Jan. 4, 2018
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Chad Riley, head coach of the highly successful Dartmouth men’s soccer program the last five seasons and a former standout Irish men’s soccer player and assistant coach, has been named head men’s soccer coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Riley’s Dartmouth teams won a combined 51 games over his five seasons (51-26-14 in 2013-17) and captured Ivy League titles each of the last four years. He claimed Ivy League Coach of the Year honors three of the last four years, including on a unanimous basis in 2017 as a highlight of a 12-3-2 season.
“My wife and I are excited to come home, not only to Notre Dame, but to the South Bend community,” said Riley. “This is our home and we look forward to getting back involved with this wonderful community. I would like to thank Fr. John Jenkins, Jack Swarbrick and Beth Hunter for their trust in me as the next leader of this special program.”
Dartmouth’s four consecutive league titles mark the first time that happened in the Ivy League in 32 years. Riley’s 2014 and 2015 campaigns accounted for the first back-to-back 12-win seasons in Big Green history, and his teams’ 45 combined victories over the last four seasons are a high-water mark for Dartmouth men’s soccer.
Riley has been part of NCAA Championship competition in 13 seasons–each of the last four years while head coach at Dartmouth, once as a St. John’s assistant coach, five times as an Irish assistant coach and each of his last three seasons as a player at Notre Dame. His Big Green teams won first-round NCAA Championship games in 2014 (Fordham), 2015 (Hartwick) and 2016 (St. Francis Brooklyn) and earned the number-15 NCAA national seed in 2017.
“This opportunity combines everything for me, to be a part of the best University in the world, to work with amazing students and to build a program that will compete for championships every year,” said Riley.
“We are going to be an ambitious program and will build on the wonderful legacy that Coach Clark has left behind. Our aim is now to take Notre Dame soccer to new heights, and I simply can’t wait to get started.”
Riley replaces Bobby Clark who retired in late November following 17 seasons as Notre Dame head coach (2001-17). Riley played for Clark in 2001-03 during his final three Irish undergraduate years (and Clark’s first three seasons in South Bend) and remains one of the all-time Notre Dame leaders in assists (32 in 78 games). He also spent six seasons as an Irish assistant coach (2006-11) under Clark, and his official title at Dartmouth was the Bobby Clark Head Coach of Men’s Soccer in recognition of Clark’s nine seasons as Big Green head coach (82-42-13 record in 1985-93).
“Chad Riley not only brings to Notre Dame a track record of winning titles and regularly qualifying for NCAA Championship play, but having both played and coached for Bobby Clark he already has a great understanding of the culture this program has built over the last two decades,” said Notre Dame vice president and James E. Rohr director of athletics Jack Swarbrick.
“We expect Chad to have a seamless transition into his new assignment in great part because he has a perfect sense of the expectations and opportunities both on and off the field at Notre Dame. This is a program that has achieved at the very highest levels, including an NCAA title four years ago, and we are confident Chad has what it takes to continue that sort of achievement.”
Dartmouth finished with a combined 22-3-3 mark in Ivy League play over the last four seasons, and Riley’s 2013 and 2014 Big Green squads both enjoyed eight-game unbeaten streaks, with the 2013 version marking the first time that had happened at Dartmouth since 1978. Thirty-two Big Green players have earned some sort of all-Ivy League recognition over Riley’s five seasons as head coach. His 2014 and 2015 league champion squads permitted a combined seven goals in conference play over those two seasons. Riley’s last four Dartmouth teams achieved final NCAA RPIs of 16 (2017), 25 (2016), 20 (2015) and 23 (2014).
In 2012 Riley joined head coach Jeff Cook’s Dartmouth staff as an assistant coach, helping the Big Green to second place in the Ivy League standings and an undefeated home pitch mark for the second consecutive season.
Riley came to Dartmouth after spending the previous six seasons at his alma mater as an assistant coach at Notre Dame. He helped the Irish compile a 71-37-21 record with five NCAA Championship appearances and two NCAA Championship Quarterfinal appearances.
The Irish captured BIG EAST Blue Division titles in 2007 and 2008, the first time Notre Dame captured back-to-back BIG EAST crowns. Notre Dame reached the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship in five of Riley’s six seasons as an assistant coach.
A 2004 Notre Dame graduate with a degree in theology, Riley helped mentor four All-Americans, including 2006 MAC Hermann Trophy recipient Joseph Lapira as well as three Academic All-Americans while in South Bend.
Prior to returning to South Bend, Riley made coaching stops at Oberlin College in Ohio during the 2004 season and at St. John’s in 2005. While at Oberlin he helped guide the squad to a 9-8-3 record and helped five players earn all-North Coast Athletic Conference honors. During his season at St. John’s, the Red Storm posted an 11-6-5 record and a berth in the third round of the NCAA Championship.
Riley, a Houston, Texas, native (Cypress Springs High School), was a four-time monogram winner and a three-time all-BIG EAST award winner (second team in 2003, third team in 2002 and 2001) during his collegiate career. He tallied 52 career points on 10 goals and 32 assists as a midfielder. He led the Irish in assists in three seasons (including 12 in 2002), still ranks second on the Irish all-time assists list and served as an assistant team captain as a senior. Riley led the 2000 Notre Dame team in scoring with 12 points and was a BIG EAST Academic All-Star in 2000 and 2001.
Riley received his NSCAA Advanced National Diploma in 2009 and also received his USSF A and B licenses.
He and his wife, Caitlin (also a Notre Dame graduate), are parents of a daughter, Georgina, and a son, Prescott.
Year by Year with Chad Riley
Year Record Conference NCAA Championship
2000 Notre Dame player 7-8-2 9th in BIG EAST —
2001 Notre Dame player 12-7-0 t2nd in BIG EAST 0-1
2002 Notre Dame player 12-6-3 4th in BIG EAST 1-1
2003 Notre Dame player 16-3-4 3rd in BIG EAST * 1-0-1
* BIG EAST Championship winner
2004 Oberlin assistant coach 9-8-3 5th in NCAC —
2005 St. John’s assistant coach 11-6-5 3rd in BIG EAST 2-1
2006 Notre Dame assistant coach 15-6-2 3rd in BIG EAST 2-1
2007 Notre Dame assistant coach 14-5-5 t1st in BIG EAST 2-1
2008 Notre Dame assistant coach 12-7-2 1st in BIG EAST 0-1
2009 Notre Dame assistant coach 11-8-4 2nd in BIG EAST 1-1
2010 Notre Dame assistant coach 10-6-4 2nd in BIG EAST 0-1
2011 Notre Dame assistant coach 9-5-4 4th in BIG EAST —
2012 Dartmouth assistant coach 9-7-0 2nd in Ivy League —
2013 Dartmouth head coach 6-7-4 8th in Ivy League —
2014 Dartmouth head coach 12-5-2 1st in Ivy League 1-1
2015 Dartmouth head coach 12-6-1 1st in Ivy League 1-1
2016 Dartmouth head coach 9-5-5 1st in Ivy League 1-1
2017 Dartmouth head coach 12-3-2 1st in Ivy League 0-1
Totals as Dartmouth head coach 51-26-14
Note: Notre Dame BIG EAST finishes beginning in 2005 were based on divisional standings.