Dan Stratford was named West Virginia University’s 10th men’s soccer head coach at the beginning of 2020. It all came for circle for Stratford.
Stratford played soccer for the WVU from 2004-07, he then served as an assistant coach for the Mountaineers from 2011-13.
During Stratford’s time playing for the Mountaineers, he was one of the best players in the program history. Finishing No. 1 in WVU history in matches in a season (23) and career (85), as well as No. 1 in career game-winning assists (13) and game-winning points (31). On top of that, he’s also No. 2 in school history in career assists (27), shots on goal (86), and multi-assist games (4), No. 3 in matches started (79), No. 4 in game-winning goals (9), and finally No. 9 in career points.
Stratford led his team to a four-year mark of 54-24-8 with three NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2006 Big East regular-season championship as a player. The Mountaineers reached the NCAA Sweet 16 for the very first time in the men’s soccer history during Stratford’s senior year in 2007.
Stratford then moved south of Morgantown to be the head coach of the University of Charleston from 2017-19.
In 2017-19 the London, England, native was awarded the Moutain East Conference (MEC) Coach of the year for all sports. During that time he was also named a two-time United Soccer Coaches Division ll Coaching Staff of the year.
He then led UC to a pair of Division ll National Championships and ended with a record of 61-4-5. Stratford led the Golden Eagles to win three conference regular-season championships and two additional conference tournament titles in his three years as head coach.
In 2018, the UC men’s soccer team went undefeated in the regular season, finishing with an 18-1-2 record. The Golden Eagles finished their last season under Stratfords coaching in 2019 with a 22-2-1 record.
2020-21 was Stratford’s first season as being the Mountaineers head coach. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their campaign was canceled resulting in a 10-game period. WVU finished the year with a record of 6-3-1 while struggling through the cancelations. The team also received a final record of 4-3-1 in the Mid-American Conference.
Stratford led the Mountaineers to the eventful win over National Champions, Marshall, with a 1-0 record, on March 24, in Morgantown W.Va.
A total of five Mountaineers earned a spot on the All-MAC Team following the season. As for others, they earned first-team honors and second-team distinction.
In the classroom, nine of Stratford’s WVU soccer players were featured on the Academic ALL-MAC Team. Kevin Morris for example went on to become a CoSIDA Academic All-American First team selection.
As for this season as being WVU men’s soccer head coach, Stratford is having an incredible season. His team is currently 4-0-1, their only tie game being against Loyola.
Stratford has quickly changed the culture of the men’s soccer program to where they are here to compete for championships.
“The only thing that impacts wins or losses is the confidence of the guys,” Stratford said. “We aspire to be a top-10 team so we know we’ve got a lot we need to improve upon.”
Moving further into this year’s season, the Mountaineers are looking to continue their consistency under Stratford.