Soccer Poet

Experience

Biography

Dan Blank holds an 'A' License from the USSF and an Advanced National Diploma from the NSCAA. He's coached women’s college soccer for 24 years, most recently at the University of Georgia. Yet he never intended to coach...

Dan took his Air Force Officer’s test on May 1, 1991 in Philadelphia. While awaiting the test results, he moved to Pittsburgh where he soon ran out of money and food. Hungry, and desperate for guidance, Dan phoned his college soccer coach, Dr. John Cunningham (Bethany College, WV), who invited Dan to work three weeks of soccer camp scheduled to begin later that day.

In the second week of those camps, Dan was assigned to assist Jim Regan, the Head Coach of Men’s and Women’s soccer at Wheeling Jesuit College (and a fellow Bethany College alum). During that week, Regan’s collegiate assistant resigned, and Regan offered Dan the job as Graduate Assistant. And so began a career that has spanned 24 years. While at Wheeling, Dan helped Regan lead his women’s team to three consecutive conference and regional championships, and three straight national championship tournament appearances.

In 1994, Dan moved onto Brewton-Parker College in Mt. Vernon, GA to serve as the Assistant to both the men’s and women’s teams under Mike Mitchell. After the ’94 season, Dan was promoted to Head Coach of the women’s team. The team won three consecutive Georgia Athletic Conference titles and advanced to the 1996 National Final Four. Dan was named the conference Coach of the Year from 1995-97.

In 1998 Dan moved to Daytona Beach, FL to launch the women’s soccer program at Embry-Riddle University. In just its fourth year of existence, the team won the 2001 Florida Sun Conference and Region XIV championships to advance to the NAIA National Championship tournament. It would repeat the feat a year later and go on to win the conference title again in 2003, and the region title again in 2004. Dan was named the conference and region Coach of the Year (or both) each year from 2001-2004.

In 2007, Dan jumped to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) to serve as a volunteer assistant to Steve Holeman. In January of 2009, Holeman promoted Dan to First Assistant and charged him with leading the Rebel’s defense. That season, the Rebs had the best goals-against average in the SEC, and advanced to the NCAA National Tournament for the first time since 2005.

When Holeman accepted the Head Coaching position at the University of Georgia in the spring of 2010, he brought Dan in as his Associate Head Coach, and again put the team’s defense in Dan’s care. In 2010, the Bulldogs led the SEC in goals-against average, making Dan the only coach in SEC history to lead the league’s best defense in consecutive years at two different universities.

Dan Blank has helped produce more than 25 All-Americans and over a dozen professional players. His teams have appeared in 11 national championship tournaments, won nine conference titles and nine regional titles. He has been named conference or region Coach of the Year on nine occasions. He has been awarded the Star of Honor by Bethany College soccer for his contributions as a player, and the Cardinal of Honor by Wheeling Jesuit Soccer for his contributions as coach and inducted into the Brewton-Parker College Athletics' Hall of Fame.

Throughout his busy coaching careers, Dan has authored eight books for soccer players and coaches, including the international best-seller, Soccer iQ, which has been featured in the NSCAA Soccer Journal and on Sirius XM’s Coaching Academy. Soccer iQ was named as the #1 Book in Football.com’s list of the 14 Best Books for Soccer Coaches and Players, and has simultaneously held the #1 spot as the Amazon best-selling soccer book in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Soccer iQ has outsold books by Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, Andrea Pirlo and Steven Gerrard. It has been translated into nine languages.

After reaching the NCAA tournament in 2014, the UGA coaching staff was relieved of its duties. Dan moved to Florida’s Gulf Coast and paused his coaching career to devote himself to family, writing, running soccer camps throughout the U.S., and speaking at various public engagements (webinar, conferences, soccer groups, etc.). And fishing. Lots of fishing...

updated: 7 months ago