Senior Defender Has Been Part of Many Firsts Since Arriving on Hilltop
For Georgetown University Women's Soccer Head Coach, nothing in life comes without hard work.
It is what drove him when he played the sport as a youth in Ireland, and it is what drove him when he played in four NCAA Tournaments and won two BIG EAST Championships in college.
Hard work is also what he says is one of the main reasons the Georgetown University women's soccer team has reached the highest levels of success in its 19-year history.
Nolan enters his ninth year as head coach for the Hoyas in 2012, but his 14th overall on the Hilltop, having been an assistant for five years prior to being named head coach.
In his time at Georgetown, Nolan has guided the Hoyas to national prominence over the most successful period in program history, highlighted by the team advancing to the Elite Eight of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
In the past five seasons, the team has set records for most wins (15 in 2010 and 2011), most regular season wins (14 in 2007), most BIG EAST wins (8 in 2008 and 2011), highest BIG EAST finish (2nd), most shutouts (10), and a program-best start of 7-0-0 in 2010 after starting the 2008 season with an 8-0-2 record.
Last year, the Hoyas finished the season with a 15-6-0 overall record and an 8-3-0 mark in the BIG EAST, finishing in second place in the National Division and earning a first round bye in the BIIG EAST Tournament. GU posted a 3-1 win over Syracuse in the quarterfinals and advanced to the BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals for the second time in program history. Three of Nolan's players were named All-BIG EAST First Team, including Ingrid Wells, who was named the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and a First Team All-American for the third time in her career.
In 2010, the Hoyas were selected to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history and advanced to the Elite Eight after wins over Siena, Maryland and Minnesota, posting the best record in school history at 15-7-2. The team earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007 and had the best overall regular season finish in program history - 13-3-2 in 2008.
Georgetown started the year with a 7-0-0 record and finished the regular season with a 13-6-1 mark, reaching the BIG EAST Championship Tournament for the sixth time in the last seven seasons with a first round bye. Led by BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and First Team All-American Ingrid Wells, the Hoyas boasted an offense that ranked second in the league in goals per game (2.04) and ranked among the top-30 in the country. Five players earned All-BIG EAST honors as the Hoyas advanced to the NCAA Tournament and beat Siena in the first round (5-1) before toppling No. 1 seed Maryland in the second round in penalty kicks. A thrilling 1-0 win at Minnesota in the third round advanced the Blue & Gray to the Elite Eight, where the season would end with a 2-0 loss at Ohio State. The Hoyas ended the 2010 season ranked No. 18 in the country in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.
In 2009, Georgetown reached the BIG EAST Championship Tournament for the fifth time in six seasons behind one of the top offenses in the nation. The Blue & Gray averaged 2.25 goals per contest and were led by BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Sara Jordan and fellow First Team All-BIG EAST member, Ingrid Wells. The duo combined for 15 goals and 18 assists in leading the Hoyas to their third consecutive season of 10 wins or more.
In 2008, a high-powered offense (2.54 goals per game) was complemented by a talented defense (0.59 goals-against per game) that led to the Hoyas finishing the regular season with a 13-3-2 record and hosted the BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
Nolan led the program to one of the best turnarounds in the country in 2007, as the Hoyas rebounded from a 5-9-5 record the year before to finish the regular season with a 13-6-0 mark. Georgetown advanced to the BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals for the first time in program history after beating No. 23 Connecticut on the road in the quarterfinals on Nov. 4, 2007.
This success earned Georgetown its first NSCAA/adidas #1 Regional Ranking and a series of first National Top 20 rankings by the NSCAA/adidas (#17), Soccer America (#16), SoccerBuzz Magazine (#19), and TopDrawerSoccer.com (#20) in addition to a number of national, regional, and BIG EAST individual honors, highlighted by two All-Americans and the 2007 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year (Ingrid Wells).
While a Hoya assistant, Nolan coordinated recruiting, developed goalkeepers and worked closely with head coach Diane Drake in all aspects of preparing the team. He brings a wide range of coaching experience to the Hilltop, having played and coached at various national and international levels.
Nolan came to Georgetown in 1999 after spending the 1998 season on the Seton Hall women's soccer staff, serving as the goalkeeper coach. Prior to his coaching stint at Seton Hall, Nolan was an assistant coach at Farleigh Dickinson University during the 1997 fall season.
In addition to coaching at Georgetown, Nolan has helped to develop players for the U-16, U-17, U-19 and U-21 U.S. National teams.
Nolan also coaches at the Bethesda (Md.) Soccer Club and currently coaches the U-15 Bethesda Freedom 95. His U-18 Bethesda Excel team made an unprecedented three-consecutive national championship appearances. Bethesda Excel was also the Region 1 Champions from 2003-05 and has been ranked among the top club teams in the nation during the stretch. Nolan just finished a four-year stint with the Bethesda Dragons, culminating with a No. 6 national ranking this year.
In 2008, Nolan was invited to work with the U-17 Women's National Team. He traveled to their camps in Vancouver and Seattle and helped with instruction and overseeing daily practices.
A member of the National Team Pool in Ireland at the youth level, Nolan came to the United States and played soccer at Seton Hall. A four-year starter, he led the Pirates to four-consecutive NCAA tournament berths and two BIG EAST Conference championships. Selected to the 1987 BIG EAST Conference Tournament team, Nolan was named the BIG EAST Conference Student-Athlete of the Year in 1991. He earned his bachelor's degree in finance in 1991 and later earned a master of business administration in 1993, also from Seton Hall.
Nolan holds a premier national license from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and a United States Soccer Federation "A" license.