Pirates Host Virginia Wesleyan At ECU Soccer Stadium
Pirates To Host Alumni Games On April 20
Pirates To Host First Annual Soccer Tournament
ECU Adds Nine Players From Outside Of North Carolina
Tryouts Will Held On Jan. 23 At The ECU Soccer Stadium
Rob Donnenwirth enters his 14th season as the head coach of the women's soccer program at East Carolina University. He has guided the Pirates to seven 10-plus win seasons in 13 years, mentored 72 all-conference performers, four academic all americans and his 127 victories makes him the winningest coach in school history.
In 2011, Donnenwirth led ECU back to post-season play after a two-year hiatus finishing fifth in the Conference USA regular season standings. The Pirates earned their first ever victory over UCF in the first round of the C-USA Championships defeating the Knights 2-1, who advanced to the Elite Eight in NCAA postseason play. Their season came to an end following a 3-0 loss in the second round to eventual champion No. 6 Memphis ending with an 11-8-1 overall record.
The 2008 season was Donnenwirth's most successful as he led ECU to the best overall record in program history at 14-4-4 and a share of the C-USA Regular Season Championship. That year the Pirates finished the C-USA season with a 7-0-4 mark, good for the first unbeaten run through league play since Charlotte went 8-0-2 in 2002.
East Carolina played in its first C-USA Championship game in 2008, but fell to Memphis, 4-1, and narrowly missed out on making the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. For his efforts, Donnenwirth received his first C-USA Coach-of-the-Year award and was the Soccer Buzz Southeast Region Coach-of-the-Year runner-up.
The conclusion of the 2008 campaign also saw a Pirate agree to the first United States professional contract in program history as Madison Keller signed with the Washington Freedom of the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league. In all, three Pirates have signed professional contracts under Donnenwirth's tenure with the Pirates: Amanda Duffy (Sweden `06), Keller and Kimmy Cummings (Ireland, `12).
Prior to arriving at ECU, Donnenwirth spent five years as the head coach at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C. Under his guidance, the Battling Bishops enjoyed tremendous success, going 62-27-9, winning four Dixie Conference titles and making three trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament. In Donnenwirth's first year as the Bishops as head coach, the team advanced to the NCAA Final Four and finished with a 15-3-3 record. Chris Webb and Trish Parker, former ECU assistant coaches, were a part of that squad and Parker was named the Division III National Player-of-the-Year.
In his tenure at N.C. Wesleyan, three Bishop players were named All-Americans, two were chosen Dixie Conference Players-of-the-Year and three were picked as the conference's Rookie-of-the-Year. Donnenwirth was also recognized several times while at N.C. Wesleyan, earning NCAA South Regional Coach-of-the-Year twice and the Dixie Conference Coach-of-the-Year three times.
Before heading to N.C. Wesleyan, Donnenwirth served as an assistant with the James Madison men's and women's teams and the University of Massachusetts men's squad.
Outside the college ranks, Donnenwirth has a wealth of experience in Olympic Development Programs (ODP). He has been part of the United States Region III ODP coaching staff and has served eight years as a North Carolina ODP coach with the under-13 and under-15 girls' teams.
He was formerly the director of the Pitt Greenville Soccer Association's traveling and recreational programs and is currently president of Soccer Express, a community soccer camp business that has attracted over 3,000 youth and adult campers in the U.S. and Canada.
As a player, Donnenwirth guided West Virginia Wesleyan College to back-to-back NAIA National Championships in 1984 and 1985 and was named a NAIA Honorable Mention All-American in 1987 as a goalkeeper. He earned a B.S. in marketing from West Virginia Wesleyan in 1988 and his M.B.A. from James Madison in 1990.
Donnenwirth and his wife, Rosy, have three daughters: Allison (18), Madison (14) and Carly (12).