Campus News

Hope College Hires National Champion Dave Brandt As Ninth Men’s Soccer Coach

The nationally recognized Hope College men’s soccer program will begin a new chapter with another well-known coach from the NCAA ranks.

Dave Brandt brings his championship pedigree to Hope College after successful stops at Division III Messiah College (Pa.), and the Division I United States Naval Academy (Md.). He won six NCAA Division III national championships in 12 seasons at Messiah and guided Navy to its first postseason win in 41 years.

As Hope’s ninth-time head coach all-time, Brandt, 55, succeeds Dr. Steven Smith, who retired as head coach in February after 28 seasons and 372 wins at Hope.

“We are excited and blessed to have Coach Dave Brandt joining Hope College and our men’s soccer program,” Co-Athletic Director Tim Schoonveld said. “He is a proven winner, understands Christian higher education, and is going to be an amazing addition to our team. We are looking forward to having him partner with us to compete with excellence and transform the lives of our student-athletes. He is an outstanding person who is going to make Hope College a better place.”

After coaching professionally for one-and-a-half seasons with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer League, Brandt is excited to return to college soccer.

“I have been really impressed with the people at Hope and the institution as a whole,” Brandt said. “That’s why I’m coming to Hope College.

“I’m passionate about the molding and mentoring of young men. That can be done at any level, but I would add, as I look back at my time in Division III, Division I and the pros, certainly some of my most challenging, amazing and competitive memories were in Division III. I don’t draw any lines between divisions and levels. Soccer is soccer. Teams are teams. Players are players. I’m excited to be coming to work with the Hope program.”

At Messiah, Brandt led the Falcons to six NCAA Division III national championships, eight final fours, and a 246-25-14 record over 12 seasons between 1997-2008. He reached the 200-win mark faster than any other coach in NCAA history — doing so in 2006 in 220 matches over a span of 10 seasons.

At Messiah, Brandt was a four-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III National Coach of the Year. He coached five Division III National Players of the Year, 18 All-Americans, and 12 conference most valuable players.

At Navy, Brandt guided the Midshipmen to a 64-47-22 record over seven seasons, including a 35-17-8 mark over the final three. In 2013, Navy made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1989 and recorded its first NCAA postseason win since 1972.

In 2016, Brandt became head coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds midway through the season. The Riverhounds recorded an 11-point improvement during the 2017 season. He finished with a 14-29-19 record there.

Brandt holds an M.Ed in Athletic Administration from Temple University (1990) and a B.S. in Business Administration from Messiah (1985). He also received an honorary degree from the Naval Academy in 2016 for an “unusual and significant impact on the lives of Midshipmen.”

Brandt is humbled to take over at Hope from Smith, who guided the Flying Dutchmen to 11 NCAA Tournament appearance and nine Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships during his tenure.

“Everybody I’ve ever met who’s known Steven has said the same thing - ‘He’s a gentleman coach and a credit to Hope College, the MIAA and Division III.’ He’s truly a class act,” Brandt said. “That was my experience with Steven as well. It’s an honor and a challenge to be able to succeed him, pick up where he left off and carry the program forward.”