George Dunbar is entering his 17th season as the head coach of the Philadelphia University women’s soccer team.
Since taking over the reins of the program in 1999, Dunbar—a two-time Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Coach of the Year—has led the Rams to 190 victories, five CACC regular season titles, two CACC Tournament championships, two Eastern Conference Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships, and one NCAA Tournament appearance.
Under his tutelage, 29 different players have earned all-conference recognition, including four-time All-New York Collegiate Athletic Conference selection Theresa Irwin and three-time All-CACC team keepers Sara Hall and Kelli Kowalewski. Hall was voted as the CACC Player of the Year in 2008 and freshman forward Trisha Sileo earned the CACC Rookie of the Year award in 2009.
The 2014 season went down as one of the best seasons in the team’s 24-year history. Dunbar’s Rams put together a 14-7-1 record—the fourth-best win total in program history—claimed the CACC regular season and tournament titles, and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. Senior defender Hannah Palese was selected as the CACC Defender of the Year, and earned Daktronics/Division II CCA All-East Region second team and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire third team recognition. Junior keeper Courtney Shaw was tabbed for the Daktronics/Division II CCA second team and the NSCAA/Continental Tire second team, while junior midfielder Carla Chmielewski was named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire third team. Five players earned All-CACC recognition.
Dunbar guided the 2012 squad to a 13-8-0 record and a trip to the championship match of the CACC Tournament. Kowalewski was a NSCAA All-East Region first team selection, while senior defender Chelsea Riedell was named to the third team. Senior midfielder Melissa Copeland earned a place on the Daktronics All-East Region first team.
In 2011, Philadelphia posted a school record 16 victories (16-3-2), including a perfect 12-0-0 against the conference during the regular season, allowing Dunbar to earn the CACC Coach of the Year award. The Rams advanced to the CACC Tournament final. The team finished third in Division II with a school record 0.373 goals against average. Junior midfielder Melissa Copeland was a Daktronics All-East Region second team selection and Riedell was tabbed NSCAA Division II All-East Region third team. Philadelphia placed a conference-high six players on the All-CACC team, including three first-team selections.
When the team joined the CACC in 2005, Philadelphia dominated the conference, posting a 36-2-5 record—including a 10-0-1 mark in 2005 and a 10-1-0 record in 2007—and reached three straight CACC Tournament finals from 2006 through 2008. In 2006, the first year Philadelphia was eligible for the conference tournament, the Rams won their first CACC championship. Two years later, Dunbar was named the CACC Co-Coach of the Year.
From 1999 to 2003, Dunbar’s teams won at least 11 games, 13 in 2002, and made four consecutive ECAC Tournaments (2000-03).
Before stepping into the head coaching role, Dunbar was part of the Philadelphia University women’s soccer coaching staff as an assistant coach under Mike Henderson in 1998. A year earlier, Dunbar served as the assistant boy’s varsity soccer coach at Shawnee High School, while also working with the Indian Mills Soccer Club and the Cinnaminson Eclipse U-19 Select team.
Dunbar—who has a NSCAA “C” License and an Advanced National License—was the head coach of the men’s soccer team at Burlington County College from 1982 to 1990. A 1979 graduate of Glassboro State, Dunbar started his coaching career as a student assistant with the Profs as a senior.