From the Coach
Bryan Williams, Women's Soccer
Bryan Williams is in his sixth year at the helm of VMI women's soccer. Over the past three seasons, Williams' team has continually set and reset new program defensive records, en route to back-to-back appearances in the semifinals of the Big South Tournament.
2009 saw the Keydets set a new program mark for goals against average (1.06), sparked by Angela Redmond's 0.81 GAA and 89.3 save percentage, which was the fourth-best in Division I. In front of Redmond, then-senior Audrey Falconi helped lead a veteran back line that boosted VMI to a semifinal appearance in the conference tournament.
Falconi, who was the first female athlete at VMI to earn a conference freshman of the year honor (2007), was named to the VaSID All-State First Team following the '09 season. She was also named the Big South Women's Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year, to the All-Conference First Team, to CoSIDA's Academic All-District Team for the third-consecutive year, and finally, she became the second Keydet player to earn a post-graduate fellowship from the Big South, joining Raevon Pulliam '06.
Several Keydet players have also taken prominent military commissioning opportunities, including Celine Ziobro '09, who was the third Keydet player offered a prominent Air Force pilot training slot.
In 2008, Williams guided the Keydets to their most successful season in school history, one during which the team posted its most overall wins (10), most conference wins (5) and its first-ever postseason win. Williams was recognized for his efforts by his peers, earning Big South Conference Coach of the Year honors after his team jumped from eighth in the league standings into a tie for second in one season.
The accolades didn't stop there, as Williams saw three of his players named All-Conference, while Olivia Moore took home both Big South and All-State Freshman of the Year awards. Overall, VMI was listed as one of the most improved teams in the country in 2008, while establishing new school records in assists (27), shutouts (6), save percentage (81.9%) and goals-against-average (1.30).
Williams was named the second coach of the VMI women's soccer program on July 12, 2005. In his first season, Williams led the squad to its most successful year in the program's history, collecting seven wins while also notching the team's first win over a Division I opponent and its first triumph over a Big South foe. Since that time, he has continued to build the Keydets into a competitive program, with the team claiming several milestone wins, including a triumph against Big South foe Winthrop and back-to-back victories over arch-rival The Citadel.
However, the Keydet program is far from the first fledgling program Williams has taken under his wings. Before spending the spring of 2004 back in Richmond, leading St. Catherine's to a 10-6-1 record and a second place finish in the League of Independent Schools, Williams coached for six seasons at Thiel College in Pennsylvania, beginning the men's soccer program and taking over a women's team that was just two years old.
Beginning in 1998, Williams shaped both programs into competitive forces in the Division III President's Athletic Conference. Williams was recognized for his efforts by his peers, being voted Women's Soccer Coach of the Year in 2001 and Men's Soccer Coach of the Year in 2002.
However, his work with the Thiel soccer programs was only half of the story. In the winter and spring, Williams would then take over his responsibilities as the head coach for the college's men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field teams. In his five years at the helm of those programs, he was also received Coach of the Year honors, in 2002 with the women's team and 2003 with the men's team. In his tenure, he coached four Conference MVP's, two Academic All-Americans and one All-American. He also led his men's team to a conference championship and two runner-up finishes, while the women's team was four times the runners-up in the conference championship.
Prior to his tenure at Thiel, Williams held coaching jobs at Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Mo., where he was the head coach for the girls' team and both assistant head coach and later head coach with the men's team. While there, he helped lead the team to four state championship appearances in six seasons. While in Kansas City, he won two more Coach of the Year awards, one from the Kansas City Metro Conference, and one from District 7 of Missouri High Schools. Williams also served as the men's club soccer coach at the University of Kansas and the head boys' soccer coach at Shawnee Mission East HS, where he led the team to a regional championship.
Williams competed collegiately for the Generals of Washington & Lee, where he was a standout player. Named the Team MVP three times, Williams was also named to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's First Team and the VISA West All-State team on three occasions. As a junior, he earned a spot on the prestigious NSCAA All-South Team, while as a senior, Williams was captain of the team and received ODAC Player of the Year honors. As a scholastic player at St. Christopher's, Williams was the team captain as well, and received Richmond All-Metro, All-League and All-State honors.
Williams holds both an Advanced Diploma and a National Diploma from the NSCAA, in addition to his USSF National B License. The 1981 graduate of Washington & Lee is married to the former Heather Cook of Doylestown, Pa. and has four children, Virginia (18), George (15), Emma (10), Stewart (2) and Isaac, who was born in August of 2010.