Neil Cunningham begins his 19th year as head women's soccer coach and 12th year as director of physical education at Washington and Lee in 2019. He also serves as an Assistant Athletic Director.
Cunningham's first 18 years have resulted in some of the finest seasons in school history, and he has posted a 249-63-31 (.771) overall record during that time.
Six times Cunningham has led the Generals to the NCAA Tournament and four times he has guided W&L to an ODAC title.
The 2018 season resulted in a 9-5-2 overall record for Cunningham's squad, with the team posting a 6-3-1 record in the ODAC. The season ended in the ODAC quarterfinals, as the team suffered a 2-1 setback on the road to Lynchburg in double-overtime. Under Cunningham's coaching, senior midfielder Megan Engeland '19 earned First Team All-ODAC and VaSID honors, as well as a United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-Region selection.
Over the 2017 campaign, Cunningham guided the Generals to a 10-6-1 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in the ODAC. W&L put together a seven-game unbeaten streak during the season, going 6-0-1 in those games and outscoring opponents 30-1, including a 10-0 win over Hollins, the sixth straight season that the Generals have posted a double-digit shutout win.
Cunningham steered the 2016 squad to a 15-4-1 overall record and an 8-1-1 mark in the ODAC. The Generals captured their fourth ODAC title with a 2-1 victory over Virginia Wesleyan and made a berth into the NCAA Tournament, before falling to Hardin-Simmons in the first round. Cunningham mentored four all-conference honorees, including Megan Engeland ’19, who earned ODAC Player of the Year honors. For his efforts, Cunningham was named the ODAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career. The Generals finished the season ranked 20th in the NSCAA Poll.
His 2009 team finished the year at 17-2-3 overall. Cunningham led the Generals to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing the season ranked 10th in the final NSCAA Division III Poll. For the third time in his career, Cunningham was named the ODAC and NSCAA Division III South Region Coach of the Year.
Cunningham's 2006 squad set new program standards in going 19-1-3 overall. The Generals advanced to the NCAA "Elite Eight" and were ranked 10th in the final NSCAA Division III Poll. W&L also led all of collegiate women's soccer with a miniscule 0.127 goals-against average. Following the season, Cunningham was named ODAC Coach of the Year and NSCAA Division III South Region Coach of the Year.
His initial W&L team in 2001 posted an 11-4-1 overall record and advanced to the ODAC Tournament Semifinals. His second season resulted in a 17-2-3 overall record, the program's first ODAC Tournament title, and the first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament where the Generals advanced to the South Regional Semifinals. Washington and Lee earned its first-ever national ranking that season and finished the campaign ranked 16th in Division III. For his efforts in 2002, Cunningham was voted the ODAC Coach of the Year, NSCAA Division III South Region Coach of the Year and Virginia College Division Coach of the Year.
In 2003, Cunningham led the Generals to a 15-2-3 mark and the school's second straight ODAC Championship and NCAA Tournament berth. W&L advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 before falling in double-overtime. The Generals were ranked as high as sixth nationally and finished the season 14th in the NSCAA Poll.
The 2004 season saw W&L post a 12-4-3 overall record and a third straight appearance in the ODAC Championship Game, while his 2005 squad finished 13-3-3 overall, was ranked as high as 24th nationally, and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament field.
Cunningham came to Washington and Lee from Savannah College of Art & Design where he served as head coach for both the men's and women's soccer teams since 1995. Cunningham's women's team posted a 62-30-4 overall record during his six seasons and advanced to the 1999 and 2000 NCAA Division III Tournament. His 2000 squad was ranked as high as 21st nationally and finished the season ranked fourth in the NCAA South Region.
Cunningham's men's teams at Savannah A&D went 39-34-2 overall during his five seasons as head coach.
Cunningham is a member of the NCAA South Region Soccer Committee and has worked with several youth soccer camps, including the NOGA Soccer Company, the Coastal Georgia Soccer Association and the Brown University Soccer School.
A native of Manchester, England, Cunningham taught physical education at the St. James School in Bolton, England from 1992-94.
Cunningham earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from the West London Institute of Higher Education and gained a master of science in sport leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003. He holds a U.S. Soccer Federation License and a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
Cunningham and his wife, Susan, W&L's Director of Capital Giving, reside in Lexington with their son, Daniel, and daughter, Anna.
CUNNINGHAM YEAR-BY-YEAR AT W&L
|2002||17-2-3||ODAC Champions, NCAA Second Round, ODAC Coach of the Year, Regional Coach of the Year|
|2003||15-2-3||ODAC Champions, NCAA Second Round|
|2005||13-3-3||ODAC Semifinalist, NCAA First Round|
|2006||19-1-3||ODAC Semifinalist, NCAA Quarterfinalist, ODAC Coach of the Year, Regional Coach of the Year|
|2009||17-2-3||ODAC Champions, NCAA Second Round, ODAC Coach of the Year, Regional Coach of the Year|
|2016||15-4-1||ODAC Champions, NCAA First Round, ODAC Coach of the Year|
||249-63-31 (.771)||4 ODAC Titles, 6 NCAA Berths, 4 ODAC Coach of the Year Awards
|3 Regional Coach of the Year Awards|