John Daly enters his 31st year as the mentor of the William and Mary women’s soccer program, establishing himself as one of the elite coaches in the nation. A U.S. citizen since April of 2000, the London-born son of Ireland has guided the Tribe to 21 NCAA tournament appearances, including 17 of the past 23 years. He has also helped guide the College to an NCAA-record 35 consecutive winning seasons. Daly has coached the side in 606 matches, amassing a record of 405-166-55
Amongst his peers, Daly by all measures ranks as one of the top 20 coaches in NCAA history. When the College defeated Delaware in double-overtime on Oct. 3, 2008, Daly became just the fourth women’s soccer coach in NCAA Division I history to win 300 games all with the same school. All told, Daly is the ninth coach in Division I to accomplish the remarkable feat of 300 victories and the 19th across all divisions in the NCAA.
The magnitude of Daly’s accomplishments, which include capturing 10 CAA titles, seven Regional Coach of the Year awards, and five CAA Coach of the Year plaques, has not been lost on the greater William and Mary community. In 2004, the College named its new all-grass stadium in joint honor of Daly and former men’s coach Al Albert, “the ultimate accolade” in a storied coaching career. In the 12 year history at Albert-Daly Field the Tribe has posted an 80-23-14 (.763) record.
National prominence has been a hallmark of Daly’s teams and players throughout his tenure. He led the Tribe to NCAA tournament in 1987, his first year at the helm, and scored a 1-0 victory over archrival Virginia in the first round to reach the quarterfinals. Twenty-one more trips to the national playoffs have followed, with the Tribe amassing a record of 11-19-3 and reaching the second round in seven of the last 14 years. The national rankings have seen the College among the top-25 for all or part of 28 of the last 30 seasons, including a program-high No. 3 billing in both 1989 and 1994. In recent years, W&M reached as high as 11th in 2006, 24th in 2007, 25th in 2008, 22nd in 2009, 14th in 2010, and 14th in 2011 and 20th in 2012, and 23rd in 2015.
Under Daly’s tutelage, 15 W&M players have garnered a total of 32 All-America honors, including two National Players of the Year in Megan McCarthy (1987) and four-time All-American Natalie Neaton (1995). In 2007, Claire Zimmeck and Dani Collins were each tabbed to the All-America third team by the NSCAA, the first time since 1999 that the coaches have so honored a player from William and Mary. Mallory Schaffer was tabbed as a back-to-back All-American in 2011 and 2012, before Caroline Casey became the Tribe’s newest All-American in 2015.
In 2015, W&M regained its presences on the national stage. For the first time in four seasons the Tribe returned to the NCAA Tournament, and defeated Central Florida in PKs to advance to the Second Round of the event. The Green and Gold finished the season with a 14-5-3 mark, and finished tied for the CAA regular season title with a 7-1-1 mark in league play. Senior Caroline Casey was named an NSCAA First-Team All-American, CAA Defensive Player of the Year, CAA First-Team, and to a Senior CLASS First-Team All-American. The Tribe had nine players earn 11 All-CAA honors, including senior Nicole Baxter and junior Clara Logsdon joining Casey on the First-Team. CoSIDA honored Seniors Leci Irvin and Samantha Cordum for their efforts in the classroom as well. The College also returned to the NSCAA Top 25 for the first time since the 2012 season.