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Alan Dawson

Head Coach

The all-time winningest coach in Old Dominion soccer history, Alan Dawson closed out his 26th season at the helm of the ODU men’s soccer program in the fall of 2022. With a career record of 386-198-62, Dawson ranks in the top 20 active coaches in wins in collegiate men’s soccer. In addition, Dawson’s 257 victories at ODU are the most in Old Dominion soccer history.   

The Northern Ireland native has guided the Monarchs to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances. ODU has twice advanced to the Sweet 16 under Dawson, with those appearances coming in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007. In addition, seven of Dawson’s squads of been ranked in the final NSCAA Top 25 of the season, including the 2006 team that was ranked 14th in the final poll.

A four-time conference coach of the year, Dawson has pioneered to Monarchs to three conference tournament titles and three conference regular season titles. Most recently, ODU won the 2014 and 2017 Conference USA Championship on its home field.

Over his 26 years at Old Dominion, Dawson has produced nine NSCAA All-Americans, five conference players of the years, five NSCAA Academic All-Americans and 11 MLS Super Draft selections. In 2018, Dawson picked up his first Academic All-American since 2002 in Niko Klosterhalfen who was named Google Cloud Academic All-American. 

: The Monarchs rejoined one of the toughest conferences in soccer with their first season in the Sun Belt and opened conference play with a 4-2 win at Georgia Southern. Freshman Michael Statham was a standout in goal with five shutouts, including one over 20th-ranked Campbell. ODU knocked off fourth-ranked Marshall 2-1 on October 15 behind goals from Michael Eberle and Samuel Mar Kristinsson. As a result of that win, Statham earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors, while Kristinsson was named College Soccer News Team of the Week.

2021: Eliot Goldthorp was an All C-USA Second Team selection and an All-Freshman Team honoree, while Josh Thacker earned All C-USA Third Team honors.  A total of 24 Monarchs were named to the Conference USA Honor Roll, while seven ODU Student-athletes earning a C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal. 

2020: Thacker was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year, as well as was named to the All C-USA Second Team and All-Freshman Team. Doumbia was named to the All-Conference USA Third Team, while Casadei joined Thacker on the All-Freshman Team. Thacker garnered College Soccer News All-Freshman Team laurels. Additionally, Thacker and Casadei were also named to the All-State Team. A total of 19 Monarchs were named to the Conference USA Honor Roll, while seven ODU student-athletes earned a C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal. 

2019: The 2019 campaign saw the Monarchs garner victories over VCU, South Carolina and William & Mary. Senior Deniz Dogan scored a team-high five goals with two assists for 12 points and was named to the C-USA All-Academic Team.

2018: Finishing second in the league with a 6-2-0 record, Alan Dawson's bunch wrapped up the 2018 season with a 11-5-2 overall record. During the regular season, ODU faced two nationally-ranked opponents in No. 1 UNC and No. 3 Kentucky. In the largest home crowd of the season, the Monarchs came to a 1-1 draw against No. 1 UNC on October 9. At the C-USA Tournament, No. 2 seeded ODU shutout New Mexico in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal, ODU fell to No. 14 nationally-ranked Charlotte, 4-2. In goal, junior Mertcan Akar made 50 saves in 2018. Senior Max Wilschrey led the Monarchs offensively with 13 goals and seven assists. Niko Klosterhalfen was also a force in the offense, scoring eight goals and nine assists. Wilschrey and Klosterhalfen were both named to the VaSID Second Team All-State, All-Tournament Team, United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region Team and the C-USA First Team All-Conference. Wilschrey finished the season sixth in the nation in most points, while Klosterhalfen finished the season 18th in the nation for most assists. Klosterhalfen was also named a Google Cloud Academic All-American after finishing a stellar season on and off the field. Klosterhalfen graduated a semester early and posted a 3.88 GPA in Psychology. He was the first student-athlete at Old Dominion to receive the honor since 2006 and first men's soccer player to earn the honor since 2002. Ryan McLaughlin, Mertcan Akar and Daniel Corona also earned post season accolades.

2017: The Monarchs ended their season 13-6-2 and 6-2-0 in the C-USA, capturing the program's second C-USA title. The accomplishment is also the institutions third C-USA Title in school history. The Monarchs earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, beating NC State in the first round, 2-0; and falling to No. 2 Indiana in the NCAA second round, 3-0. Mertcan Akar earned C-USA Golden Glove of the Year Award as well as a First Team All-Conference honor. Seven Monarchs earned All-C-USA honors, including Sebastien Hauret, Fox Slotemaker, Brandon Perdue, Max Wilschrey, Hans Kroschwitz, Niko Klosterhalfen, and Mertcan Akar. Akar, Fox Slotemaker, Max Wilschrey, and Niko Kloserthalfen all earned honors on the All-Southeast Region Teams. ODU was ranked several times throughout the season, including a high No. 18. 

