NCAA – 2016 CoachRank – Lessons From The Recently Departed

Managers Departing After 2015:

* = Did Not Complete Season

56.91 – Ray Leone – Harvard
49.24 – Jessica Hain – Liberty
42.64 – Dean Joseph – Jackson State
40.43 – Nate Norman – Western Michigan
38.84 – Tracey Leone – Northeastern
33.66 – Stevie Gill – Grand Canyon
22.43 – Jonathan Morgan – Maryland
21.81 – Sue Ryan – Stony Brook
18.57 – Rob King – Kennesaw State
15.50 – Ted Flogaites – Western Illinois
14.72 – Orlando Cervantes – Lamar
13.60 – Derek Leader – Georgia State
13.43 – Linda Hathorn – Iona*
13.33 – Phil Pincince – Brown
13.15 – Erika True – Indiana State
11.30 – James Price – Northern Iowa
10.93 – Jason Cherry – Eastern Illinois
8.93 – Dylan Harrison – Nicholls State
7.36 – Sarah McClellan – Binghamton
5.41 – Melissa Price – Nevada
5.16 – Scooter Savoie – McNeese State
4.93 – Will Lemke – Youngstown State
4.75 – Tom Gosselin – Mount Saint Mary’s
3.98 – Darren Gallagher – Holy Cross
3.86 – Bob Winch – The Citadel
3.12 – Keith Coleman – Pacific
2.33 – Roberto Mazza – Louisiana-Monroe
2.07 – Abby Minihan – USC Upstate
0.56 – Rob Bielan – Saint Peter’s

N/A – N. Fabio Boateng – Mississippi Valley State
N/A – Andrew Fleming – Eastern Kentucky
N/A – Mandi Risden – NJIT
N/A – Jim Robbins – Long Island
N/A – Kerri Scroope – Delaware State

There Wasn’t Much Intrigue In The Offseason Coaching Carousel

Usually, you can sit back and reflect on a handful of puzzling coaching changes from the offseason gone by, but there’s really very little from this past Winter to question. Almost all of the managers that departed after 2015, be it by their own hand or by their superiors’, were under the magic 20.00 line. Of the pair just above that mark, it also wasn’t that hard to see why a change was made. Maryland’s Jonathan Morgan had started his tenure brightly with the Terps but had seen fortunes decline dramatically, with the club finishing rock bottom of the Big Ten this past season. Sue Ryan had been in her position for a long time and hadn’t really built on a recent NCAA Tournament appearance. Otherwise, the handful of highly ranked coaches left for bigger and better jobs or for family reasons. The notable exception might be Dean Joseph at Jackson State (who I didn’t even know had been replaced until recently), but trying to feel out motives for SWAC coaching changes is a tricky business.

Grand Canyon Made The Offseason’s Most Puzzling Move

You can’t fault Grand Canyon University for their ambition. The for-profit university has charged headfirst into Division I athletics with pretensions of being a major player, perhaps evidenced strongly by the presence of Schellas Hyndman as the men’s program’s head coach. But the Lopes appear to have bitten off more than they can chew by dispensing with long-time manager Stevie Gill after the 2015 season. In a dead end conference and not eligible for postseason play as they transition to full DI status, Gill had done an admirable job for GCU in the transition period. While the Lopes were tenuously linked with bigger names once the opening was revealed, few probably were expecting the new manager to be Georgia State’s Derek Leader. To put it bluntly, Leader did little of anything at Georgia State during his short tenure, finishing with a CoachRank of 13.60 in a league with modest competition. Leader looked closer to the hot seat than a move to another head coaching position, and given GCU’s quick hook of Gill last offseason, he will be under serious pressure to deliver quickly for the Lopes.
Continue reading

NCAA – 2016 CoachRank Adjusted Rankings – Trendwatch

The totals for CoachRank only tell part of the story. You can get a clearer view of the big picture by examining some of the trends associated with the individual season scores that are averaged together to get the total CoachRank score.

The following are some of those trends, sorted by conference. Note that only programs with coaches in place for at least three seasons are included in this.

“Going Up” = Teams whose Season Scores have gone up in successive years between 2013-2015.
“Going Down” = Teams whose Season Scores have gone down in successive years between 2013-2015.


