Seamus McFadden to step down after 2017 season
The fleeting nature of careers in sports inevitably leads to a moment that most coaches and players hope comes later rather than sooner: retirement.
On Wed. March 15, a press conference was held in the Jenny Craig Pavilion to announce the future of University of San Diego men’s soccer head coach Seamus McFadden. At this conference, athletic director Bill McGillis revealed that McFadden will step down as head coach, effective on Jan. 1, 2018. The 2017 season will be the longtime coach’s last patrolling the Torero Stadium sideline. Brian Quinn, the current associate head coach, will take the reins from McFadden upon his retirement.
McFadden is the first and only person to coach the Toreros’ men’s soccer program. Since starting his USD career in 1979, McFadden has amassed 377 wins and led USD to nine West Coast Conference championships.
During this time he also oversaw the careers of eight All-American players and coached in 14 NCAA Tournaments.
His 377 victories rank eighth among active NCAA coaches and 22nd on the all-time leaderboard.
McGillis began the press conference by noting the incredible impact that McFadden has had on Torero soccer.
“When Seamus leaves this program as our head coach, he is going to be leaving an amazing legacy,” McGillis said. “He is USD soccer. I know the next nine months [are] going to be one big love fest for Seamus.”
This love fest will include a Seamus McFadden night on Oct. 22, when the Toreros host the UCLA Bruins, where McFadden will be honored with a pregame ceremony. When he stepped to the podium to address the group of media members, USD athletic staff, and past and current players that had gathered in the JCP, McFadden was noticeably emotional.
He reflected on his 39-year career, in which he was able to coach his son Conor and lead a team to the 1992 national championship game, as well as the 2012 Elite Eight.
“Many good friends have asked me, ‘Why not go to 40 [years]?’” McFadden said. “And the simple truth is I just don’t want to. I’m ready to hand it over, and I think Brian is an outstanding coach. It’s time for a new face to put on the program, and I think Brian will be outstanding in that role. It’s been a great run.”
McFadden also told those in attendance that he would not be leaving the program entirely. He plans on becoming part of USD’s bench on gamedays, a job that he said he jokingly hoped can make him the most inconspicuous assistant coach in the nation.
The Donegal, Ireland native mentioned that his mother would always remind him that nothing is forever. McFadden’s coaching career had to come to an end some day, but the memories and legacy he leaves behind will not soon be forgotten.
Although his coaching accolades are certainly notable in their own right, McFadden said he was most prideful of his team’s off the field accomplishments.
During the press conference, he pointed out that five members of his 1992 Final Four team went on to become medical doctors.
“I am most proud of our graduation rate,” McFadden said. “I’ve tried to keep an eye on what is important. Soccer is really the side component. I surround myself with great people.”
One of these great people is Quinn, who will soon be the new head honcho for one of the West Coast’s most successful collegiate soccer programs. Quinn has been part of the USD coaching staff for the last 10 years and is also a native of Ireland like McFadden.
In addition to sharing a homeland, both Quinn and McFadden have a penchant for showing their humorous sides. Quinn began his comments by stating that he plans on coaching until he’s 96 years old to match the amount of time McFadden spent at the helm.
“It’s the right time for me, it’s the right university, it’s the right city,” Quinn said. “I’ve lived here since 1983, [and] I enjoy it as much today as I did when I first stayed in San Diego. I enjoy this university, I enjoy the people involved. It’s going to be a fabulous transition, and I look forward to the future.”
McFadden is undoubtedly the brightest star to ever shine in the USD soccer galaxy. His replacement, however, seems poised to lead the Toreros to many new frontiers.
Written by Matthew Roberson, Sports Editor