Ben Waldrum enters his fifth season as a member of the Notre Dame women's soccer coaching staff, working alongside his father, head coach Randy Waldrum. The younger Waldrum currently holds an advanced national coaching diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
During his previous four years on the Irish staff, Waldrum has assisted his father in developing five All-America field players - most notably national players of the year Katie Thorlakson and Kerri Hanks. The 2005 Notre Dame offense led the nation with 4.40 goals per game while the 2006 unit had a nation-leading +74 goal differential (85-11).
Waldrum - who spent 2002-03 playing with the A-League's El Paso Patriots and the Dallas Sidekicks of the Major Indoor Soccer League - first played internationally as a prep, training in Germany with the West Texas A&M varsity at Sports School Wedeu (1997) and in 1998 with the K.F.C. Uerdingen second-division Bundesliga squad.
He played two seasons at West Texas A&M, helping the 2000 team finish sixth in the nation. Waldrum also trained in Denmark with the Superliga's FC Copenhagen in the summers of 1999 and 2000, turning down a contract offer in order to return to West Texas A&M in 1999.
Following his sophomore season, Waldrum left school and returned to FC Copenhagen in 2001 as an under-contract player. Later in the 2001 Danish season, he moved clubs and followed coach Flemming Pederson to Helsingor IF in the Denmark Serian-League - where he had four goals and three assists in the final 10 games of the 2001 season, playing primarily in a midfield role for the club.
Waldrum then moved from Denmark to Mexico, where he participated in several one-month trials in the Mexican First Division. He first played in a handful of exhibitions with the UNAM Pumas in Mexico City before declining a contract offer in order to move to Atlante and then later to UAG Tecos in Guadalajara.
The younger Waldrum gained head coaching experience in the summer of 2004, guiding the W-League's Fort Wayne Fever to an 11-3-1 record and a spot in the Midwest Division title game. That season with the Fever included a memorable 1-0 victory in a highlighted game versus the touring Australian Olympic Team.
"It's obviously a great thrill to coach alongside my son but it's even more gratifying to see the impact he has on the players and on the rest of out coaching staff," says the elder Waldrum.
"Because of his youth and experience from playing in different countries, Ben brings a fresh and unique perspective to so many aspects of a weekly routine - from practice drills to tactical formations and set plays. He has been a very valuable contributor in his time on the staff, during which time his wide soccer experience has continued to grow."
Waldrum totaled 39 goals and 21 assists in three seasons at Midway High School, located in Hewitt, Texas. He earned all-state honors as a senior at Midway and also was a member of the North Texas Olympic Development Program while gaining additional playing experience with the Fort Worth United state semifinalist team and the Hurricane F.C. (Tulsa, Okla.) team that won four state titles.
The 26-year-old recently completed his undergraduate studies at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind., graduating in May 2006 with a degree in sports and exercise studies.