GOING UP – Temple
GOING DOWN – East Carolina, SMU, Tulsa, UCF


GOING UP – Pittsburgh
GOING DOWN – Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, Wake Forest


GOING UP – Albany


GOING UP – George Washington, Saint Joseph’s
GOING DOWN – Saint Louis, UMass


GOING UP – Florida Gulf Coast, Lipscomb


GOING DOWN – Marquette


GOING UP – Sacramento State
GOING DOWN – Portland State


GOING DOWN – Radford, Winthrop


GOING UP – Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State
GOING DOWN – Indiana


GOING UP – Long Beach State
GOING DOWN – Cal Poly, Hawaii, UC Irvine

BIG 12

GOING DOWN – West Virginia

(Note: This one seems a bit absurd on its face, as WVU still performed outstandingly last season but came up short in the Big 12 Tournament, whereas they had won the competition in the two prior seasons, which explains much of the drop in season score for 2015.)


GOING UP – College of Charleston, Hofstra


GOING UP – Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, North Texas
GOING DOWN – Charlotte, Florida International, UAB, UTEP


GOING UP – Northern Kentucky


GOING UP – Cornell
Continue reading

NCAA – 2016 CoachRank by Conference + Value Above/Below Peers

This may be more useful for comparisons instead of the overall list. Additional material at the end of the post.


14 (NR). 65.10 – Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak – UCF
59 (-9). 38.01 – Denise Schilte-Brown – South Florida
65 (+28). 36.56 – Len Tsantiris – UConn
83 (-45). 32.70 – Brooks Monaghan – Memphis
99 (NR). 29.99 – Neil Stafford – Cincinnati
145 (-3). 19.34 – Rob Donnenwirth – East Carolina
147 (-2). 18.94 – Kyle Cussen – Tulsa
195 (-12). 9.07 – Chris Petrucelli – SMU
211 (NR). 5.40 – Seamus O’Connor – Temple
229 (-3). 1.82 – Chris Pfau – Houston


1 (-). 97.73 – Mark Krikorian – Florida State
3 (-). 84.36 – Steve Swanson – Virginia
12 (-5). 69.58 – Anson Dorrance – North Carolina
22 (+7). 52.98 – Robbie Church – Duke
23 (-1). 52.62 – Chugger Adair – Virginia Tech
57 (-34). 38.45 – Tony da Luz – Wake Forest
60 (-11). 37.99 – Alison Foley – Boston College
88 (+1). 32.08 – Karen Ferguson-Dayes – Louisville
119 (+37). 24.13 – Eddie Radwanski – Clemson
165 (-7). 15.78 – Phil Wheddon – Syracuse
212 (NR). 5.23 – Mary-Frances Monroe – Miami (FL)
220 (+3). 4.15 – Greg Miller – Pittsburgh
231 (NR). 1.06 – Tim Santoro – NC State

America East

54 (+21). 39.18 – John Natale – Hartford
84 (NR). 32.64 – Caitlin Cucchiella – Albany
102 (-30). 28.82 – Leslie Wray – UMBC
T154 (+8). 17.92 – Scott Atherley – Maine
183 (+18). 12.22 – Kristi Lefebvre – Vermont

Atlantic 10

16 (+1). 59.93 – Paul Royal – La Salle
27 (-13). 49.78 – Mike Tucker – Dayton
127 (NR). 23.15 – Lindsey Martin – VCU
139 (+31). 19.91 – Sarah Barnes – George Washington
143 (+71). 19.48 – Al Alvine – Duquesne
152 (+17). 18.35 – Jess Mannella – Saint Joseph’s
169 (-25). 14.90 – Ed Matz – UMass
176 (NR). 13.24 – Steve Brdarski – Saint Bonaventure
178 (NR). 12.82 – Katie Shields – Saint Louis
179 (-6). 12.79 – Peter Albright – Richmond
190 (-5). 10.49 – Greg Ashton – Davidson
204 (-14). 7.90 – Michael Needham – Rhode Island

Atlantic Sun

9 (-3). 70.73 – Jim Blankenship – Florida Gulf Coast
55 (-4). 38.78 – Brian Copham – Jacksonville
134 (+34). 20.81 – Kevin O’Brien – Lipscomb
T198 (NR). 8.76 – Manoj Khettry – Stetson

Big 12

8 (-4). 71.47 – Nikki Izzo-Brown – West Virginia
36 (+45). 46.58 – Tom Stone – Texas Tech
70 (+28). 35.93 – Paul Jobson – Baylor
76 (-7). 33.91 – Angela Kelly – Texas
86 (-58). 32.56 – Colin Carmichael – Oklahoma State
144 (+13). 19.44 – Mark Francis – Kansas
158 (+6). 17.60 – Matt Potter – Oklahoma
205 (-9). 7.56 – Eric Bell – TCU

Big East

17 (-6). 56.71 – Markus Roeders – Marquette
20 (-5). 53.71 – Dave Nolan – Georgetown
75 (+17). 34.16 – Erin Chastain – DePaul
95 (+44). 30.56 – Ian Stone – Saint John’s (NY)
115 (+20). 25.20 – Tari St. John – Butler
225 (-5). 3.33 – Woody Sherwood – Xavier
Continue reading

Spirit Finish Homestand on a High Note

Spirit forward Francisca Ordega is determined to fill the gap left by Crystal Dunn.

