AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - University of Massachusetts women's soccer head coach Jim Rudyhas announced his retirement after 21 seasons as the frontman forthe Minutewomen. Throughout his 28 years of coaching soccer, Rudyestablished himself as one of the sport's most consistent winners.He averaged over 11 wins a season in his career, sporting a313-160-28 (.653) lifetime women's coaching record. "I've had agood run here at UMass and am very grateful for the opportunity,"said Rudy.
"We've had some great players, fans and seasons here, but mostimportantly the women's soccer program has produced many excellentgraduates over the past 21 years. For me, a coach's graduates arethe most critical litmus test of the program's success and we'vegraduated nearly all of them."
"We want to thank Jim for his 21 years of dedicated service tothe University of Massachusetts as the head coach of the women'ssoccer program," said Director of Athletics John McCutcheon. "Jimhas been a vital part of the athletic department for more than twodecades and we truly value his time spent working with ourstudent-athletes. We wish him the best in all his future endeavorsand know that he will always be part of the tremendous history ofUMass women's soccer."
"A national search for the new UMass women's soccer head coachwill be begin immediately. We want to continue to build the programto be competitive in the Atlantic 10 and on a regional and nationallevel."
In his career, Rudy directed his teams into NCAA postseason play13 times, including nine of his 21 seasons at UMass. Rudy holds thedistinct honor of being the only coach in the women's collegiateranks to guide two different schools to the Final Four. Rudydirected the University of Central Florida Golden Knights to thenational championship game in 1982 and to the national semifinalsin 1987. He then guided Massachusetts to the national semifinals in1993, falling to eventual champion North Carolina, 4-1.
Rudy's list of career accomplishments is impressive as hetrained some of soccer's top names in both the men's and women'sgame. He coached 37 All-America selections, as well as two HermannTrophy recipients. UCF's Michelle Akers (1988) and UMass' AprilKater (1990) were both recognized as the nation's best women'scollegiate soccer player.
Briana Scurry, who played at UMass from 1990-93, won theMissouri Athletic Club /adidas Goalkeeper of the Year award in1993, while Akers captured the award in 1987. Both Scurry and Akershave been pivotal forces in the United States National Team'sperformances worldwide, including winning a gold medal at the 1996and 2004 Olympic Games, and the 1999 World Cup crown. Scurrycaptured a gold medal with Team USA at the 2004 AthensOlympics.
In 21 seasons at the UMass helm, Rudy compiled a 239-137-22(.628) record. UMass won the Atlantic 10 regular-seasonchampionship once and the tournament title four times since thebirth of A-10 soccer in 1993. The three-time (1993, 1995, 1997)A-10 Coach of the Year produced six conference Player of the Yearselections (Scurry, 1993; Erin Lynch, 1994 and 1995; Sophie Lecot,1998; Emma Kurowski; 1999, Julie Podhrasky, 2000), as well as fourA-10 Tournament MVPs and over 50 All-Conference honorees. He wonhis 200th game with the Minutewomen on Sept. 27, 2004, a 4-1victory over Holy Cross and became just the ninth coach in NCAAhistory to win his 300th career game on Sept. 7, 2007, with a 2-1triumph over Iona.
Prior to arriving at UMass, Rudy coached both the men's andwomen's teams at UCF. He compiled a record of 129-58-16 from1975-1987 with the men's team, while posting a 74-23-6 mark inseven seasons at the helm of the women's program from 1981-1987. Hebrought both teams to the NCAA Tournament with the women makingthree appearances (1982, 1984, 1987), and the men makingback-to-back appearances (1982, 1983). Rudy's 1982 women's squadadvanced to the national championship game, losing, 2-0, to NorthCarolina. Ironically, the last game he would coach at UCF would bea heartbreaking 2-1 loss to UMass in the 1987 national semifinalsat McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst. For all of hisaccomplishments as a coach at UCF, Rudy was inducted into theschool's Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 2, 2001.
Rudy, 59, resides in Hadley with his wife Marie and son Eric.