Men's Soccer's Thorarinsson Retires After 23 Years At The Helm
Nov. 13, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga men's soccer head coach Einar Thorarinsson today announced his retirement effective Dec. 31 after 23 years at the helm of the program.
Thorarinsson came to Gonzaga in January of 1995, and is the all-time program leader in wins with 163. He led GU to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2007, and a pair of West Coast Conference titles in 1997 and 1998. Under his watch, the Bulldogs have finished in the top five in the league 14 times, including eight WCC finishes in the top three. He has been named WCC Coach of the Year on three separate occasions (1996, 1997, and 2005) and coached 22 First Team All-WCC selections, along with three WCC Player of the Year winners, as there were none prior to his arrival.
"It seems like yesterday when I started coaching at Gonzaga, where have the years gone," Thorarinsson said. "This year was difficult because of all the injuries, but very special because of the bond the players on the team developed, giving everything to every game. I wish the injured players a speedy recovery. I wish to thank the Gonzaga community, Mike Roth and Shannon Strahl for all the support, and especially Mike for giving me the opportunity to coach at Gonzaga. It's been special, and Gonzaga is a very special place. I would also like to thank all of the current and former players who have made my job at Gonzaga enjoyable. They created a culture of success, and I thank them for all their years of hard work. Last but not least, thank you to all my current and past assistant coaches. I will miss this place, but there is a single-track bike ride waiting for me."
With 69 career WCC wins, he is third all-time in conference history. He coached three-time NCAA All-American George Josten from 2005 to 2007, and 1997 All-American Jeff McAllister. His teams have been excellent in the classroom as well, earning National Soccer Coaches Association of America recognition for academic excellence every year for 13 straight seasons. Most recently, his program had a perfect Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for the eighth-straight season, one of only nine teams nationally to accomplish the feat in each of those eight years. They recorded a perfect Academic Progress Rate from the NCAA last season as well. Thorarinsson has seen nine former players move onto professional careers with five who have seen time stateside in the MLS, including Brian Ching, who was the first and only Gonzaga player named to the US Men's National Team World Cup roster.
"We want to thank Einar for his dedication to Gonzaga for the past 23 years," Director of Athletics Mike Roth said. "He is a great coach and a great friend, who brought fantastic student-athletes into our program that excelled both in the classroom and on the field. Einar is well-respected throughout the Gonzaga community and the soccer world. We'll miss seeing him around every day and wish him all the best in his retirement."
The search for a new men's soccer head coach at Gonzaga will begin immediately.
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