Spirit forward Francisca Ordega is determined to fill the gap left by Crystal Dunn.

After a strong 4-0-1 start, it’s been a question of which Washington Spirit team will show up: the one that shut down the Orlando Pride, or the one that gave up two goals to a struggling Sky Blue team? After two shaky performances, tonight it was the former, as Washington came out with energy and enthusiasm, scored an early goal, and put away the rival Chicago Red Stars, 2-0.

The win officially puts the Spirit in third place in the standings, but in terms of points earned per game played, they’re tops in the league.

The first goal came in the 20th minute, Christine Nairn feeding the ball to an onrushing Estefania Banini. Banini did a give-and-go with Francisca Ordega that got her to the left corner of the six-yard box, and she sent the ball just inside the right post from there. Meanwhile, despite being a little sloppy at times and turning the ball over, Washington was passing the ball around well.
Continue reading

NCAA – CoachRank 2016 – Full Adjusted Rankings – Top Three Unchanged, As FSU’s Krikorian #1 Again

Questions? Complaints? Again, read the FAQ.

Number in parentheses is the gain/decline in position ranking as compared to last year. Those without parentheses either did not change position or entered into the rankings this year having just completed three seasons with their current club.

1 (-). 97.73 – Mark Krikorian – Florida State
2 (-). 87.48 – Paul Ratcliffe – Stanford
3 (-). 84.36 – Steve Swanson – Virginia
4 (+6). 77.12 – Erica Dambach – Penn State
5 (-). 75.73 – G. Guerrieri – Texas A&M
6 (NR). 74.59 – Graham Winkworth – South Alabama
7 (+1). 71.70 – Becky Burleigh – Florida
8 (-4). 71.47 – Nikki Izzo-Brown – West Virginia
9 (-3). 70.73 – Jim Blankenship – Florida Gulf Coast
10 (NR). 70.51 – Amanda Cromwell – UCLA

11 (-2). 69.63 – Nancy Feldman – Boston University
12 (-5). 69.58 – Anson Dorrance – North Carolina
13 (-1). 67.41 – Jennifer Rockwood – BYU
14 (NR). 65.10 – Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak – UCF
15 (-2). 63.55 – Mike Friesen – San Diego State
16 (+1). 59.93 – Paul Royal – La Salle
17 (-6). 56.71 – Markus Roeders – Marquette
18 (-). 54.64 – Jerry Smith – Santa Clara
19 (-3). 54.33 – Julie Woodward – Seattle
20 (-5). 53.71 – Dave Nolan – Georgetown

21 (+22). 53.25 – John Hedlund – North Texas
22 (+7). 52.98 – Robbie Church – Duke
23 (-1). 52.62 – Chugger Adair – Virginia Tech
24 (+38). 50.64 – Andrew Burr – Furman
25 (+23). 49.98 – John Daly – William & Mary
26 (-6). 49.95 – Jeff Hooker – Denver
27 (-13). 49.78 – Mike Tucker – Dayton
28 (+17). 49.66 – Brent Anderson – Utah Valley
29 (+44). 49.15 – Demian Brown – Cal State Fullerton
30 (+5). 48.32 – Casey Wilson – Abilene Christian
Continue reading

Spirit Academy Down ASA Charge, 3-1

Annaugh Madsen defends against up-and-coming Charge forward Bridgette Andrzejewski. (Photo by Ken L. Harriford.)

Annaugh Madsen defends against up-and-coming Charge forward Bridgette Andrzejewski. (Photo by Ken L. Harriford.)

Both sides were shorthanded in this late-season, mid-week WPSL match. The Spirit Academy were missing eight players, including all their U-20 national teamers. One of their assistant coaches suited up and played at least a third of the game. The ASA Charge started the match with ten players (the eleventh got stuck in traffic and was taking her earrings off on the sideline), and that was with their operations manager’s teenage daughter playing forward.
Continue reading

Washington Spirit Farm Teams: Where Are They Now?

2015 USL W-League Champion Washington Spirit Reserves

2015 USL W-League Champion Washington Spirit Reserves

One year ago today – well, besides a certain team winning a world championship – the Washington Spirit Reserves and the Braddock Road Stars Elite (now the Washington Spirit Academy) faced each other close to full-strength. There were numerous players to watch on both rosters, so I made a record of the names and vowed to come back once a year to review where the players are now. So here’s the first entry:

Playing professionally in the NWSL: Caroline Casey (Sky Blue), Carson Pickett* (Seattle Reign).

