Marco Koolman is in his second season as the head men’s soccer coach at the College of the Holy Cross in 2013. The 11th head coach in the history of the Crusader men's soccer program, Koolman owns a career record of 206-85-30 as a collegiate head coach, and is ranked 12th all-time in NCAA Division II history with a .707 career winning percentage.
In Koolman’s first season, the Crusaders went 5-10-2 overall and tied for fourth place in the Patriot League with a 2-3-2 record just missing qualification for the 2012 Patriot League Tournament. The Crusaders’ at-home record of 5-1-1 was their best home record since the 2002 season when they went 7-1-1. The team’s 16 goals were its most since scoring 23 in 2008.
Koolman came to Holy Cross from the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio, where he served as the head coach and director of soccer from July of 2011 to March of 2012. He was previously on the staff at Boston College for two years, during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Koolman helped the Eagles to an overall record of 10-5-5 and a trip the NCAA Tournament as associate head coach in 2010, while Boston College went 14-9-0 and made the third round of the NCAA Tournament in 2009 when he was an assistant coach.
Koolman spent nine seasons as the head coach at Franklin Pierce University from 2000-2008, with the Ravens winning the NCAA Division II national championship in 2007. Franklin Pierce went 127-46-22 overall and 86-21-10 in the Northeast-10 Conference during Koolman's tenure, making six consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament from 2003-2008. In addition to winning the national championship in 2007, the Ravens were the national runner-up in 2005 and advanced to the national quarterfinals in 2004.
Koolman also led his Franklin Pierce teams to three straight Northeast-10 regular season titles from 2005-2007, and the Northeast-10 tournament championship in 2006. He was named National Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 2007, in addition to being honored as the NSCAA New England Coach of the Year three times (2004, 2006 and 2007).
Prior to his time at Franklin Pierce, Koolman was the head coach at Gannon University from 1991-1996. He led the Golden Knights to an overall record of 74-29-6 during his six-year tenure, with the team advancing to the NCAA Division II national semifinals in 1993. Koolman also earned NSCAA National Coach of the Year honors in 1993.
A native of the Netherlands, Koolman earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Gannon in 1991, then went on to receive a master's degree in health services administration from Gannon in 2001. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Golden Knights from 1987-1990, and still ranks second all-time at Gannon and is tied for 24th all-time in NCAA Division II with 44 career assists.
|MARCO KOOLMAN'S COLLEGIATE HEAD COACHING RECORD|
|2003||Franklin Pierce||11-6-2||.632||11-2-0||.846||2nd||NCAA First Round|
|2004||Franklin Pierce||16-6-2||.708||10-3-0||.769||4th||NCAA Second Round|
|2005||Franklin Pierce||16-6-5||.685||10-1-2||.846||1st||NCAA Runner-Up|
|2006||Franklin Pierce||17-2-3||.841||11-1-1||.885||1st||NCAA Second Round|
|2007||Franklin Pierce||17-2-4||.826||11-0-2||.923||1st||NCAA Champion|
|2008||Franklin Pierce||13-8-2||.609||9-3-1||.731||3rd||NCAA Second Round|
|Totals||16 Seasons||206-85-30||.688||94-26-12||.758||7 NCAA Tournaments|
Chris Gbandi is in his second season as an assistant men’s soccer coach at the College of the Holy Cross in 2013. He joined the Crusaders staff after spending the 2011 season as the Assistant Director of Soccer Operations at Connecticut, helping to lead the Huskies to the NCAA Quarterfinals and a 19-3-3 record.
Gbandi, who was born in Liberia and graduated from Connecticut in 2002, enjoyed one of the most successful careers in Husky history. He was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 1998 and was also honored as the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He earned All-America honors those years as well. Gbandi led the 2000 Huskies to a NCAA Championship title and won the Hermann Trophy as the National Player of the Year.
Following his collegiate playing days, Gbandi was drafted with the first overall pick of the 2002 MLS SuperDraft by FC Dallas, where he played until 2007. He was honored as FC Dallas's Defender of the Year in 2006. Gbandi then transferred to Norwegian club FK Haugesund, where he spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Most recently, Gbandi spent the 2010 season playing for the USSF Division 2 club Miami FC.
|College:||Franklin Pierce, 2008|
James Thorpe is in his second season as an assistant soccer coach at Holy Cross in 2013. Thorpe, who was the 2007 National Player of the Year at Franklin Pierce and was a member of D.C. United, is the goalkeepers coach.
Thorpe had an outstanding career at Franklin Pierce as the team won the Division II national championship in 2007. Also in 2007, he was named the National Player of the Year. Thorpe was a three-time All-American, while he was named the Northeast-10 Conference Goalie of the Year four times and earned first team All-New England honors four times. He set the NCAA record for all divisions for minutes played with 8,391:11 over 93 career matches played. Thorpe also set the school and Northeast-10 record with 49 shutouts and a 0.66 career goals against average. He was featured in "Faces in the Crowd" in Sports Illustrated.
Thorpe played for Major League Soccer team D.C. United in the 2008 season. He then played for the Western Mass Pioneers of the USL in 2009.
Thorpe spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Evansville. Thorpe, who is a native of East Longmeadow, Mass., is a 2008 graduate of Franklin Pierce and earned his graduate degree from Evansville in 2011.
|Title:||Volunteer Assistant Coach|
Bryant Craft is in his second season as a volunteer assistant soccer coach at Holy Cross in 2013.
Craft tallied 10 goals and four assists for 24 points during his four-year career at UMass from 2008-2011. As a junior in 2010, he led the Minutemen with seven goals and 16 points as he earned NSCAA All-Region accolades. Craft played in 71 career games with 66 starts.
Craft earned coaching experience by working at the UMass Soccer Camp, St. John the Baptist High School Soccer Camp and Long Island Rough Riders Soccer Camp.
A native of Worcester, Mass., Craft attended St. Peter Marian High School and graduated in 2008. He was a four-time All-Conference selection, two-time All-State and two-year captain. Craft graduated from UMass with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Sociology in 2012.