BU women’s soccer head coach Nancy Feldman announces retirement
BOSTON- After 27 seasons as one of the most decorated head coaches in Boston University Athletics and women’s college soccer history, Head Coach Nancy Feldman has announced her resignation. Feldman will continue in her duties until the end of the spring semester.
“I feel so lucky to have dedicated the last 27 years to being the head coach of women’s soccer at Boston University,” Feldman said. “Although retiring from coaching is a difficult decision, I feel fulfilled and satisfied with what this program has achieved. I know the future is bright for BU Women’s Soccer, based on the returning students and Boston University’s outstanding athletic and academic prestige to continue recruiting the best prospects in the country.
“I am incredibly grateful to the late Gary Stickler and my dear friend Averill Haines, who were the BU’s athletic administrators in 1995, who have chosen to hire a young and untried Division I coach. And the support that Steve Bamford, my athletic director, at Plymouth State College gave me the opportunity to apply and eventually take the job. These mentors gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to start a program from scratch with all the resources needed to build a successful program.
“Mike Lynch, then and now Drawn MarrochelloBoston University’s current Director of Athletics, has continued to give me and BU Women’s Soccer full support, allowing us to be recognized at conference, regional and national levels as a program with a successful heritage.
“I have been surrounded by great administrative and coaching colleagues over the last 27 years. I will sorely miss the camaraderie and friendships I drew on. There isn’t a more caring or generous group of professionals in a collegiate athletic department in the country. “
As the sole head coach since the Terriers became a varsity program in 1995, Feldman has developed BU into a premier women’s soccer powerhouse at the conference and national levels. The Terriers have won 13 conference tournament titles and 14 regular-season championships in the America East and Patriot Leagues under Feldman’s stewardship. She has led BU to 14 NCAA tournament selections, winning five games.
At BU, Feldman has a record of 326-169-54 and has won over 64 percent of her matches. Including her seven seasons at Lake Forest and Plymouth St. before joining Commonwealth Avenue, Feldman has 418 victories as a head coach, ranking 22nd all-time for women’s soccer head coaches in NCAA history. She is the 13th all-time as the head coach of women’s soccer with more than 10 seasons at a Division I institution.
“One of the greatest coaching careers in college football has come to an end and words really cannot describe what Nancy meant to BU and all the women who were lucky enough to call her ‘Coach,'” Marrochello said. “Nancy has set a high standard of excellence with a hallmark of incredible consistency, and is passionate about her team and their growth each fall. All the numbers and records speak for themselves and most importantly she has built leaders and lifelong connections decade after decade.
“It has been a privilege to work with Nancy – she has been not only a valued colleague but also a friend and mentor to many. Everyone associated with our department owes a debt of gratitude to Nancy and her legacy as she simply made us better. We all congratulate Nancy on her retirement and thank her for all she has given to BU.”
In 2014, United States today named Boston University the third best Division I women’s soccer program in the United States based on team success, overall school quality, and student-athletes academic performance.
Feldman won 12 Conference Coach of the Year Awards, was named National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Regional Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2013, and was selected as a Division I Coach of the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Soccer Association (NEWISA) in 1997 .
Under her leadership, 149 Terriers received All-Conference honors, including 25 All-Rookie selections, 11 Defensive Player of the Year, seven Midfielder of the Year, six Offensive Player of the Year, and six Goaltender of the Year.
In his first collegiate campaign under Feldman, BU went 10-3-2 to start a streak of seven straight seasons with 10 or more wins. The Terriers joined the America East the following season and won their first conference title in 2000 thanks to a perfect 9-0 league record. In the first round of the NCAA tournament, BU defeated Holy Cross 1-0 for their first win of the postseason.
BU won a total of nine America East titles with Feldman at the helm, including five straight from 2007 to 2011. The Terriers maintained their dominance after moving to the Patriot League in 2013 and in their first three seasons in the PL and had won the conference championship in their fourth in 2018.
Feldman oversaw the development of several terriers that reached the professional ranks. All-time leading scorer Deidre Enos ’01 was drafted in the 2001 Supplemental Draft of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL) and the Santa Clarita Blue Heat of the W-League.
The 2010 draft WPSL featured Class of 2009 graduates Mara Osher and Casey Brown as the seventh sixth-round pick for the Washington Freedom and fifth seventh-round pick for the Boston Breakers, respectively.
In the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), three-time All-Patriot League selection Anna Heilferty, ’20, became the first terrier drafted to the NWSL when the 2021 Washington Spirit picked her 19th overall. Kylie Strom, ’14 currently plays for the Orlando Pride, while Class of 2016 graduates Clare Pleuler and McKenzie Hollenbaugh have appeared in training camps across the league.
Nationally, Feldman coached eight NSCAA All-Americans, highlighted by Enos’ first-team selection in 2000. Sixty Terriers earned recognition from the NSCAA and United Soccer coaches in all regions.
“The legacy I hope to leave behind is one where individual growth and development was a key tenant coupled with an environment where teammates committed to one another,” Feldman said. “Building genuine relationships, competing for and with each other to achieve the goals of our program, and experiencing the joy and satisfaction of playing the game of football we love were the results I aspired to.
“Strength and conditioning, assistant head coaches, assistant and volunteer coaches, along with athletic trainers, equipment managers, facilities staff, academic support and sports information staff with whom I have had the privilege of working have been the most dedicated and loyal comrades I could ever hope to have. Your efforts behind the scenes are a key reason why we have been able to achieve so much. They played a significant role in the individual growth, development, experience and well-being of our student-athletes.
“I owe a great debt of gratitude to the current students and graduates of the BU women’s football program. For having the honor of coaching you. For your confidence in the process and your full commitment to the team and the program. For being there and giving us your best.”
Feldman’s influence has expanded beyond BU’s women’s soccer program to include Boston University and the city of Boston. Feldman has helped run BU’s summer camp soccer program for Boston children and has served on the board of directors of City Kicks, an organization that provides soccer programs along with academic support for middle school students.
On December 11, 2018, former Boston City Mayor Marty Walsh declared the day coach Nancy Feldman Day, in recognition of their services to the university and the city. Feldman also received an honorary Scarlet Key from Boston University at the end of the 2008-09 academic year, which recognizes a faculty or staff member who has positively impacted student life and is one of BU’s highest academic awards.
Feldman has been a member of United Soccer Coaches since 1985 and has chaired numerous United Soccer Coaches committees to support the organization’s annual convention, regional and national awards and ranking initiatives, and to shine a spotlight on the collegiate soccer landscape. In 2010 she received the Mike Berticelli Excellence in Coaching Education Award.
United Soccer Coaches honored Feldman with their 2017 Long-Term Service Award. The award, now known as the Bill Jeffrey College Long-Term Service Award, goes to an individual who has taken college football to new heights through their long-term commitment to the game.
A year later, Feldman received the United Soccer Coaches Women’s Soccer Award of Excellence. In coordination with the Women’s Soccer Advocacy Group and WAGS (Women and Girls in Soccer), the award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to women’s soccer on behalf of the association and the sport in the United States.
BU Athletics will begin the national search for Feldman’s replacement immediately.