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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC to name field after women’s soccer legend Anson Dorrance

Anson Dorrance

UNC women's soccer head coach Anson Dorrance looks on during his team's 2-0 win over Ohio State on Aug. 19 at Finley Fields South. The victory was his 1,000th in a decorated career.

At last, a legend gets his due.

North Carolina is naming the field in its new soccer and lacrosse stadium for women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance, the athletic department announced Monday. Dorrance Field will be officially dedicated on Sunday before the Tar Heels' game against Notre Dame. 

Dorrance told The Daily Tar Heel that when he found out about the honor, he was "Incredibly proud and excited and joyful all rolled into one. It was just a wonderful, wonderful moment I couldn't wait to share with my family." 

After graduating from UNC in 1974, Dorrance was hired as UNC's men’s soccer coach in 1977 and added duties as head coach and founder of the women’s program in 1979. He moved solely to the women's program in 1989.

With the women's team, Dorrance has posted an impressive 855-75-40 record, advanced to the College Cup 28 times, and won 21 NCAA titles — more than any other women's Division I sports program in history. Counting the 1981 AIAW national title, UNC's 22 overall national championships are more than any single sports program in ACC history, men’s or women’s.

“From the team’s inception, Anson has built a true dynasty for women’s soccer at Carolina,” interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in the same statement. “Not only is he a world-renowned coach, he is a lifelong mentor and role model to our student athletes who cares deeply for both their academic and athletic success."

Dorrance is also a seven-time national coach of the year, an 11-time ACC Coach of the Year, and has coached the U.S. women's national team.

"I've had a lot of former players call me today," Dorrance said. "And obviously my text message box is blowing up, and not just from the fans of the University of North Carolina but across the spectrum. From every respect, from former players to colleagues."

Athletic director Bubba Cunningham said that the honor is "richly deserved," and that Dorrance's name "will forever be synonymous with Carolina soccer."