KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT Release) - University of Tennessee vice chancellor and director of athletics Dave Hart announced Thursday that Brian Pensky, the 2010 Soccer America National Coach of the Year, has accepted the position of head soccer coach at the University of Tennessee. Pensky takes the helm at Tennessee after seven years as the head coach of the women's soccer program at the University of Maryland.
"I am excited to have Brian coming to Tennessee to lead our soccer program," said Hart. "Brian is an outstanding coach with a proven record of success in building and maintaining an elite program capable of competing at a championship level. We welcome Brian, Abby and their children into our Volunteer family."
In 2010, Maryland earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, and Pensky was named both National Coach of the Year by Soccer America and ACC Coach of the Year. He served as the head coach of the Maryland women's soccer team from 2005-11 and posted a 67-52-20 overall record. While at the helm in College Park, Pensky led the Terrapins to their most successful three-year run in program history, with a 44-14-9 record and a .724 win percentage over the last three years.
Pensky guided Maryland to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of the last three consecutive seasons, including Sweet 16 appearances in both 2009 and 2011.
"I am humbled and honored to be the next head women's soccer coach at the University of Tennessee," said Pensky. "There were a number of factors that went into this decision, including the tradition of athletic excellence, the passionate fan base, and the first-class facilities. But most importantly, Abby and I were impressed by the family atmosphere within this athletics department, and we were very much drawn to that. We are very thankful to have the opportunity to join the Tennessee family."
Along with 2011 national champion Stanford and Florida State, Maryland is one of only three programs that has finished ranked in the Top 11 in each of the last three years in the NSCAA Coaches Poll, finishing 10th in 2010 and 11th in both 2009 and 2011. In 2010, Pensky guided Maryland to its best season in program history with an 18-2-3 record (.848) win percentage and a school-record 7-2-1 mark in the ACC. Additionally, co-captain Caitlin McDowell earned the 2010 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
Playing in a highly competitive conference, Pensky guided the Terps to their second-ever ACC Championship match in 2011. The Terrapins advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 with victories over Auburn and La Salle in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Oklahoma State. Additionally, during Stanford's 25-0-1 national championship season in 2011, the lone blemish was a 0-0 tie against Maryland on Aug. 26, 2011.
During the past three years, Maryland posted a 15-10-5 record in the ACC, the first time the Terps recorded three consecutive seasons of .500 or better in conference play in program history.
During the last four seasons, Maryland defeated five Top 10 programs including the Terps' first-ever victories over the most-storied program in college soccer history, North Carolina. Under Pensky's guidance, the Terps defeated the 20-time NCAA Champions in each of the last two seasons.
The Terrapins had players drafted by Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) in each of the last two years: goalkeeper Mary Casey in 2010 by Los Angeles, and earlier this month, All-American forward Jasmyne Spencer by Philadelphia. Spencer was twice a member of the Hermann Trophy Watch List, awarded annually to the national player of the year. She also became the fifth Maryland player to earn All-ACC accolades three times.
Before guiding the women's team, Pensky served as an assistant coach with the Maryland men's program, helping those Terrapins to three consecutive College Cup berths (2002-04). Working with head coach Sasho Cirovski, Pensky helped the Terps to a 57-14-3 record (.791 win percentage). The men captured the ACC Tournament title in 2002 and regular season crown in 2003. In 2004, CollegeSoccerNews.com named Pensky one of the top assistant coaches in the nation.
Prior to working under Cirovski for three seasons, where he was involved in all facets of the program, Pensky was an assistant at Loyola College in Maryland, where he helped the Greyhound women's team win the 2001 MAAC Conference Tournament and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament in his one season with the program. He came to Loyola after spending three years as an assistant coach with George Washington's women's soccer program.
Pensky holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Emory University in Atlanta, class of 1991, as well as an "A" license from the United States Soccer Federation, an NSCAA Premier and NSCAA goalkeeping diploma.
Pensky and his wife, Abby, have three children, boy-girl twins Will and Alex, who turn 10 on Monday, Jan. 30, and Ben, who turns eight in March.
Pensky's Coaching Career
1996-98 Bullis School (Potomac, Md.) Boys' Soccer Head Coach
1998-2000 George Washington Women's Soccer Assistant Coach
2001 Loyola College Men's Soccer Assistant Coach
2002-04 Maryland Men's Soccer Assistant Coach
2005-11 Maryland Women's Soccer Head Coach
2012- Tennessee Women's Soccer Head Coach