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2012 CAA Coach of the Year (Northeastern University)


Brian Ainscough has the Northeastern men’s soccer program soaring to new levels, and has raised the bar for his players and coaches. Since taking the reigns of the program in 2005, Ainscough has led the Huskies to their first-ever CAA Championship in 2012, an appearance in the NCAA tournament for the first since in a decade, and the program’s first NSCAA national ranking.

The 2012 campaign was a season to remember for Ainscough and the Huskies as Northeastern set program records for most wins (14), fewest losses (three), longest unbeaten streak (12) and fewest goals allowed (16). Led by Third Team All-American Don Anding, the Huskies captured their first-ever CAA title and earned an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.

During the season, Ainscough recorded his 150th career victory against Boston College in the first round of the national tournament as the Huskies remained unbeaten on Parsons Field for the second straight season, where they have not lost since Nov. 6, 2010. At the height of NU’s 12-match unbeaten streak, the Huskies cracked the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s National Poll for the first time ever, coming in at No. 25. For his efforts, Ainscough was named the CAA Co-Coach of the Year as well as the NSCAA South Atlantic Coach of the Year.

Ainscough led Northeastern back to the CAA Championship Tournament in 2011, finishing with an overall mark of 10-6-3 (6-4-1 CAA), including a perfect 7-0-0 record at Parsons Field. Sparked by the play of first team All-CAA forward Dante Marini, NU battled eventual conference champion Delaware to a 0-0 draw in the quarterfinals before the Blue Hens advanced on penalty kicks. Ryan Burnham and Mike Kennedy were both named to the third team All-CAA, while Ambry Moss received All-Rookie recognition.

In 2010, Ainscough and the Huskies battled through a grueling campaign, with injuries to key players hitting Northeastern hard. Despite this, Ainscough was still able to guide his team to one of the best overall defensive records among conference foes, while still building the program with young, talented players. Four players received All-CAA honors, including Laurence Braude earning conference All-Rookie accolades.

2009 was perhaps Ainscough’s best to date at Northeastern, as the Huskies continued to establish their place among the CAA’s best. NU finished 10-8-1 overall, including an 8-2-1 CAA mark, the program’s best-ever conference record. Northeastern was seeded No. 3 in the CAA Championship, and Ainscough guided the team to a semifinal win against William & Mary to advance to the championship game for the second straight season. Ainscough coached five All-CAA selections, including first-team All-CAA and CAA Rookie of the Year Don Anding. The team ended the regular season ranked No. 9 in the NSCAA South Atlantic region poll, its highest ranking of the season.

In 2008, Ainscough’s Huskies showed a marked improvement, amassing an overall record of 7-5-9 and to reach the CAA Championship game against George Mason. Ainscough led a young squad to the best defensive season in program history as the team recorded 10 shutouts and gave up a scant 17 goals, both Husky records. The team battled through tough injuries to several key players throughout the campaign, but Ainscough was able to keep the team on track to finish the program’s best season in the CAA to date. Four Huskies were named All-CAA, including standout defenders Lars Okland and Petur Vidarsson earning first team honors.

In 2007, Ainscough led the Huskies to their second CAA playoff appearance with a 6-4-1 conference mark and an 8-10-1 overall record. Ainscough’s club battled late to make the postseason, as Northeastern went 6-2-1 in its final nine regular season games to earn a playoff berth. The late heroics proved to be nearly a mirror image of the previous season when in 2006, the Huskies ran off six straight victories in October to get into the playoffs, finishing with a 6-4-1 CAA mark and an 8-10-2 overall record. The team’s five-win improvement from 2005 to 2006 was its biggest single-season improvement since 1990.

During Ainscough’s time at NU, 10 Northeastern players have been named first team All-CAA, along with numerous second and third team honors. In addition, 13 of Ainscough’s first-year players have received CAA All-Rookie honors. Ainscough himself has been previously recognized as College Coach of the Year by the Eastern Massachusetts High School Soccer Coaches Association.

Before arriving on Huntington Avenue, Ainscough spent five years at Div. III powerhouse Bowdoin College and five at Providence College. At Bowdoin, Ainscough took the Polar Bears to the NESCAC Tournament each season and advanced to the semifinals each season. In 2002, Ainscough’s team ranked No. 1 in New England and captured the NESCAC regular season crown and a playoff bid in 2002. In 2003, he led the Polar Bears to a top-10 national ranking, a second-place finish in the NESCAC Tournament and a bid to the NCAA Div. III Tournament.

While coaching at Bowdoin, Ainscough also coached for the U.S. Soccer Olympic Development Program for teams in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine. He has held Brian Ainscough Soccer Academy camps in New England since 1993.

Prior to Bowdoin, Ainscough was head coach at Providence and turned a losing program into a .500 team (9-9-1) in four seasons. In 1998, Providence had a winning record (6-4-1) in conference play for the first time since 1984 and earned a BIG EAST Tournament bid for the first time since 1987. Ainscough started his coaching career at Villanova as an assistant in 1991. In 1992, he joined his former coach, Ed Kelly, as an assistant at Boston College for three seasons.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Ainscough played for the 1983 Irish Youth National team before coming to the U.S. to attend Fairleigh Dickinson University. He earned All-Mid Atlantic Conference honors all four years and graduated in 1987. After college, Ainscough was a first round pick in the Major Indoor Soccer League’s annual draft. He played five years in the American Professional Soccer League for the New Jersey Eagles, Penn-Jersey Spirits and Boston Bolts, earning APSL All-State honors in 1988-90.

Ainscough currently resides in Canton, Mass., with his wife, Victoria, and sons, Alexander and Nicholas.

– 2012 CAA Co-Coach of the Year
– 2012 NSCAA South Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year
– 34 CAA All-Conference selections
– 13 CAA All-Rookie selections
– 10 All-CAA First Team selections
– 10 CAA All-Tournament Team selections
– Nine NSCAA All-Region honorees
– One NSCAA All-American (Don Anding; 2012)
– One College Soccer News All-American (Don Anding; 2012)
– One MAC-Hermann Semifinalist (Don Anding; 2012)
– One CAA Player of the Year (Don Anding; 2012)
– One CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year (Simon Cox; 2012)
– Two CAA Rookies of the Year (Don Anding; 2009, Frantzdy Pierrot; 2014)
– One All-Rookie Team selection (Don Anding; 2009)

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