Saturday, April 9, 2016

9 April 1951 - The Man From UNC

On 9 April 1951, US National Hall of Fame coach Anson Dorrance was born in Bombay, India. He went on to guide the UNC women's team to 21 national championships and the US national team to the 1991 Women's World Cup.

The son of an American oil executive, Dorrance spent the early part of his life abroad, including a lengthy spell in Kenya where he cultivated his love of football. While a student at the University of North Carolina, he walked onto the football team and earned all-ACC honors three times.

He took over as coach of the UNC men's team in 1977 and ran it until 1988. In the process, he won the 1987 ACC title and led UNC to that season's NCAA Final Four. His success that season resulted in the NCAA naming him their 1988 Men's Soccer Coach of the Year.

In 1979, while still coaching the men's team, Dorrance also took charge of the newly-established UNC women's team. He won his first NCAA title in his third season, with his team winning all 23 matches they played. Under Dorrance, UNC went on to win 21 NCAA titles with players such as Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, and April Heinrichs.

From 1986 to 1994, Dorrance also managed the US women's national team, taking them to the first Women's World Cup in 1991. Led on the pitch by Hamm and Lilly, they claimed the title by winning all six of their matches in the tournament.

Dorrance remains at UNC, who won their most recent national title in 2012.

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