Story and photo courtesy Yale Sports Publicity
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Brian Tompkins, the second winningest men's soccer coach in Yale history, will step down as head coach at the end of 2014 season. He will remain with the athletic department as an administrator, starting in November.
"I believe that change in sports, as in life, is a healthy thing," Tompkins said. "Yale soccer is headed for success and this is an opportune time for me to pass the coaching baton and make way for a different face and a new voice to lead it there.
"For my part, I am looking forward to my changing role in Yale Athletics by providing a coach's perspective and a new voice to the athletics administrative team as we continue to pursue the goals of academic and athletic excellence in all our sports."
During his tenure, Tompkins guided the Bulldogs to a share of the 2005 Ivy League title and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. He begins his final season with 137 wins, six shy of Steve Griggs, who has the most victories in Yale history.
Tompkins' 1999 team enjoyed one of the most memorable seasons in school history. The Bulldogs won a school-record 13 games, upset Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and had a final national ranking of 18th. In 2005, Tompkins guided Yale to its first Ivy League title since 1991. The Bulldogs finished with a 10-4-4 overall record, were 5-1-1 in Ivy play and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in school history.
Eight of Tompkins' players at Yale went on to play professionally, including Ryan Raybould, who spent three seasons with the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer and Brian Roberts, who also spent three years playing for the Wizards and became the first Yale player to start an MLS game when he played 79 minutes against Real Salt Lake in July of 2005.
In addition, Jac Gould earned Ivy League Player of the Year honors under Tompkins' tutelage in 1998, and Jay Alberts was named the league's Rookie of the Year in 1999.
Since 2008, Tompkins also has served as a coach with the Olympic Development Program. Presently, he is the head coach of the Region 1 Under-15 ODP age group. In December of 2013, he guided the team to the U15 ODP Interregional Tournament title.
Tompkins also has had a hand at the professional level, coaching at the adidas MLS Player Combine.
"I want to thank Brian for all he has accomplished with our men's soccer program," said Tom Beckett, Yale's Director of Athletics. "He has tremendous passion for the game and has been an outstanding mentor to our student-athletes. I am pleased he will be staying with the department and am confident he will be as fine an administrator as he is a head coach."
Prior to arriving in New Haven, Tompkins built the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee into a national soccer power. In seven seasons as the head coach at UWM, he compiled an overall record of 90-41-11, including six winning seasons. He led the Panthers to an NCAA Tournament appearance (1990), a Mid-Continent Conference title (1993) and a Big Central Soccer Conference crown (1990). His teams were ranked in the top 25 in four of his last six years.