U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team: Head Coach
Steve Swanson is in his second year as head coach of U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team. He returned to U.S. Soccer in 2014 after leading the USA to the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title in 2012, a year in which he was a finalist for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer.
Swanson actually returned to the U.S. Soccer coaching ranks during the summer of 2011 to take over the U.S. U-20s, but from 2000-02, he was the head coach of the U.S. U-16 Girls’ National Team and the U.S. U-18 Women’s National Team. In recent years before taking over the U-20s, he had served as an assistant coach with the U-17, U-18 and U-20 Women’s National Teams. He is currently also an assistant coach for the full U.S. Women’s National Team on Jill Ellis’ staff.
Swanson has spent 25 seasons as a head coach in the college ranks, including the last 15 at the University of Virginia, where he coached numerous full and youth women’s national team players. Swanson has led his teams to seven conference championships, 20 NCAA Tournament appearances and 24 consecutive winning seasons.
Swanson came to Virginia after two highly successful stops at Stanford and Dartmouth. At Dartmouth, Swanson guided the Big Green to national prominence. He did an equally impressive job at Stanford, helping maintain the program’s standing as one of the premier teams in the country while leading the Cardinal to two Pac-10 titles in four seasons. In 2004, he led Virginia to the first ACC Championship in school history, making him the only coach in Division I history to win titles in three different conferences.
In his 15 seasons as head coach of Virginia’s women’s soccer team, Swanson has a record of 235-75-35 giving him the highest winning percentage in the history of the program. In 2014, UVA had another excellent season, going 23-3-0 and reaching the championship game of the NCAA tournament. It was the first time Virginia has advanced to the title game. In 2013, Swanson led UVa to an undefeated regular season, the #1 ranking and a berth in the NCAA College Cup where his team fell in penalty kicks to eventual champion UCLA.
During his four seasons at Stanford, Swanson guided the Cardinal to an overall record of 48-27-4, two Pac-10 championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1999 he was honored as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
Prior to serving as Stanford’s head coach, Swanson served as both the head women’s soccer coach and assistant director of athletics at Dartmouth College from 1990-1995. During his years at Dartmouth, he transformed the Big Green into a national contender with an overall record of 55-35-7 (.603). Under his guidance, Dartmouth made its first two NCAA Tournament appearances in school history (1993, 1994) and won its first two Ivy League Championships in school history (1991, 1993). During his last three years at the helm, the Big Green was ranked in the year-end top 20.
Swanson has coached 28 All-Americans, one national player of the year, 10 conference players of the year, and 84 all-conference selections. Of his former players at Dartmouth, Stanford and Virginia, 31 have played professionally in the WUSA, WPS or NWSL. In 2002, Swanson became the third coach to win at least 40 games with three different NCAA Division I women’s soccer programs.
Swanson holds an ‘A’ license from the United States Soccer Federation and earned a master’s degree in physical education (athletic administration and coaching) from the University of Iowa in 1989.
A graduate of Michigan State in 1984, Swanson played professionally in the United States and Canada for four years before returning to school to obtain his master’s degree at Iowa. He played more than 150 consecutive games in stints with the Milwaukee Wave and the Chicago Shoccers of the American Indoor Soccer Association, and with AC Roma and the Windsor Wheels in the National Soccer League of Canada (NSLC).
While at Michigan State, Swanson was a four-year letter-winner in soccer. He was the team’s leading scorer, captain and a regional All-American his senior year.