Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum has signed a multi-year contract to continue as coach of the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, following a 2000 season that saw the Irish hold the No. 1 ranking for 11 weeks.
“We at Notre Dame feel very fortunate to have Randy Waldrum leading our women’s soccer program,” said Notre Dame director of athletics Kevin White.
“In speaking with people throughout the soccer community-including former and current players-it became readily evident how well-respected Randy is for his coaching style and knowledge of the game. He’s a proven winner and we look forward to many more great years of Notre Dame women’s soccer with Randy at the helm.”
Waldrum’s continuing success has spanned a 19-year career that includes coaching both men’s and women’s teams at various levels. His last five women’s teams, three at Baylor and two at Notre Dame, have combined for a 90-19-5 record while his career record as a college head coach stands at 227-110-21 (.663) in 19 total seasons, including 151-55-14 (.718) in 11 seasons as a women’s head coach.
“Notre Dame is a very special place and this is an exciting time of success and growth throughout our athletic department,” said Waldrum, whose first two Irish teams combined for a 44-5-2 record.
“Winning another national championship remains the clearcut goal of this program and I’m very excited to be a part of that. We have things in place for another strong season and the future of the program is on strong footing. I’m really looking forward to watching this team-and those in years to come-continue the great tradition of Notre Dame soccer.”
From his first coaching job at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, to leading Baylor to the NCAAs in its third year, Waldrum has been recognized by U.S. Soccer as one of the top soccer minds at any level. He held a position on the U.S. national team coaching staff for seven years, serving as an assistant coach with the U.S. women’s under-18 national team in 1998 and with the under-20 national team at the 1997 Nordic Cup.
During Notre Dame’s 1999 NCAA runner-up campaign, Waldrum became the only first-year coach in the 18-year history of the NCAA women’s soccer championship to lead a team to the championship game. A new challenge awaited in 2000, as Notre Dame looked to replace five graduated starters-three of them All-Americans and a fourth the team’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Under the clever guidance of Waldrum, the Irish overcame the loss of two starters for parts of the 2000 season and returned to the top of the national rankings, led by a stingy defense that owned the nation’s best goals-against average (0.39). Anne Makinen, the leader of the team’s unique formation of three central-based midfielders, went on to earn national player-of-the-year honors while the Irish posted a 23-1-1 overall record and reached the NCAA semifinals. Notre Dame trailed for just 35 minutes all season and claimed the program’s sixth consecutive BIG EAST crown, with Waldrum repeating as BIG EAST coach of the year.
Waldrum stands 14th on the NCAA career winning percentage list among active women’s coaches (.718) and 24th for career victories (151) among active women’s coaches.
* Waldrum built the Baylor women’s team from scratch in 1995, leading the Bears to a 9-0-1 Big 12 Conference record in 1998 and their first Big 12 title in any sport. In three seasons at Baylor, he guided the Bears to a 46-14-3 record while earning Big 12 Conference and NSCAA central region coach-of-the-year honors after his 1998 squad went 15-5-1, rose as high as 12th in the polls and earned the program’s first NCAA bid. He was named the 1996 national coach of the year for a first-year program, after a 17-3-1 season.
* While spending six seasons (’89-’94) as head coach of the men’s and women’s teams at the University of Tulsa, Waldrum compiled a 66-33-6 record with the Tulsa men and a 61-36-9 mark with the women (he remains the winningest all-time coach of both programs). He was voted central region coach of the year in 1990 after the Tulsa women finished 9-6-1 before earning that honor in 1993 for his work with the Tulsa men’s team (his ’91 squad remains the only Tulsa men’s soccer team to qualify for the NCAAs).
* Waldrum started a first-year men’s program at Texas Wesleyan in 1988 and had his first collegiate heading coaching position at Austin College in 1982. He was director of coaching for the seven-team Texas Longhorns Soccer Club from 1987-89 (he coached one of those teams to a 53-4-1 record and a third-place national finish.)
* Waldrum was a four-time all-district player at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, before playing professionally in the American Soccer League.
* Born Sept. 25, 1956, the Irving, Texas, native and his wife Dianna have one son, Benjamin, age 19, currently a sophomore at Notre Dame.