Feb. 7, 2009
WORCESTER, Mass. - The College of the Holy Cross has named Ted Priestly as its new head men's soccer coach, as announced by athletic director Richard M. Regan, Jr. Priestly becomes the 10th head coach in the history of the Crusader men's soccer program.
"This was an exhaustive national search which resulted in over 120 applications," said Regan. "The quality of the applicant pool was outstanding. We conducted face-to-face interviews with 14 candidates, all of whom would have been capable of being very successful at Holy Cross. In Ted, we are convinced that we have hired a coach who is a proven winner and, equally important, will fit in very well at Holy Cross. We couldn't be happier with the results of this process."
Priestly comes to Holy Cross from UMass-Lowell, where he has served as the head men's soccer coach since 1997. He posted an overall record of 131-76-28 during his 12 seasons with the River Hawks, with his team posting a winning record in each of the last 10 years. Priestly led UMass-Lowell to the NCAA Tournament four times, including a pair of appearances in the national quarterfinals. His teams also finished the season ranked in the NSCAA Division II top 25 on five occasions.
"I feel honored to have been chosen to lead the men's soccer team at Holy Cross," said Priestly. "Throughout the selection process, I have begun to understand some of the things that make Holy Cross such a special place. From Mr. Regan and his staff to the players and alumni that I have come in contact with, I have been welcomed with open arms, and I cannot help but feel privileged that I have been invited to become a part of the Crusader tradition. With opportunity comes responsibility, and it is my intention to continue to build a program that best reflects the ideals and mission of Holy Cross: one that is successful on the soccer field, in the classroom, in the community and beyond."
During the 2008 season, Priestly led the River Hawks to an overall record of 13-4-4. His team shared the Northeast-10 Conference regular season title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. Priestly previously won Northeast-10 Coach of the Year honors in 2007, when he led UMass-Lowell to an overall record of 12-4-4 and a trip to the NCAA Tournament round of 16. His 2007 and 2008 teams both finished the season ranked ninth in the nation in the NSCAA Division II poll.
In 2004, Priestly's team won the Northeast-10 Tournament title and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, with an overall record of 15-3-2. He also led the River Hawks to the Northeast-10 Tournament crown in 2003, when the team advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, posted an overall mark of 15-5-2 and finished the year ranked seventh in the nation.
Following the 2003 season, Priestly was named the NSCAA New England Division II Coach of the Year, the New England Intercollegiate Soccer League Division II Coach of the Year and the Eastern Massachusetts Soccer Coaches Association College Coach of the Year. He also won New England Intercollegiate Soccer League Division II Coach of the Year honors in 1999, when he led UMass-Lowell to an overall mark of 11-8-0 and the seventh-best turnaround in Division II.
During his 12 years at UMass-Lowell, Priestly had six players earn All-America honors, while 22 of his players were named All-New England and 40 River Hawks were named All-Northeast-10 Conference. He also served on the NCAA Tournament selection committee from 1997-2001, and was a coach at the New England Revolution's Youth Development Academy in 2002.
Prior to his time at UMass-Lowell, Priestly spent two years as an assistant coach at Wheaton College in 1995 and 1996. He was also a coach for the Massachusetts youth state team in the U.S. Olympic Development Program.
A native of Westford, Mass., Priestly graduated from UMass-Amherst in 1994 with a degree in political science. He was a three-year letterwinner on the Minuteman soccer team as a defender.
Priestly resides in Chelmsford, Mass., with his wife, Melanie, and their children, Luke and Madeline.