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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Randy Waldrum resigns as Irish head coach

Irish coach Randy Waldrum announced his resignation Jan. 3 to become the head coach of the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

Waldrum (1 of 1)
Grant Tobin

Waldrum, a two-time national coach of the year, won national championships at Notre Dame in 2004 and 2010 and led the Irish to eight College Cup appearances in his 15 seasons in South Bend.

The Irving, Texas, native previously coached at Tulsa and Baylor before moving to Notre Dame, where he leaves as the program’s winningest coach, having amassed a career record of 292-58-17 (.819) with the Irish.

“This is a very difficult day for me as I'm leaving the absolute best university in the country, yet excited about a new challenge that lies before me," Waldrum said in a statement. "I want to thank [University President] Father Jenkins and [Director of Athletics] Jack Swarbrick for all they have done for me over the years and for supporting our program in a way that has allowed us to be one of the premier programs in the country.”

Notre Dame’s two national titles, five championship appearances and eight College Cup berths — all during Waldrum’s tenure — rank second in NCAA Division I history behind North Carolina. Waldrum is also one of seven coaches in any sport in the 127-year history of Notre Dame athletics to lead the Irish to multiple national championships.

“Randy has taken our women's soccer program to new heights, both on the field and in the classroom," Swarbrick said in a statement. "He has been such a great leader for us, precisely because he built a truly elite program in a way that reflects Notre Dame's core values. … We wish Randy all the best as he begins this new chapter in his very successful career. We also look forward to building upon the tremendous foundation that he laid as we continue to compete as one of the elite women's soccer programs in the country."

Waldrum will return to Texas to coach the Dash, an expansion franchise in the NWSL, the second-year U.S, women’s professional soccer league. Waldrum’s son, Ben, lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his wife Lindsey, and the couple is awaiting the birth of their first child.

“My decision basically came down to me wanting to get back to Texas and spending some time with my family," Waldrum said. "I've been away for a long time, and I am about to become a grandfather for the first time. I want to be there to watch my granddaughter grow up and I hope that everyone can appreciate that.

“The opportunity to do this was provided by the Houston Dash, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of building a new expansion team, and all that goes along with coaching in a pro environment. At the same time, I will never forget what everything we did here at Notre Dame. I'm proud of every player, past and present, who has worn the Fighting Irish uniform and will miss all of them immensely. Please know that Notre Dame will always be in my heart, and will always be special to me.”

Irish assistant coaches Dawn Greathouse and Corey Holton will “share oversight” of the program’s operations on an interim basis while a national search for Waldrum’s successor is carried out, the University announced.

Notre Dame finished the 2013 season at 13-8-1 and lost 1-0 in the third round of the NCAA tournament to Michigan. The Irish will return 24 of their 28 players from last year’s squad in 2014.

Contact Mike Monaco at