Feb. 2, 2018
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame men’s soccer head coach Chad Riley has officially announced the first full-time appointments to his coaching staff. Ryan Fahey and Brian Plotkin, who each previously served alongside Riley at Dartmouth College, have joined the Notre Dame program as assistant coaches and will begin work immediately during the 2018 spring season.
“I am thrilled to add Brian and Ryan to the staff here at Notre Dame,” Riley said. “They have proven to be two of the top assistant coaches in the country, and will without a doubt be instrumental in maintaining and adding to the wonderful tradition of men’s soccer at Notre Dame. They have won championships as student-athletes as well as coaches, and our team will benefit tremendously from their talents and passion for excellence.
“Our team and department are fortunate to have them joining our program, and I know our student-athletes will thoroughly enjoy working with them.”
Fahey arrives at Notre Dame after spending the previous five seasons on staff at Dartmouth, working primarily with the Big Green goalkeeping corps. Dartmouth claimed Ivy League championships in each of the past four seasons under Fahey’s tutelage, with players earning a combined 35 All-Ivy honors, one All-America and two Academic All-America accolades.
A total of four former players under Fahey at Dartmouth have inked contracts in either MLS or the United Soccer League (USL), including goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland. Cleveland secured 16 shutouts in 33 games with the Big Green from 2013-15, earning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year recognition as a junior. Cleveland was selected 26th overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
Prior to his arrival in Hanover, Fahey spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, guiding the Stags to three straight NCAA Division III tournament appearances from 2010-12. With his primary responsibilities including mentoring the Stags’ goalkeepers, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps swept the SCIAC tournament in each of Fahey’s three seasons.
In addition to his collegiate coaching stops, Fahey has an extensive coaching background at the club level. He previously spent time with the Chivas USA Youth Academy in Pomona, California, was head coach of the Foothill Storm U14 Soccer Club in Claremont, California, served as a trainer at the CATZ Sports Performance Center in Yorba Linda and Pasadena, California, and worked as a private goalkeeping instructor in both Washington and California.
As a player, Fahey was a three-year goalkeeper for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps from 2007-09, helping the Stags to an SCIAC tournament title and NCAA tournament appearance in 2009. He was a two-time all-conference first-team selection (2008-09), was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All Far-West Third Team in 2008, and served as a team captain in 2009.
Fahey graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in the spring of 2010. He holds a United Soccer Coaches (NSCAA) Advanced Diploma and United Soccer Coaches (NSCAA) Goalkeeper I and II Diplomas.
Plotkin joins Riley’s staff at Notre Dame after spending the past two seasons as a Dartmouth assistant coach. He was on the Big Green staff for each of the past two Ivy League championships during Dartmouth’s conference four-peat, which included a 12-3-1 mark and the 15th overall seed in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.
In two seasons under Plotkin’s guidance, Dartmouth’s Wyatt Omsberg earned a pair of United Soccer Coaches All-America citations and doubled as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. More than 13 players, including Omsberg, received All-Ivy recognition during that span, and the Big Green earned a 2016 NSCAA Team Academic Award in honor of strong performance in the classroom.
Prior to his time at Dartmouth, Plotkin was an assistant coach at Loyola University (Chicago) for three seasons from 2013-15. The Ramblers swept Missouri Valley Conference Player, Defensive Player and Goalkeeper of the Year awards during the 2015 campaign, while leading the NCAA in both team goals against average and the fewest goals allowed that season. A total of 12 players recruited under Plotkin’s watch ultimately achieved all-conference plaudits, and the Loyola staff received Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year honors in 2014.
Plotkin got his start in coaching with both Sockers FC Chicago and the Chicago Fire youth academy, which both compete in high-level soccer events across the Midwest and United States each season. Plotkin first broke into coaching during a professional career that saw stops with both the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew of MLS, and the Carolina Railhawks of the North American Soccer League (NASL). Plotkin played for the 2006 United States Open Cup champion Chicago, and later won an MLS Cup title with Columbus in 2008.
A standout player at Indiana University from 2002-05, Plotkin was an integral part of two national championship Hoosier sides in both 2003 and 2004. He was named the 2005 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, was a runner-up for the 2005 MAC Hermann Trophy and was an Academic All-Big Ten choice in both 2003 and 2004.
Plotkin graduated from the College of Arts and Science at Indiana with a degree in general studies/communications. He holds a United Soccer Coaches (NSCAA) Premier Diploma and a USSF National “B” License.