Brian Dooley begins his fourth season as the head coach of the Arkansas State women’s soccer program.
In his three seasons in Jonesboro Dooley has helped build the Red Wolves into a strong contender in one of the nation's toughest soccer conferences. In 2017 he coached the team to a 9-6-2 overall record and to a second straight appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The nine wins accounted for the third most in school history and included contests against some of the nation’s stoutest competition.
In addition to the team success, Dooley played a vital role in helping Sarah Sodoma, Riley Ebenroth and Kelsey Ponder claim Second-Team All-Conference status with outstanding individual seasons in 2017. Ponder was named to the all-conference for the second consecutive season and set numerous goalkeeping records throughout the year, including the lowest single-season goals against average at 0.57. Ebenroth helped the Red Wolves’ become one of the toughest defensive units in the league and was a dangerous force on the offensive end with her touch on corner kicks.
Sodoma was a breakout performer for A-State and also became for the first player in school history to be named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year. It also marked the second straight year that Coach Dooley had a member of his team win an end-of-the-year postseason award from the conference (Taylor Schneider – Newcomer of the Year in 2016). Schneider was the first player in school history to win an individual award.
In 2016 under Dooley’s tutelage, Ponder finished second in the league in saves and save percentage was named as a Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection. It was the program's first all-conference recognition since the 2013 season when it placed two on the team. Ponder also ranked in the top-5 nationally throughout much of the season in saves and save percentage and has been recognized as one of the most difficult goalkeepers to score against in Division I by several soccer college publications.
A name highly recognized in collegiate soccer, Dooley came to Arkansas State after serving as the associate head coach at Missouri for two seasons. Prior to that, he spent 14 seasons as the head coach at Florida Atlantic and began his head-coaching career with a four-year stint at Barry University from 1995-98.
Over his two years with the Tigers, Dooley helped Missouri to a 20-16-6 overall record and a 10-7-4 mark in the SEC. During his first year with the program, Missouri knocked off three top-25 teams, which accounted for the most wins over ranked opponents for the Tigers since 2008. This past season, Missouri finished with a 12-7-3 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after knocking off Kansas in Lawrence to start the tournament.
In his 14 seasons at Florida Atlantic Dooley compiled a 139-112-17 record and had a .700 winning percentage over his first 10 seasons at the school. Seven of his teams won 14 or more matches during a season and eight of his teams posted winning seasons. He also led the Owls to their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament and his squads consistent were challengers for the Atlantic Sun and Sun Belt Conference championships. From 1999-2009 his FAU teams averaged 11 wins per year and seven league victories per year.
Dooley's teams captured three Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season titles and enjoyed a seven-year run in which FAU was the only league team to qualify for the postseason tournament. The 2005 squad tied a program record with 16 victories (16-4-1), was a perfect 9-0 in Atlantic Sun play, and captured both the league's regular-season and post-season championships to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. In 2003, his team set the school record with 16 victories and a 10-1 record in A-Sun matches. The Owls won four straight conference title matches from 2000-03 after winning just eight A-Sun matches in six seasons prior to Dooley's arrival at the school.
Dooley's teams have been recognized for their excellent defensive play. His 2006 FAU team led all Division I teams in shutout percentage (.762) and held opponents scoreless in 16 of its 21 matches. The Owls followed that in 2007 by posting nine shutouts and allowing 6.8 shots per match while surrendering just 15 goals.
Under Dooley's guidance, three different players earned the Atlantic Sun Conference's Player of the Year Award in seven seasons. Seventeen players were honored with first-team all-conference selections, 16 were second-team honorees and 11 were named to the all-freshmen team. Two players from the 2007 squad were first-team selections in the Sun Belt Conference, while another earned second-team honors in 2010. The program also had the league's Newcomer of the Year award winner in 2007 and 2008. In all, Dooley has coached 36 student-athletes to all-conference selections, had 11 named to all-freshmen teams, coached three to player of the year honors and two to newcomer of the year status.
On the international level, Dooley has coached 10 players that have gone on to represent their home countries on national teams (Finland, Scotland, Jamaica and Puerto Rico) and four have played at the professional level.
At Barry University, Dooley's teams had a 53-12-4 record in four seasons and advanced to the NCAA Division II national championship match in 1995. The Lady Bucs also qualified for postseason play in 1996, 1997 and 1998, and Dooley coached nine National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American players. His Barry teams were virtually unbeatable at home, going 29-1-2 in Miami Shores.
Dooley played an instrumental role in establishing Barry's success as an assistant coach for five years (1990-94). The college posted a 71-11-2 record during that time, and won NCAA Division II national championships in 1992 and 1993.
Dooley attended Florida International University, where he was a midfielder on FIU's 1982 NCAA Division II national championship team. He started his coaching career as an assistant on the FIU staff for five years.
Dooley received a bachelor's degree from Nova Southeastern University in 1987. He and his wife, Marie, are the parents of three boys: Sean, Connor, and Ciaran.