University of Delaware Menís Soccer Head Coach Ian Hennessy Agrees to Five-Year Contract Extension
"We are thrilled to announce this five-year extension for Ian that demonstrates our commitment to his leadership of our men's soccer program,” said Ziady. “We were all excited by the on-field and off-field successes of our team this past fall. We are proud that Ian, his staff, and our group of student-athletes represent the University and all of Delaware Athletics in such a positive fashion. Together, Ian and I have great goals for our soccer program on a national level and I look forward to partnering with him and his staff in the pursuit of these goals in the years ahead."
Hennessy completed his eighth season at the helm this past fall and led Delaware to one of its finest seasons in school history as the Blue Hens set a school record for wins in a season while going 14-5-1 and earning an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. For his efforts, he was named the South Atlantic Region Head Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
"It wasn't long after I arrived that our president, Pat Harker, presented to the UD community his vision for the University through his Path to Prominence initiatives,” said Hennessy. “It always struck a chord with me because in listening to him, I realized, as a citizen of this great University, I had my own part to play. My role would not be as lofty but the path's principles are shared, and in my small corner of the UD athletics department, I think just as important. Our program is still a work in progress but we are certainly making positive and measurable strides both on and off the soccer playing field. To be given more time to continue onward on our unique path, as part of the greater plan, is a great confidence boost for all of my staff and players alike. I am extremely thankful to Eric."
In addition to setting a school record for wins and best overall winning percentage in a season, the 2013 squad also established program standards for goals scored (45), assists (42), and corner kicks (144) in a single season. The Blue Hens finished the 2013 season ranked second in NCAA Division I in scoring offense, averaging 2.25 goals per game. Delaware received votes in the national NSCAA and College Soccer rankings throughout most of the season and recorded two Top 25 victories, downing then No. 8 UMBC and then No. 21 William & Mary during the month of October.
The Hens posted a 4-3 record in Colonial Athletic Association play to earn the No. 4 seed in one of the nation’s most competitive conferences, but dropped a heart-breaking decision to top seed Drexel on penalty kicks in the tournament semifinals. Delaware still earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and hosted a first round game for the first time in 40 years before dropping another heartbreaker, this time a 2-1 overtime setback to St. John’s before an overflow crowd of 1,123 at the Delaware Mini-Stadium.
Hennessy also guided a Delaware program-best eight student-athletes who earned a total of nine All-CAA postseason awards, including CAA Rookie of the Year Guillermo Delgado. Delgado, along with junior goalkeeper Borja Barbero, earned All-CAA first team honors while junior Roberto Giménez and senior Vincent Mediate earned All-CAA second team accolades. Junior defender Ignacio Martín represented Delaware on the All-CAA third team and Delgado, Jaime Martinez, and Ben Sampson were All-CAA Rookie Team selections. Delgado earned second team NSCAA All-American honors and was joined on the All-NSCAA South Atlantic Region team by Barbero, Mediate, and Martin.
In addition to the on-field success, two Delaware players, Sampson and Luke Oostdyk, were selected to the prestigious College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) District 2 All-Academic team. Of the 27 team members, an impressive total of 15 student-athletes currently carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Just two years earlier in 2011, Hennessy led the Blue Hens to their finest season in school history up to that point. Delaware set a school record for wins in a season with a 13-6-4 mark, captured its first-ever Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1970. The Hens knocked off 2009 national champion Virginia 1-0 in overtime in the NCAA opening round and gave eventual national semifinalist UCLA all it could handle before falling 1-0 in the second round.
Following their remarkable season, the Blue Hens were selected the 2011 Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association Delaware Team of the Year. Evans Frimpong was named a second team NSCAA All-American, was a first team All-South Region pick, was selected as the CAA Player of the Year, and was chosen in the third round by the Chicago Fire in the MLS Draft. Giménez was a second team All-South Region selection and earned CAA Rookie of the Year honors as well.
The season before, in 2010, Hennessy guided Delaware to a 6-9-3 overall record but more importantly to a 5-4-2 mark in CAA play that qualified the team for the conference tournament for the first time since 1996.
A native of Cork, Ireland, Hennessy earned his bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University in 1990 and earned his doctorate in molecular biology from Columbia University in 2001. He was a 1987 All-American soccer player at Seton Hall and was named to the school’s athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
Following a 12-year professional playing career, Hennessy coached in the Premier Developmental League and United Soccer League before serving as an assistant coach at Rutgers University and Boston College.
Hennessy and his wife, Danielle, have two daughters, Mackenzie and Kyra.