Playing professionally overseas: Kara Wilson (Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki, Japan), Sarah Zadrazil (Turbine Potsdam, Germany), Amber Stobbs (Reading FC, England).
Continue reading

Late Goals in 2-0 Win over FC Kansas City Redeem Spirit Homestand

The Washington Spirit were 258 minutes into a 360-minute homestand. Given how rarely they lose at home, going into the series twelve standings points weren’t out of the question and any fewer than eight would be a serious disappointment.

This was also the first weekend without the Olympic-bound players, a period you would think the Spirit would be dominant given head coach Jim Gabarra’s claim that his team has the deepest bench in the league.

But here they were 78 minutes into a scoreless tie against a struggling FC Kansas City team likely ending up with a mere four points in three games with the toughest opponent yet to play.

Then came the 79th minute. Caprice Dydasco in only her second game of the season sent a long ball toward the right corner. Christine Nairn made a Matheson-esque run to get to the ball before it went out, then sent it to Dydasco near the top right corner of the box. She sent it into the box where Francisca Ordega tried a bicycle kick but went to the ground. The ball came to Joanna Lohman facing goal, but she tripped before she could do more than push the ball slightly toward goal. Kansas City’s Yael Averbuch tried to clear it but sent it right to Ordega, who quickly stepped to her right and sent it toward goal with her right foot, nutmegging a defender whose leg redirected it into the lower left corner, away from a lunging Nicole Barnhart.

It was a flukey goal, but it changed the complexion of the game, the homestand, and possibly the season.
Continue reading

Spirit Reserves Looking Like Champions Again

The reigning North American W-League champion Washington Spirit Reserves may sit atop the Colonial Division standings (at least once you adjust for number of games played), but they haven’t looked all that impressive doing it. The ASA Chesapeake Charge held them to a draw on their home field, and the Spirit Academy twice gave them all they could handle despite falling short. Their most lopsided match was 5-0 over the winless Virginia Beach City FC.

Tonight, though, they smacked down middle-of-the-table Fredericksburg FC, 6-0, and the game was all but decided short of the 20th minute.
Continue reading

Chris’ 2017 NWSL Draft Big Board Top 100 – Buchanan Tops Loaded Class

Positional Top Fives


1. Jane Campbell – Stanford
2. Kailen Sheridan – Clemson
3. Ashton McKeown – Long Beach State
4. Rachel Boaz – BYU
5. Diana Poulin – Saint John’s (NY)


1. Kadeisha Buchanan – West Virginia
2. Kayla Mills – USC
3. Maddie Bauer – Stanford
4. Rebecca Quinn – Duke
5. Christina Gibbons – Duke


1. Rose Lavelle – Wisconsin
2. Morgan Andrews – USC
3. Alexis Shaffer – Virginia
4. Ashley Lawrence – West Virginia
5. Nickolette Driesse – Penn State


1. Savannah Jordan – Florida
2. Rachel Hill – UConn
3. McKenzie Meehan – Boston College
4. Murielle Tiernan – Virginia Tech
5. Toni Payne – Duke

Overall Top 100

1. Kadeisha Buchanan – D (CB) – West Virginia

If there’s a can’t miss prospect in this loaded draft class, it feels like that’s Buchanan, who has already proven her bonafides at the highest level of play, most notably at the Women’s World Cup last Summer for Canada. Buchanan has already shown the potential to be one of her nation’s best ever and is already the rock at the heart of the defense despite still being just twenty years old. Big things had already been predicted for Buchanan upon her arrival at West Virginia before the 2013 season, and she more than lived up to those expectations, being named the Big 12 Defender of the Year and a second team All-American as a rookie. It’s been onward and upward ever since then for the Canadian, who has added two more Big 12 Defensive POTY awards and two more All-America nods. About the only thing missing from the shelf at an individual level for Buchanan is the Hermann Trophy, though that may be a bit harder to come by. You could make an argument that Buchanan is one of the finest defenders at collegiate level of the past decade, and she’s showed that form at international level as well, being named 2015 Women’s World Cup Best Young Player. Buchanan’s not a giant at center-back, but she is strong as an ox and quick as well, traits she’s displayed at all levels thus far. Some may wonder if Buchanan’s aggression may need to be tamped down a bit at professional level, but it’s probably not going to scare any suitors off come January’s draft. Center-backs aren’t popular picks at #1 at pro level, but if someone out there needs help on the backline, they’d be foolish to overlook Buchanan given her impressive body of work thus far.