2016: Old Dominion finished the season with a 6-9-2 record and seventh in the C-USA conference standings. Redshirt-Freshman Sebastien Hauret led the team in assists (7) and points (11) earning him a spot on the Conference USA All-Rookie squad and the title of Virginia Sports Information Directors Rookie of the Year. The 2016 Monarchs fell in the semifinal round of the C-USA Tournament to FIU 2-0.

2015: The Monarchs compiled an 8-5-3 record and finished fourth in the C-USA regular season standings. ODU reached a high ranking of No. 9 on the year, while Niko Klosterhalfen was named the conference's Freshman of the Year. The '15 squad fell in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championship to eventual champ FIU.

2014: ODU captured the school's first ever C-USA Championship, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Monarchs, who finished with a 13-7-1 record, played one of the nation's toughest schedules and finished with an NCAA RPI of 20. Dawson won his 200th career game at ODU in 2014, when the Monarchs defeated William & Mary in October.

2013: The Monarchs finished 11-6-1, including a 7-2-0 mark in Conference USA play, in the team's first season in the league. ODU reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, while the Monarchs lost only one game on the road (at sixth seed Georgetown in the NCAAs ) and tied nationally-ranked Maryland. Tim Hopkinson had a career year for ODU, garnering C-USA Player of the Year and second team NSCAA All-American honors.

2012: The Monarchs were 11-3-3 and ranked as high as fourth nationally by Soccer America and College Soccer News on Sept. 18 after defeating then second-ranked Creighton. This year's squad qualified for the NCAA Tournament, but fell in the first round.

2011: Dawson won his 300th collegiate game on Nov. 11 in the CAA semifinals against Georgia State. The Monarchs, who compiled a 12-6-2, ranked as high as seventh nationally and finished the regular season second in the CAA and CAA Tournament runner-ups. The Monarchs ranked second nationally in goals scored with 48 for a 2.4 per game average.  

2010: The 10-7-2 Monarchs defeated then second-ranked North Carolina in a regular season match at the ODU Soccer Complex. ODU received an at-large spot to the NCAA Tournament and promptly knocked off defending National Champion Virginia in the first round, before falling in the second round at Penn State.

2009: The Monarchs compiled an 11-5-2 record as senior Nane Joseph earned NSCAA second team All-American honors and was selected in the fourth round of the MLS Super Draft by Toronto. Steffen Rabben was named ODU Scholar Athlete of the Year with the prestigious Wilkins/Howard Award.

2008: ODU tied for second in the CAA and newcomer Steffen Rabben became the fourth Monarch under Dawson to earn CAA Rookie of the Year honors, as the team compiled a 9-7-3 overall record.

2007: The 15-4-2 Monarchs captured the CAA Championship and advanced to the round of 16 after beating Providence and sixth-ranked Brown. David Horst earned CAA Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight year and became the first Monarch ever selected in the first round of the MLS Super Draft.

2006: ODU compiled a 14-6-2 record and advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA College Cup, knocking off Winthrop, and 10th-ranked North Carolina before losing a 2-1 decision to eventual national champion UC Santa Barbara. ODU also ranked among the nation's top 20 in attendance, while Edson Elcock was tabbed a first team All-American by the NSCAA.

2005: The Monarchs rolled to a 15-4-2 record, reaching the CAA Championship match for the second straight year and earning a No. 10 seed in the NCAA College Cup. During the season, ODU knocked off nationally-ranked Virginia, Davidson, and NC State. Dawson was named CAA Coach of the Year for the fourth time and the Virginia Coach of the Year by VaSID for the second time, while Brian Cvilikas was named the CAA Player of the Year.

2004: The Monarchs were 13-6-2 and reached the championship match of the Colonial Athletic Association. For the first time in school history, ODU was awarded a No. 12 seed and a first round bye of the NCAA Tournament. During the regular season, the Monarchs defeated North Carolina, Rutgers and handed CAA rival James Madison its first loss of the year.

2003: The Monarchs reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Old Dominion defeated NC State, 6-3, at home in the first round before falling to No. 2 seed Maryland, 2-1. The Monarchs were ranked as high as No. 2 during a season that saw ODU race to a 14-0-0 start and become the last Division I team to lose a game. The Monarchs started the season with a nine game shutout streak and ended with a 15-4-1 overall mark. Dawson received his third CAA Coach of the Year award and was named the NSCAA South-Atlantic Coach of the Year. Trevor McEachron and Attila Vendegh both earned NSCAA All-American honors, with McEachron landing on the first team.

2002: ODU qualified for its first NCAA Tournament under Dawson, advancing to the second round of the big dance. Overall, the Monarchs posted a 10-9-4 record, including a 6-2-1 mark in CAA play. Attila Vendegh was named CAA Player of the Year after scoring a team-high 16 goals.

2001: The Monarchs went 8-7-2 and captured the CAA regular season crown with a 3-0-2 record in league play. Attila Vendegh was named the CAA Player of the Year, while Dawson earned CAA Coach of the Year honors.

