Anson Dorrance, former Villa St. Jean soccer star and senior-year thespian, has been elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. Anson attended the Villa for four years, according to our records, and graduated in 1969. He then went to the University of North Carolina and fame.
The wire services, predictably, neglected to mention Anson’s distant Villa days. An excerpt:
After the National Soccer Hall of Fame announced Monday that Anson Dorrance has been elected, the North Carolina women’s soccer coach spent of the day answering congratulatory e-mail from former players.
“I just kept thanking them for coming to play for me,” Dorrance said. “Without them, no way we’d be the dominant program that we are. Our success is because of them, … and it’s just a wonderful feeling, knowing so many of your players feel so good for you.”
Dorrance, whose Tar Heels have won 19 national titles in 28 seasons, joins U.S. national team veteran Hugo Perez in the Hall, which is located in Oneonta, N.Y.
“Anson Dorrance has set an unbelievable standard for American soccer coaches,” Hall president Steve Bauman said in a release.
Dorrance, a 1974 UNC graduate, started as men’s coach in 1976. Starting in 1979, he coached UNC’s men and women, becoming the women’s coach exclusively after the 1988 season.
As women’s coach, his record is an NCAA best in wins (648-32-19) and in winning percentage (.941). He also served as coach of the U.S. women’s national team for eight years, compiling a 65-22-5 record.
Dorrance learned he was elected last week but told only his wife and mother at the request of the Hall. He said getting such a recognition by his peers was “wonderfully flattering,” and he cherished the e-mails and calls he received.
“It’s just a wonderfully warm feeling to know that you’ve got so many people that are out there who are part of a greater family,” he said. “Anyone that has coached knows … that after a while, wins and losses pale in comparison to the appreciation of being part of the lives of so many wonderful people.”