The Houston Dash have appointed Randy Waldrum as the team’s first head coach, the club announced today. Per team policy, details of the deal are not disclosed.
Waldrum, 57, was previously the head coach of the Notre Dame women’s soccer team, a position he held since 1999. In his 15 seasons at the helm of the Fighting Irish, Waldrum compiled a 292-58-17 record and reached five national championship matches, winning NCAA Division I championships in 2004 and 2010.
"As a native Texan, I'm extremely excited to come home and begin this new challenge of building a great professional women's soccer team with the Houston Dash,” said Waldrum. “The city of Houston has always been a great supporter of soccer and the Houston Dynamo, and I'm anxious to get started on building a women's franchise with the Dash that will make them equally as proud.
“I want to thank Chris Canetti and Brian Ching for providing this opportunity for me to lead this team, and I want to encourage all soccer fans in Houston to come out and support the Dash and the NWSL."
The Irving, Texas, native has coached both men’s and women’s college soccer for over 30 years with stops including Tulsa (men and women) and Baylor University (women), the latter of which he built from scratch. He has also served as head coach of the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team since 2012.
“Randy was my first choice when I got involved in the coaching search, so I am extremely excited that he has come on board,” said Dash managing director Brian Ching. “His passion and enthusiasm were evident from the beginning of this process and his coaching ability is evident when you look at his success over the years. I am looking forward to working closely with him to make the Dash one of the premiere women's teams in the world.”
Waldrum will work with Ching and Dash team president Chris Canetti over the next several weeks to build a coaching staff and roster for the Dash’s inaugural season in the NWSL. The league will hold its college draft on Jan. 17, while a date for an expansion draft has yet to be announced. The team announced its first three players—Whitney Engen, Teresa Noyola and Melissa Tancredi—earlier today.
“Randy is one of the top names in women’s soccer in the United States and brings instant credibility to the organization,” said Canetti. “We are very fortunate to have Randy on our staff, and I am excited work closely with him and Brian Ching on building the club.”
Waldrum will be introduced at a press conference on Monday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium. The press conference will be streamed live at HoustonDynamo.com/live.