2000: The Monarchs compiled a 10-6-2 record and finished second in the CAA regular season standings with a 6-1-1 mark. ODU fell in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament, while Attila Vendegh was named the CAA Freshman of the Year and a Soccer America Freshman All-American.

1999: ODU finished 15-4-0, winning the CAA regular season title with a 7-1-0 conference record. The season earned Dawson CAA Coach of the Year honors and the Virginia Sports Information Directors' Coach of the Year Award. Jimmy Tanner was named the CAA Player of the Year and a third team All-American by the NSCAA.

1998: The Monarchs went 8-8-2, including a 3-5-0 mark in CAA play, in Dawson's second season at the helm of the ODU program.  Jimmy Tanner led the Monarchs in goals and total points, while Carlos Mendes led the team in assists.

1997: In Dawson's first year at ODU, the Monarchs compiled a 7-9-2 overall and a 3-5-0 mark in CAA play. The Monarchs finished seventh in the CAA league standings and fell in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. 

CAA: 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005
Virginia (VaSID): 1999, 2005
NSCAA South-Atlantic Region: 2003

First Win at ODU: 1-0 vs Robert Morris (9-5-97) 
100th Win at ODU: 2-0 vs. W&M (11-4-05) 
300th Career Win: 5-3 vs. Georgia State (11-11-12) 
200th Win at ODU: 1-0 at W&M (10-21-14)


Dawson served as an assistant coach at North Carolina in 1996, following a nine-year stint at DIII Methodist College. In 1995, he led Methodist to the NCAA Division III Championship game. While at Methodist, he guided the school to seven consecutive conference championships and six straight NCAA tournament appearances in only nine seasons.

He was inducted into the Methodist College Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. His combined career record at Methodist was 129-30-1 and his squads finished in the top 10 of the ISAA national polls for seven consecutive seasons. He garnered Dixie Conference Coach of the Year honors five times and South Region Coach of the Year honors in 1990 and 1995. He produced 32 All-South selections, seven All-Americans, and two Academic All-Americans during his tenure at the school. Dawson also coached three teams to undefeated seasons: in 1991 (15-0-3), 1992 (14-0-2) and 1993 (17-0-0). 

Before coaching at Methodist, he served as a graduate assistant coach at UNC-Greensboro from 1984-86. UNCG reached the NCAA Division III quarterfinals in 1984 and won the championship in 1985. 


Dawson served as head coach of the North Carolina Olympic Development team from 1989-94, winning the USSF Region III championship game in 1993. He was a USSF South Region staff member from 1992 to 1996, and served as the 1979 Region III head coach. He has also served as Chairman of the Intercollegiate Soccer Association South Region rating committee. 

Dawson is a member of the NCAA Regional Selection Committee for the South-Atlantic Region. He also led the Virginia ODP team to back-to-back regional championships as the head coach in 1999 and 2000. He holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) `B' license, and a Full Irish Badge (Grade One) coaching license.


Dawson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Lock Haven University in 1984, and a Master of Science degree in physical education from the UNC Greensboro in 1986. He and his wife Mari have three children: Alec, Garrick, and Ellesse. Alan is the son of Isabel and Stanley Dawson of Belfast, Northern Ireland. 


1987Methodist College8-6-3
1988Methodist College12-5-0
1989Methodist College14-5-0
1990Methodist College15-3-1NCAA DIII
1991Methodist College16-1-3NCAA DIII Tourn.
1992Methodist College16-1-2NCAA DIII QF
1993Methodist College14-4-0NCAA DIII Tourn.
1994Methodist College13-4-1NCAA DIII Tourn.
1995Methodist College21-1-0NCAA DIII Runner-Up
1997Old Dominion7-9-1
1998Old Dominion8-8-2
1999Old Dominion15-4-0
2000Old Dominion10-6-2
2001Old Dominion8-7-2
2002Old Dominion10-9-4NCAA DI 2nd Rd
2003Old Dominion15-4-1NCAA DI 2nd Rd
2004Old Dominion13-6-2NCAA DI 2nd Rd
2005Old Dominion15-4-2NCAA DI 2nd Rd
2006Old Dominion14-6-2NCAA DI 3rd Rd
2007Old Dominion14-7-3NCAA DI 3rd Rd
2008Old Dominion9-7-3
2009Old Dominion11-5-2
2010Old Dominion10-7-2NCAA DI 2nd Rd
2011Old Dominion12-6-2NCAA DI 2nd Rd
2012Old Dominion11-3-3NCAA DI Tourn.
2013Old Dominion11-6-1NCAA DI 2nd Rd
2014Old Dominion13-7-1NCAA DI 2nd Rd
2015Old Dominion8-5-3
2016Old Dominion6-9-2
2017Old Dominion13-6-2NCAA D1 2nd Rd
2018Old Dominion11-5-2
2019Old Dominion3-11-1
2020  Old Dominion       1-4-3    
2021Old Dominion3-9-2
2022Old Dominion6-8-2
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