Irwin steps down as Portland head coach

Bill Irwin, who has been with the University of Portland staff for 29 years, the last 13 as men's head coach, is resigning from his post as men's soccer coach and director of soccer.

"After 29 years here, including many great years with Clive Charles, it is time to step aside," Irwin said in a statement. "I feel very fortunate to have been a part of two men's final fours, two NCAA women's championships, and getting the opportunity to coach so many wonderful student-athletes who have gone on to accomplish amazing things in a wide variety of careers, including a number who have gone on to play professionally all over the world. I want to thank the University for 29 great years and am confident that the program will have great success in the future."

Irwin came to UP as an assistant coach prior to the 1987 season, reuniting with his friend and former professional teammate, the late Clive Charles. He spent 16 seasons alongside Charles building the Pilots men's and women's soccer teams into national powerhouse programs that reached a combined 10 NCAA College Cup semifinals appearances and culminated with a women's NCAA championship in 2002, the first NCAA title for the school.

Charles passed away after battling prostate cancer in the summer of 2003 and Irwin was promoted to director of soccer and men's head coach prior to the start of the 2003 season. He also served on the combined coaching staff with the women's program through the 2013 season and was a part of the undefeated 2005 NCAA Championship team.

Irwin, a goalkeeper who played seven season in the NASL, coached such goalkeeper as Kasey Keller and Luis Robles.

During his head coaching tenure, Irwin led the Pilots to four NCAA Tournament appearances – 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2009. The 2009 squad reached the third round before losing to eventual NCAA champion Virginia on the road.

Irwin, a noted goalkeeper coaching specialist, trained six men's goalkeepers that went on to professional playing careers: Kasey Keller, Luis Robles, Greg Maas, Stuart Dobson, Scott Hileman, Curtis Spiteri, and most recently Austin Guerrero. Keller, a three-time All-American and the 1991 Adidas Goalkeeper of the Year, was a regular on the U.S. National Team (1990, 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups), captained the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team in Atlanta and is a two-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. Robles was named the 2015 Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year.

1 comment about "Irwin steps down as Portland head coach".
  1. Kent Pothast, November 28, 2015 at 6:15 p.m.

    Dynasty like this are probably a thing of the past. In the 1990s and 2000s there were about six schools with legitimate shoots at Championships, now there are so many excellemt programs.

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