Bradley Becomes First Soccer Coach To Earn The Honor;
Five Coaches Recognized For Achievements in 2009
CHICAGO (March 24, 2010) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has been named 2009 National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Bradley, who led his squad to a first-place finish in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying and second place finishes at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, becomes the first soccer coach to earn the honor since the initiation of the award in 1996.
"I am honored to accept this award on behalf of our team as recognition for their outstanding performance in 2009," said Bradley. "Qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and reaching the finals of two major international tournaments were certainly important achievements, and represent the collective effort of this group for the past three years. We often speak of the honor and privilege of representing your country, and we take great pride in trying to live up to that responsibility. Thanks to the United States Olympic Committee and its members for this award."
Award winners were chosen by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals after U.S. Olympic and Pan American sports organizations nominated their coaches. The Award is part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program.
Also being honored are Paralympic Coach of the Year Scott Moore (judo; Aurora, Colo.); Developmental Coach of the Year John Wingfield (diving; Indianapolis, Ind.); Volunteer Coach of the Year Brian McCutcheon (taekwondo; Kaneohe, Hawaii); and Heidi Thibert (figure skating; Fort Collins, Colo.) was selected as the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award honoree.
Having accumulated the best winning percentage of any U.S. coach all-time, Bradley has marshaled the team to other significant milestones. In 2009, perhaps the most successful year in team history, he led the team to a first place finish in the final round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In between, Bradley guided the U.S. team to its first-ever final in a FIFA tournament after the U.S. upset No. 1-ranked Spain in the semifinals of the FIFA Confederations Cup, marking the first victory for the U.S. against a world number one. Pushing five-time World Champions Brazil to the brink in the final, the world acknowledged with respect the performance of the increasingly sophisticated American team. Less than a week later and with nearly an entirely new group, the New Jersey native banded together a team that reached a second consecutive final, this time in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Bradley became head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team after nine seasons as a head coach in Major League Soccer, having accumulated the most victories of any coach in league history at the time he joined U.S. Soccer. The first two-time Coach of the Year winner in MLS history and first to record 100 wins, Bradley brought his teams to the playoffs in each of his first nine seasons as a head coach. The first coach to lead an expansion team to a league championship title in their debut season, his Chicago Fire claimed MLS Cup in 1998. That same year, Bradley guided the Fire to their first U.S. Open Cup crown while earning the first of his Coach of the Year titles. Bradley won his second U.S. Open Cup title with Chicago in 2000. He also served as an assistant coach during the 1996 Olympics in the United States.
USOC NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
(Olympic/Pan American Games sport)
1996 Tara VanDerveer, U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Coach
1997 Frank Carroll, Olympic Figure Skating Coach, Coach of Michelle Kwan
1998 Ben Smith, U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Coach
1999 Chris Carmichael, Cycling Coach, Coach of Lance Armstrong
2000 Richard Quick, U.S. Olympic Women's Swimming Coach
2001/02 Pete del'Giudice, U.S. National Freestyle Team Coach (Snowboard)
2003 Lloyd Woodhouse, USA Shooting National Team Coach
2004 Mike Candrea, USA Softball Women's National Team Coach
2005 Eddie Reese, USA Swimming Men's National Team Coach
2006 Bud Keene, U.S. Ski & Snowboard National Team Coach
2007 Guy Baker, USA Water Polo National Team Coach
2008 Hugh McCutcheon, USA Men's Volleyball National Team Coach
2009 Bob Bradley, U.S. Men's National Soccer Team Coach