After 11 seasons at the helm of Stanford’s men’s soccer program, Bret Simon announced his resignation on Tuesday, effective immediately. Simon led the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as two trips to the College Cup since taking over for Bobby Clark as head coach in 2001.
“I have been truly blessed to have worked at Stanford for the past 11 seasons,” Simon said in a statement released Tuesday. “Stanford University is the best environment in the world to develop young people to their fullest potential.”
“It has been a privilege for me and my family to be a part of this great educational endeavor. I appreciate the opportunity to work with so many exceptional student-athletes, talented coaches, and dedicated administrators and staff,” he added.
Simon’s best seasons came during his first two on the Farm, in 2001 and 2002. Those teams went a combined 36-7-4 and both played in the College Cup — the 2002 team lost 1-0 to UCLA in the National Championship.
But Stanford went 58-82-26 in the last nine seasons and made only one NCAA Tournament appearance — in 2009, when the Cardinal was led by All-American Bobby Warshaw and finished 12-6-2. That year, Stanford won two games in the NCAA Tournament before eventually losing to top-seeded Akron in the Round of 16.
In 2010, the Cardinal was ranked as one of the top teams in the country before losing four straight matches to open the year and fall out of contention. This past season, Stanford again suffered through a difficult preseason schedule, finishing 6-10-2, fourth in the Pac-12.
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Simon is one of only two coaches in NCAA history to take two different programs to the NCAA College Cup, compiling a 273-160-54 record in 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach. He has also been named Coach of the Year in both the Pac-10 and Missouri Valley Conferences.
Fifteen of his players have advanced to Major League Soccer, including two last season — Warshaw and Ryan Thomas. Overall, six former Stanford stars — Todd Dunivant, Taylor Graham, Roger Levesque, Chad Marshall, Thomas and Warshaw are currently playing in MLS.
The University announced that a nationwide search for Simon’s replacement will begin immediately.
- Miles Bennett-Smith