Chad Riley is poised to begin his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Fighting Irish in 2011. After helping Notre Dame to triumphs on the field from 2000-03, Riley has helped guide the Fighting Irish to unprecedented success during his first five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater.
Over the past five campaigns, Notre Dame has compiled a 62-32-17 record, including a 36-10-7 mark in BIG EAST Conference play. The Fighting Irish captured BIG EAST Blue Division titles in 2007 and 2008. That signified the first time in program history that Notre Dame had won back-to-back BIG EAST crowns. Notre Dame has advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship in each of the past four seasons.
The Irish have qualified for the NCAA Championship during all five seasons, including trips to the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2007. Those were the first two `Elite Eight' appearances in program history.
Riley has helped mentor four All-Americans, including the 2006 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy recipient Joseph Lapira, and three Academic All-Americans during his time at Notre Dame. The Irish have boasted 28 all-BIG EAST selections since the 2006 campaign. Thirteen Fighting Irish players have been drafted into Major League Soccer (MLS) over the past five years.
In 2010, Notre Dame garnered the No. 9 seed and a first-round bye for the NCAA Championship. That marked the fourth time in five seasons that the Irish have received one of the tournament's 16 national seeds. The Irish fell to Dartmouth, 2-1 in overtime, during the second round to finish the season with a 10-6-4 record and a No. 21 national ranking in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.
The Irish went 6-2-1 in BIG EAST play in 2010 and advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament for the third straight season.
Five Notre Dame student-athletes received all-BIG EAST accolades for the 2010 season. Headlining the Fighting Irish honorees were first-team selections Jeb Brovsky and Steven Perry. Perry led all BIG EAST players in goals with 12 and was tied for the points lead with 28. The senior duo also was named to the NSCAA Scholar All-America team.
Aaron Maund and Dillon Powers were named to the all-BIG EAST second team in 2010 and Harrison Shipp was selected to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
Brovsky, Perry and Bilal Duckett were picked in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, while Philip Tuttle was taken in the supplemental draft. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC chose both Brovsky and Duckett, while the New England Revolution selected Perry. Brovsky was the first pick in the second round (19th overall selection) and Duckett was the first pick in the third round (37th overall). Perry went two picks after Duckett in the third round. The San Jose Earthquakes took Tuttle in the second round with the 33rd overall pick.
Notre Dame posted an 11-8-4 record in 2009 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship following a 2-1 win over Green Bay in the tournament's first round. Notre Dame's season came to an end with a 3-1 setback at Northwestern.
The Irish finished in second place in the BIG EAST Blue Division with an 8-3-0 record during the '09 campaign. Notre Dame missed out on winning the BIG EAST Championship as the Irish were taken down in penalty kicks by St. John's, 5-3, following a scoreless draw in the title game.
Six Notre Dame players garnered all-BIG EAST honors in 2009. Bright Dike, who led the league in points (26) and goals (11), was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. Michael Thomas joined Dike on the all-BIG EAST first team, while fellow senior Justin Morrow was a second-team pick. Brovsky and Maund were selected to the third team and Powers was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
Dike, Thomas and Morrow all heard their names called during the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Dike went in the first round to the Columbus Crew, while the San Jose Earthquakes picked Thomas and Morrow in the second round. Thomas also was named a third-team Academic All-American for the 2009 campaign.
In 2008, Notre Dame notched a 12-7-2 record, including a 7-2-2 mark in the BIG EAST to win the conference's Blue Division. The Fighting Irish were seeded 12th for the NCAA Championship and fell to Northwestern, 2-1, in the second round. Notre Dame concluded the season ranked 16th in the final NSCAA poll.
The Irish were rewarded for their success on and off the field during the 2008 season. Senior central defender Matt Besler became the first player in program history to be named a first-team All-American and first-team Academic All-American. In addition, Besler was the first Irish player to ever be named the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Besler and Dike both were first-team all-BIG EAST selections and headlined a group of five Notre Dame players to cop all-league honors.
Besler was selected during the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He was taken with the eighth pick overall in the first round by the Kansas City Wizards. That marked the highest a Fighting Irish player had ever been nabbed in the MLS draft. Jack Traynor went to the New York Red Bulls in the second round of the '09 draft.
