LEXINGTON, Va. -- Washington and Lee Director of Athletics Jan Hathorn has announced that Head Men's Soccer Coach Rolf Piranian has decided to retire from coaching at the end of the 2013 season and will begin phased retirement.
Piranian could remain with the University for up to four years as an Associate Professor of Physical Education.
"Rolf's decision to step away from coaching marks the end of an era in W&L men's soccer," said Hathorn. "Rolf has had a remarkable career; his contributions over the past 38 years are significant and too numerous to count. The hallmark of Rolf's career can be seen in the way he has lived and loved W&L soccer since his days as a player. There is no doubt that he has given the best of himself to the young men whom he has coached — they were always his top priority — and he will long be remembered for his undying devotion to all things soccer at W&L. We are very grateful to Rolf for the many ways he has served Washington and Lee and we wish him well as he transitions into this new phase of his career."
Piranian has served as the head soccer coach since 1976, compiling a 304-239-54 (.554) overall record across his 38 seasons. He became the 38th coach in Division III history to record at least 300 career victories when he achieved the plateau late in the 2012 season. He claims 204 more wins that any other coach in program history.
"When I played soccer at W&L as a student, I dreamed of having the opportunity to return as a coach," said Piranian. "I am so very thankful that I had the opportunity to achieve that dream. Coaching with the coaches I have worked with and coaching many of the great individuals I had the chance to coach was a real opportunity to 'live the dream'."
Piranian's teams have won three Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships, while eight other teams finished as the conference runner-up. For his efforts, he has been named the ODAC Coach of the Year seven times.
Piranian's 2000 team claimed the conference championship and set a program record for wins in going 19-2 overall. The Generals advanced to the finals of the NCAA South Regional before falling to Christopher Newport. Last season, he guided the Generals to a berth in the semifinals of the ODAC Tournament while posting an 11-4-3 overall record.
A 1974 Washington and Lee graduate with a bachelor of arts in American history, Piranian was a four-year letterwinner for the Generals' soccer team, serving as a team captain for his senior season. Additionally, he was a three-year member of the lacrosse team and a two-year member of the wrestling team, earning two letters each in both sports. On the soccer pitch, Piranian was a two-time all-state selection and an all-south honoree as a senior. He participated in the Virginia College Athletic Association All-Star game in each of his final three seasons.
Piranian is a past chairman of the NCAA Men's Soccer Committee and he remains a top-rated lacrosse official.
Washington and Lee will conduct a national search to identify Piranian's replacement during the spring.