Last month saw men’s soccer head coach David Hoffmann tally his 150th win at the University of Dallas in a 4-1 victory over Schreiner University. As the top-ranking coach for victories and winning percentage at UD, Hoffmann’s achievement represents his own skill as a coach, as well as the growth of the athletics program since he joined UD in 2003.
Hoffmann came to UD after coaching at Schreiner University for four seasons. Prior to that, he played for the N.E.T. Longhorns, Fort Worth United and St. Mary’s University, where he was a four-year starter and senior captain.
Hoffmann has witnessed and has helped facilitate much growth in the soccer program and UD athletics as a whole during his tenure.
“The program [when I came] was, candidly, not very good,” said Hoffmann. Upon his arrival, Hoffmann said that the program averaged three wins per year.
After the first season under Hoffmann, the crusaders saw five years of an improved winning percentage. Since then, crusaders have made an appearance at the 2007 AD3I, 2008 NEAC and 2008 NCAA championships. In their 2007-2008 seasons, the crusaders won 10 consecutive games. These statistics merely scratch the surface of Hoffmann’s success at UD: he holds every UD men’s soccer coaching record, according to UD athletics.
Beyond the statistics, though, Hoffmann says that “deeper, relationship-based success” is the most important thing as a coach. He often attends the weddings of his former players. Recently, the parents of a former player visited him from England.
“I think that really speaks to the depth of the relationships in the program, that parents, three years after graduation, are still plugging in and watching us play and being part of our lives.”
Hoffmann exemplifies commitment to the UD soccer program. The hedge that now surrounds the lacrosse fields is thanks to Hoffmann and his players, as is much of the work that went into the practice fields.
“We literally had workdays and shovels and pickaxes,” said Hoffmann. “We built that almost out of scratch.”
Even Hoffmann’s house was built to accommodate the team: Hoffman wanted an open floor plan so the media room could be seen from upstairs. Hoffmann’s wife bakes treats for the team after every home game, and his kids have been in former player’s weddings.
“I’ve been joking for a long time that I anticipate coaching the kids of my kids,” said Hoffmann.
This year, as he does every year, Hoffman has his eyes set on the national tournament.
“Obviously there are some very strong teams in the conference, and it’s a difficult task.” In our conference alone, UD faces Trinity, Colorado, Southwestern and Texas Lutheran University.
In the long term, Hoffmann would love to see top-25 facilities to match the top-25 program. He envisions a soccer locker room, a sports information director space and covered seating.
Despite his unarguable success as coach, Hoffmann gives credit to the players themselves for the success of the program.
“[Soccer] is arguably the most successful program since I’ve been here, but I think a lot of that depends on the players. They ultimately play the games. I’ve always said, I’m the steward,” said Hoffmann.