The 2007 campaign witnessed the Irish winning a share of their second regular-season BIG EAST title as they tied for the Blue Division championship with Connecticut. The Irish went 7-0-4 in league play and were the only BIG EAST squad to go undefeated within the conference. Notre Dame advanced to the finals of the BIG EAST tournament before falling to Connecticut, 2-0. During the season, the Irish peaked at a program-best No. 2 in the national rankings.
Notre Dame opened the '07 season with a 2-1 overtime win over top-ranked UCLA at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. That would be the first of five triumphs over ranked foes for the Irish on the year. Notre Dame garnered the 10th seed in the 2007 NCAA Championship and following a first-round bye, the Irish topped Oakland University 2-1. A 2-0 upset victory at No. 7 Santa Clara propelled Notre Dame into the `Elite Eight'. The season came to an end with a 1-0 overtime loss at eventual national champion Wake Forest in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Irish finished with a 14-5-5 record and a No. 6 ranking in the final NSCAA poll.
The Irish boasted two All-America honorees in 2007. Lapira earned first-team All-America accolades for the second straight season, while Miller was a second-team pick. Miller also earned the distinction of becoming the first player in program history to be named both an All-American and Academic All-American in the same year.
Lapira and Miller were unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selections in `07. The duo spearheaded a group of seven Fighting Irish players that copped all-conference accolades. In addition to their all-league honors, Lapira and Miller heard their names called in the third round of the MLS SuperDraft.
In 2006, which was Riley's first on the Irish sidelines, Notre Dame concluded the season ranked sixth nationally after compiling a 15-6-2 record and finishing third in the BIG EAST Conference's Blue Division with an 8-3-0 mark. After earning the No. 12 seed and a first-round bye in the NCAA Championship, Notre Dame knocked off Illinois-Chicago 1-0 in the second round before taking down defending NCAA champion Maryland 1-0 in double-overtime to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
Accolades were abundant for the 2006 Irish squad following the unprecedented success. Lapira won the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy as the nation's top player according to the NSCAA. He became the first student-athlete in program history to win a national player of the year award. Lapira, who led all NCAA Division I men's players with 22 goals and 50 points, also captured player of the year honors from Soccer America along with being Notre Dame's first-ever unanimous first-team All-American.
Lapira was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, while his teammate Greg Dalby was selected as the league's midfielder of the year. In all, the Irish boasted five all-conference performers. Dalby earned first-team All-America honors for the second straight season and was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the second round of the MLS draft. The Chicago Fire picked Nate Norman in the second round.
Riley also has seen some of his Fighting Irish players experience success on the international level. Maund and Powers both were members of the United States Under-20 National Team that competed at the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt. In August of 2010, Powers was named the MVP of the Milk Cup Tournament as he helped lead the U.S. Under-20 National Team to the title with a 3-0 record.
In May 2007, Lapira earned a cap with the Ireland Senior National Team during a friendly against Ecuador. Miller became the first current or former Notre Dame player to earn a spot on a United States Men's Senior National Team roster. Miller was one of 24 players on the U.S. squad that faced Chile in an international friendly in January of 2011.
Riley, a native of Houston, Texas, was a four-time monogram winner and received all-BIG EAST honors on three occasions during his Notre Dame career. He started 75 games in a Fighting Irish uniform and was an integral part of the Notre Dame squad that captured the 2003 BIG EAST tournament championship. That team would also make the program's second-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament's Round of 16.
For his career, Riley totaled 52 points on 10 goals and 32 assists. He led the team in assists three times and was Notre Dame's top scorer as a freshman. Riley currently ranks second on the Irish career list for assists. He graduated with a degree in theology from the College of Arts and Letters and was twice named to the BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team.
Following his graduation from Notre Dame in 2004, Riley served as an assistant coach at Oberlin College in Ohio during the 2004 season. He helped guide the Yeomen to a 9-8-3 record as five players earned all-North Coast Athletic Conference honors. The team also was a recipient of the National Soccer Coaches Association Team Academic Award, posting a 3.52 grade-point average, the highest of any of the 73 men's teams honored.
At St. John's in 2005, Riley helped guide the Red Storm to an 11-6-5 record and a berth in the third round of the NCAA Championship before falling to top-seeded and eventual national champion Maryland. St. John's boasted five all-BIG EAST selections in 2005, including M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist Matt Groenwald. Riley received an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma in June of 2009.
Riley's wife, Caitlin, also is a Notre Dame graduate.