Husky coach Dean Wurzberger resigned on Dec. 12, 2010 after 19 years at UW with a 220-112-41 record. The 2004 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year and the all-time winningest coach in program history, Wurzberger spent nearly two decades building the Husky program into one of the nation's finest, fielding teams that annually compete for conference and national championships.
Under his tutelage, the Huskies reached the NCAA Tournament 11 times in the last 15 years, including back-to-back second round appearances in 2006 and 2007, as well as a school-record Sweet 16 trip in 2003. UW was one of only seven schools in the country to make seven-straight NCAA trips from 1995-2001. His 2000 team won the inaugural Pac-10 Conference championship, on the heels of two consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles. After reaching the 200-career win milestone in 2007, Wurzberger became the first Husky coach to collect 200 victories at Washington in 2008. His consistency was amazing, as his teams average more than 11 wins a year against just more than five losses and two ties per season.
In 2004, Wurzberger - the longest tenured Pac-10 head coach at the time he resigned - was named Co-Pac-10 Coach of the Year for guiding UW to a second-place tie in the conference standings. His 2000 squad tore through the initial season of Pac-10 play, posting an undefeated record on the road, recording upsets at perennial powers Stanford and UCLA. In 1996 and 1998, he was named the NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year, and he was the MPSF Mountain Division Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1999. He also was MPSF Coach of the Year in 1998. His MPSF record of 43-6-6 (.836) was the best in the Mountain Division since its inception in 1992.
Wurzberger developed players who are successful at the college level and beyond, both on the field and in the classroom. As of 2010, six former Huskies were playing in MLS, including 2009 first-round draft pick George John who was a starting defender with FC Dallas. For good measure, 15 of the 16 former Huskies to go on to play in the MLS were coached by Wurzberger.
The Huskies had two consecutive Pac-10 Players of the Year in Ely Allen (2007) and Kevin Forrest (2006), while seven of UW's eight NSCAA All-Americans were been mentored by Wurzberger including two-time first-team honoree C.J. Klaas.
On the academic side, Bryn Ritchie was named 2001 NSCAA National Scholar-Athlete of the Year and John earned NSCAA Scholar Athlete All-American acclaim in 2007 and '08. In 2009, senior Rylan Hawkins was named the Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year along with earning Academic All-America honors. Brent Richards was named a Third-Team Academic All-American in 2010 while Richards and Jamie Finch were named First-Team Academic All-Region. During Wurzberger's tenure, 38 different Huskies earned Pac-10 academic recognition in his last 11 seasons.
Wurzberger's 2010 squad had its best season since 2006, finishing with an 11-6-1 overall record and third in the Pac-10 with a 5-5 mark. The Huskies just missed out on an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. One of the highlights on the year was a 4-1 upset over then-ranked No. 15 Portland at Merlo Field. Eight Huskies earned Academic All-Pac-10 Honors and Jamie Finch and Richards were named Academic All-District VII. Richards was a Third-Team Academic All-American. Five Huskies earned All-Pac-10 honors, led by Richards and Matt Van Houten on the First-Team.
2009 was a rebuilding year in 2009 after an injury-riddled 2008 season saw the team slip after two-straight NCAA Tournament second round appearances.
The 2008 featured two talented Husky stars in Raphael Cox and George John leading the team to a 5-3-1 non-conference record before John suffered a knee injury and missed a bulk of the conference campaign. Freshmen Brent Richards and Dylan Tucker-Gangnes each stepped up in his absence, with Richards going on to lead the team in goals while Tucker-Gangnes tied for the team lead in assists, but it was not enough to overcome the loss of their superstar. Cox joined John as All-Pac-10 First Team honorees while John was also named All-West Region.
The 2007 season saw UW earn a postseason bid despite battling injuries to key players all season long. In spite of the adversity, the Huskies defeated rival Portland, 1-0, in the NCAA first round before falling at defending champion UC Santa Barbara, 1-0, in the second round. Allen, scoring a career-high 12 goals, became the second-straight Husky tabbed Pac-10 Player of the Year and was joined by John on the All-Pac-10 first-team. Both players earned NSCAA All-Region acclaim.
The 2006 campaign marked a breakout year for Forrest, who tallied 16 goals and took home Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. Backed by one of the top frontlines in the country, the Huskies jumped out to a school-best 8-0-0 start and a No. 4 national ranking before finishing the year with a 3-0 upset of Creighton in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament and a second round overtime loss at Santa Clara. Senior defender Ty Harden culminated his stellar career by earning third-team NSCAA All-America honors.
In 2005, the Huskies racked up a 10-win season that included a hot 6-1 start, but came just shy of notching an NCAA Tourney berth. Bright spots included the play of senior Mike Chabala, who earned NSCAA Third-Team All-America status and First-Team All-Region acclaim. Harden was a First-Team All-Pac-10 honoree and senior goalkeeper Chris Eylander was an Academic All-American for the second-straight season.
The 2004 season saw UW continue to attain success despite a season-ending NCAA First Round loss to Portland at home. Klaas, the 2004 Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year, became UW's first-ever two-time NSCAA First-Team All-American and the first player in Pac-10 history to earn four straight nods to the all-conference team. Rookie phenom Allen earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year acclaim as well.
In 2003, the Huskies jumped out to a 7-0-1 start and ended on a strong note, tying for third in the Pac-10 and earning an NCAA First-Round bye. Washington secured its first-ever NCAA second round win over Portland at home before falling to No. 4 Saint Louis on the road in the Sweet 16.
