Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Piranian, who is 304-239-54 in 38 seasons, will remain at the school as an associate professor.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Rolf Piranian’s time as the Washington and Lee men’s soccer coach has spanned five decades.
Next year, someone else will be on the sideline.
W&L announced Tuesday that Piranian, who has steered the men’s soccer team at his alma mater since 1976, will retire from coaching at the end of this season. Piranian, 62, will remain at W&L as an associate professor of physical education.
“It’s the right time for me and the kids,” Piranian said in a phone interview. “I don’t want to be a guy who hung on too long. I think I’m going out in good form. I wouldn’t have overstayed my welcome.
“It’ll be good for the program to have a youthful guy with some new ideas and new energy, try and move it forward.”
Piranian, the winningest coach in the program’s history, is 304-239-54 in 38 seasons.
Last year, Piranian became the 38th men’s soccer coach in NCAA Division III history to reach 300 wins. He achieved the milestone in the same season that Scott Allison did so at Roanoke College. Allison retired as Roanoke’s coach at the end of last season, although he remains the Maroons’ athletic director.
Piranian has been named the ODAC coach of the year seven times, most recently in 2005.
He has steered the Generals to three ODAC championships, most recently in 2000. That 2000 team made the Division III playoffs for the first in school history, advancing to the South Regional final. That squad went 19-2, setting the school record for wins.
“That was a very special group,” he said.
Last year, W&L went 11-4-3 and lost in the ODAC semifinals. The team is off to a 1-0-3 start this season.
Piranian said that last year, he began seriously thinking about giving up coaching.
“It’s a big generational difference,” he said. “I’ve always had great assistants; they helped bridge it.”
He said he will miss coaching.
“I love going out there every day and training, being outside and working with the kids,” he said. “I love the job. It wasn’t an easy thing to [decide] because I do have a lot of energy.”
W&L has not yet named a successor.
Weather JournalNext system: Possible ice/snow Sat.