Derek Armstrong Retires From Coaching


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Derek Armstrong announced his retirement from coaching on Monday.
Derek Armstrong announced his retirement from coaching on Monday.
Courtesy: UCSD

LA JOLLA, Calif. After nearly 26 full years at the helm of the UC San Diego men’s soccer program, head coach Derek Armstrong announced his retirement on Monday afternoon. The resignation is effective immediately for health reasons as Armstrong readies for surgery later on this week.


Assistant coach Paul Holohan will take over the program as the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2007 campaign. A national search to find Armstrong’s replacement will commence at the end of the season.


“It’s been a wonderful ride here at UC San Diego,” said Armstrong upon making his announcement. “There was no program here when I started and to see all of the changes that have taken place during the last 26 years has been amazing.”


Armstrong’s announcement comes just eight matches into his 26th season as head coach at UC San Diego. The 2007 squad has posted a 1-6-1 overall record with four of the six losses coming by one goal. The ’07 Tritons are starting a very young nucleus, consisting of five freshman, three sophomores and three juniors.


“We all were caught off guard and saddened by Derek’s announcement today,” said Director of Athletics, Earl W. Edwards. “As much as we will miss his demeanor and class on the sidelines, we want nothing more than for him get healthy and enjoy spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. His contributions as a head coach and an ambassador for the university and collegiate soccer will be greatly missed.”


In more than one quarter century on the La Jolla campus, Armstrong guided the Triton men’s soccer program to three national championships and a remarkable 322-135-46 overall record. The NCAA Division III National Championships came during the 1988, 1991 and 1993 seasons. The Tritons posted a combined record of 62-6-4 during those title runs.


UCSD qualified for 16 NCAA tournaments during Armstrong’s tenure and had only two campaigns in which it finished with a losing record. The 1988 team posted the program’s best-ever year, going 23-0-2 en route to its first NCAA Division III National Championship.


“I only wish my health was good enough for me to finish this season because I really enjoy working with this group of young men,” added Armstrong.  “They have the potential to turn into a very formidable team in the not too distant future.”


The Tritons will play their first two matches without Armstrong this week, traveling to the Pacific Northwest for games on Wednesday and Friday in Seattle. UCSD will play at No. 4 Seattle Pacific on September 26 at 7 p.m. before taking on No. 15 Seattle University on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.