Smith College to the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship, Head Coach Aliceann Wilber was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/FieldTurf Coach of the Year on Tuesday, Dec. 17. This is the fifth time she has earned the prestigious award.
Wilber's Herons lost their 2013 season opener but bounced back with a school record 23 consecutive victories, claiming the program's second national championship by a 2-0 count over Trinity (Texas) University. The longest winning streak in school history is tied for sixth in NCAA Division III women's soccer history.
William Smith featured one of the stingiest defenses in NCAA history. The Herons led the nation in winning percentage (.958) and shutout percentage (.875, tied for the third highest in NCAA history) and ranked second in goals against average (0.25) and save percentage (.927). William Smith's school record 21 shutouts are tied for second most in a season in the NCAA records book. The Herons did not allow a goal in their final 16 matches, the third longest streak in DIII women's soccer.
While Wilber is honored to receive the award, she is adamant that she does so on behalf of her entire coaching staff.
"I don't feel comfortable having it be all about Wilber is this or that because it really is the six of us," says Wilber. "We're in it together. We're a team. Chas, Keith, Dave, Bre, and Chris, we're a team of coaches. No one individual accomplishment supersedes what everybody else has put in to make it happen."
Wilber along with Assistant Coaches Chas Allen, Keith Perrigo, and Dave Karweck, and Junior Varsity Head Coach BreLynn Nasypany '11 and JV Assistant Coach Chris Teerlinck '93 earned the 2013 Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year Award. It's the 10th time the Heron coaching staff has been honored by the conference.
Wilber previously won the NSCAA Coach of the Year award in 1987, 1988, 1991, and 2008. She is the only person to win the Division III award more than three times. The only coach in the history of the William Smith soccer program, Wilber has more career wins than any coach in Division III women's soccer and trails only North Carolina's Anson Dorrance and Connecticut's Len Tsantiris in career wins in all of NCAA women's soccer.
In 34 seasons, Wilber's career record stands at 480-125-54, a winning percentage of .769. Since posting an 8-5-1 record in 1984, William Smith has not suffered a losing season, finishing above .500 in each of the past 30 years. The Herons have appeared in a record 24 NCAA Championships, reaching the semifinal round 10 times and winning the national championship in 1988 and 2013.
William Smith has captured 11 Liberty League Championships, including each of the past seven. Since the conference was founded in 1995 as the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association, the Herons are 110-10-10 (.885) in league play.
An exceptional mentor, Wilber has coached 20 first team All-Americans, more than any other Division III women's soccer program. This season, Wilber oversaw the development of first team All-American defender Olivia Zitoli and third team All-American goalie Chelsea Dunay. The Herons also placed five players on the NSCAA All-East teams and eight on the All-Liberty League squads.