Anson Dorrance, Head Coach of UNC’s Women’s Soccer Team.

Nov 28, 2023

New to The Street Leadership’s Co-hosts Matt Doherty and Jane King talk about his leadership roles and successes with Coach Anson Dorrance, Head Coach Women’s Soccer Team, University of Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). As the most successful coach in UNC’s athletic history, Anson won 1093 games during his 47 years as a coach. In 2012, he won UNC its 20th NCAA Championship in soccer, making him the first coach in NCAA history to win 20 NCAA championships in a single sport. In 1974, Coach Dorrance graduated from UNC, and soon after, became a coach at UNC, becoming the head coach for the men’s soccer team in 1977. Matt shares with viewers that he remembered Coach Dorrance’s commitment to excellence during his student-athlete years at UNC. Coach Dorrance shares his leadership successes as a coach and mentor for the UNC athletes on his teams. The challenges with coaching today’s elite athletes are different from years past. Student-athletes are arriving at sports programs with upbrings that are unique today, sometimes with varying ideas on practice regiments, play-action defense/offense, and respectfulness. A few years ago, Coach Dorrance met with a UNC sociologist, who showed a presentation slide of a student coming home with “Fs” on a report card; the 1960s slide showed parents yelling at the student for lack of performance. The other slide showed the current decade, the parents yelling at the teachers. Parents don’t understand when he, the coach, must bench their elite child athlete. He wants athletes to be accountable, competitive, respectful, and full of team spirit. Coach Dorrance will always use his leadership skills to bring the best out of his athletes. Mia Hamm, probably the most famous professional women’s soccer player, was on Coach Dorrance’s team at UNC. Mia was a determined athlete who always wanted to score. Coach Dorrance used that determination as the basis for his ability to effectively coach her, not allowing her shortcomings to affect the outcome of her play. Basketball Coach, Dean Smith offered Coach Dorrance to sit in on his team’s basketball practices, a priceless experience for Coach Dorrance. During these practices, Coach Dorrance could not understand why Coach Smith bothered with a player who seemed non-committed to the game. The player was Vince Carter, who became a basketball sensation as a student and professional. Understanding the strengths of individual athletes and working with them, not giving up on them, and seeing positive results are rewarding to any coach. There are no computer programs or algorithms to being a coach; leadership and role modeling come with experiences and a passion for assisting student-athletes to become their best. Viewers and others interested in Coach Anson Dorrance can visit UNC’s Women’s Soccer Team website.

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