2. Rose Lavelle – MF (AMC) – Wisconsin

On the precipice of a breakthrough at senior international level, Lavelle looks to be a dead certainty to be one of the top two picks in January’s draft, and could end up going #1 overall depending on team need. While Lavelle was a highly touted player coming into Wisconsin, few probably envisioned her rising to this level after four seasons in the college ranks. But Lavelle was an instant star for the Badgers, winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors and raking in awards by the bucketful since at an individual level, including a pair of All-America honors her past two seasons in Madison. Some might argue that Lavelle’s high volume shooting can be problematic at times, but given the dearth of weapons around Lavelle at times, it’s a lot more understandable. That was largely the case last year, when Lavelle notched a career high in goals with seven and a career low in assists with three as her teammates collectively couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. Lavelle impresses just as much with her ability to keep the game simple with short passes as she does with her runs with the ball from midfield. It’s those runs with the ball at warp speed that captivate the eye and make the quick footed Lavelle such a threat to opposing defenses. It’s highly unlikely that a player of even Lavelle’s calibre will be able to carry the likes of Wisconsin to the College Cup this season, but she’ll still likely be a joy to watch as she tries her hardest to defy those odds. But most are probably starving for the opportunity to see Lavelle in an offense with superior players to see what the midfield schemer can really do.

3. Savannah Jordan – F (CF) – Florida

The active scoring leader in DI going into 2016 has been an unholy terror with the ball at her feet for three seasons for the Gators. Jordan made the best first impression possible as a freshman, scoring twenty-two goals for Florida, one of the best hauls in history at this level for a rookie. It’s been a steady deluge of goals ever since for Jordan, who topped nineteen goals as a sophomore with last season’s twenty-four goals and seven assists. On an analytics basis, Jordan’s numbers last season were astonishing, with the Florida forward needing just 4.96 shots per goal and putting over 55% of those shots on target. Eleven goals against RPI Top 50 teams and fourteen against RPI Top 100 teams were both #1 in the nation. While Jordan’s not lightning quick, she has enough of a burst and accompanying strength to separate from most opposing defenders. And if Jordan gets a sight of goal within eighteen yards, it’s almost assured that she’s going to be celebrating a goal. If the team that drafts her doesn’t try to get cute and do something daft like put her out on the wing, Jordan is going to be a dangerous scoring presence at the next level for years to come.

4. Rachel Hill – F (CF) – UConn

With UConn no longer being a giant in the sport, there’s perhaps a sense that Hill is being overlooked going into the final season of an otherwise glittering collegiate career. A salve for an offense that had been struggling for a true star for years, Hill has been one of the nation’s most lethal strikers for three seasons now and should continue to obliterate defenses as a senior in 2016. Hill announced her presence on the national scene with thirteen goals as a rookie, using that season as a springboard to making the U.S. U20 team at the 2014 U20 World Cup. That didn’t exactly work out that well, but Hill brutalized collegiate defenses for sixteen goals upon her return. She hit that total once more as a junior, though her shots per goal mark was a little bit worse, having needed eighty-eight shots for that return. Hill put 60.2% of her shots on frame though, a staggering number, even for a player of her calibre. Hill’s eleven goals against RPI Top 100 teams is second best in this class, with the forward having also netted six against RPI Top 50 teams in 2015. The Huskies could be a dark horse to get to Cary and the College Cup considering their firepower this season, and Hill could find herself as a Hermann Trophy contender if they get there. Regardless, Hill is one of this class’ elite players and should be gone by the end of the first round.

5. Kayla Mills – D (RB, LB) – USC

I’d make an argument that Mills might be the best full-back prospect to come out of the college ranks in the NWSL era. The Trojan defender was recruited as an attacker before being converted to a full-back and has taken to the role exceedingly well, winning second team All-America honors as well as Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, a big accomplishment considering the level of defensive talent in the league. Mills more than earned it, terrorizing teams from her right-back position as she tied for the team lead with six assists while also scoring twice. Mills wasn’t afraid to let fly, shooting forty-eight times on the year, though it’s safe to say she won’t be that involved in front of goal as a professional if she stays at full-back. Considering Mills scored four times and had seven assists in a more offensive role as a rookie, a pro role at wide defender isn’t set in stone, though given her effectiveness at right-back for USC, it’s hard to see why she should move back into the attack unless it’s in a super sub role. Mills’ thunderous forays up the flank have been commonplace in L.A. the past few seasons and should have her on the radar for the USWNT sooner rather than later. As a senior on one of the nation’s best defenses this upcoming season, Mills could lock in a spot in the first round of the 2017 draft with a big campaign.
Continue reading