The 2002 season was quite uncharacteristic of the Huskies' traditional success. UW finished fifth in the Pac-10 with a 3-7 conference record, while its 6-10-3 overall record marked the first non-winning season for the Huskies since 1991. Klaas was a First-Team All-Pac-10 and NSCAA All-Far West Region selection.
In 2001, the Huskies finished the season with a record of 13-6-0, earned a first round bye and the chance to host in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies met Northwest neighbor Portland for the second time that season and suffered a 1-0 setback to end the year. Eight Huskies received Pac-10 recognition, highlighted by C.J. Klaas's selection as Freshman of the Year.
In 2000, Washington rebounded from an 0-2 start to win eight of its next nine games, including four shutouts. The Huskies took Alabama-Birmingham to four overtimes to win its NCAA First Round game before meeting an old nemesis, Indiana, and were knocked out by the eventual Final Four participant.
Wurzberger's 1999 squad finished with a 10-game winning streak before being knocked out of the NCAA Second Round by eventual national champion, Indiana. UW repeated as MPSF Champion after securing its second Mountain Division title with an undefeated mark. Wurzberger was named MPSF Mountain Division Coach of the Year as the squad finished at 15-5-2. He also passed Mike Ryan to become Washington's winningest coach ever.
In 1998 Husky soccer won its second MPSF title with an 8-1 mark. The 16 victories, against just four losses, was the most for a UW team since 1982, and the squad upped the school record for consecutive NCAA appearances to four. Eight players, along with Wurzberger, earned MPSF postseason honors.
The 1997 squad was the first in program history to advance to the NCAA tournament three-straight years. The Huskies' overall mark of 15-3-2 was their second-straight 15-win season. UW finished the season with a seven-game winning streak, snapped only by an NCAA Second Round loss to eventual national champion, UCLA.
In 1996, Washington finished with a 15-3-1 record, the program's best in 13 years. The Huskies entered the 32-team NCAA Championship as the No. 1 seed, and during the season UW was ranked as high as No. 2 in the Soccer America poll. Both were program records. Wurzberger's 1995 team suffered defeat just once in the final 11 regular season games and outscored its opponents 48-24.
In 1992, his first year at UW, Wurzberger led the Huskies to their best season to that point, capped by an appearance and win in the NCAA tournament when Washington beat Portland for the school's first-ever NCAA playoff victory. UW finished the regular season with a 15-2-2 record, which earned it a final ISAA ranking of No. 1 in the West and No. 4 in the nation. That team also entered the record books as the first to win the prestigious MPSF championship. For his efforts, Wurzberger was named the MPSF Mountain Division and NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year.
Wurzberger, the Huskies' first-ever full-time head coach, came to Seattle after serving as an assistant coach at consistent national power Santa Clara. In his only season at SCU, the Broncos posted a 20-1-2 record, held the No. 1 ranking for much of the season, and finished the year losing in the NCAA championship match on penalty shots to Virginia.
Prior to his brief stint with Santa Clara, Wurzberger was head coach of the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks of the American Professional Soccer League. From 1989-90, with Wurzberger at the helm, the Blackhawks compiled the league's best record at 28-15, won the Northern Division both seasons, and won the Western Conference championship.
That year, five members of the Blackhawks made appearances on the United States World Cup team: Marcelo Balboa, Troy Dayak, John Doyle, Dominic Kinnear and Eric Wynalda. In fact, between his coaching at UCLA, for the Blackhawks and with the World University Games team, Wurzberger coached seven members of the USA `94 World Cup team: Balboa, Mike Burns, Paul Caligiuri, Cobi Jones, Mike Lapper, Claudio Reyna and Wynalda.
Before taking over the Blackhawks, Wurzberger was an assistant at UCLA from 1986-88. While there, he helped guide the Bruins to a 43-13-10 record and three-straight NCAA tournament appearances. He went to Los Angeles from Sacramento State, where he directed the Hornets to an 8-8-5 record in his head coaching debut in 1985.
Wurzberger became the first American to receive the Scottish Football Association "A" license coaching certificate in 1987. He also recently earned his UEFA "A" Coaching license, the highest coaching qualification in European soccer.
In 1992, he was an assistant for the U.S. World University Games team, which competed in Buffalo, N.Y. He worked for the U.S. Soccer Federation at the USA `94 World Cup as a technical analyst and was the head coach of the 1995 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival West team. He also serves as a staff instructor for the U.S. Soccer Federation.
In the summer of 1998, Wurzberger was named the head coach of the boys Under-16 national team, and during the summer of 1997 he served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Soccer Under-18 national team.
Wurzberger played collegiate soccer at San Diego State, where he earned four letters from 1971 to 1974. He was a three-time all-conference player and the team's MVP and captain in 1974. Following college, he played three seasons (1975-77) with the Seattle Sounders of the NASL and for the California Sunshine of the American Soccer League from 1977 to 1979.
Wurzberger earned his bachelor's (1982) and master's degrees (1985) in physical education from Sacramento State. He and his wife, Leslie, are the parents of two daughters, Whitney and Avery.
Wurzberger news and features:
Q & A With Men's Soccer Coach Dean Wurzberger - Gohuskies.com (Sept. 1, 2005)
Klaas, Wurzberger help UW sweep Pac-10 awards; H.S. signings announced - Seattle Times (Nov. 14, 2004)
Q&A with Coach Dean Wurzberger - Gohuskies.com (Sept. 9, 2004)