Chris Pfau Named Houston Soccer Coach
June 1, 2012
HOUSTON - Chris Pfau became the fourth head coach in University of Houston women's soccer history with his hiring Friday, Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades announced.
Pfau - whose name is pronounced Fow - joins the Cougars after spending the last four seasons at Akron. There, he helped lead the Zips to the 2009 MAC East Division championship and three straight Mid-American Conference Tournaments (2009-11).
Prior to Pfau's arrival, Akron women's soccer had produced only one winning season and no MAC Tournament berths in its first eight years of existence before Pfau led the Zips to a MAC East Division championship and three straight MAC Tournaments.
His squads also excelled in the classroom, boasting a team 3.3 cumulative grade-point average and four student-athletes from the 2011 team with a 3.7 GPA or higher.
In seven seasons as an NCAA Division I head coach, Pfau has compiled a 60-58-11 overall record.
"Chris has a tremendous understanding on how to build a championship program and will be a great fit within our athletics family. He is exceptional strategically on the field during competition and has demonstrated throughout his career the ability to develop student-athletes to perform at their highest levels both on and off the field," Rhoades said. "He is a terrific recruiter who cares about his student-athletes, and I know parents and coaches will want their kids to play for him. We are very excited to have Chris, Tracey, Paige and Connor join our family and look forward to the start of the 2012 season."
Before joining Akron, Pfau spent three seasons (2005-07) as head coach at Evansville, where he rebuilt a program that resulted in the Aces becoming one of the nation's most improved teams. There, he posted a 30-22-4 record, winning 10+ matches each season and leading the team to the Missouri Valley Conference finals in 2006 and a semifinal berth and No. 7 regional ranking in 2007.
In addition to his on-field success, those teams enjoyed tremendous academic achievement. Six Academic All-MVC honors were bestowed upon the Aces during his three years, including a league-best three in 2007. That same season, Evansville posted a team grade-point average higher than 3.0 and received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Award.
Pfau took over the Evansville program after two seasons (2003-04) as the top assistant coach at Princeton. In 2004, the Tigers went undefeated in Ivy League play and reached the College Cup national semifinals, the first Ivy League school to advance that far.
A 1989 graduate of Old Dominion, he played professionally for 10 years in the APSL, NPSL and WSL. He began his coaching career while playing, serving as head coach of the Cincinnati United Soccer Club from 1995 to 1999 and as assistant coach of the Cincinnati Riverhawks of the A-League from 1997 to 1999.
He was a team captain, four-year starter and All-Region performer during his collegiate career at ODU and earned his bachelor's degree in hotel/restaurant management in 1989.
Pfau served as men's head coach at NAIA's Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., from 1999 to 2002 and became head women's coach at Division III Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Ind. He also has been an Olympic Development Program coach in New Jersey, Ohio and Indiana since 1996.
Pfau and his wife Tracey have a daughter, Paige (13) and a son, Connor (11).
Chris Pfau AT A GLANCE
PROFESSIONAL PLAYING EXPERIENCE
COLLEGIATE PLAYING EXPERIENCE
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT Chris Pfau
"Chris is a strong leader and tremendous mentor. He is passionate about the game and strives to help every player reach their full potential both on and off the field. He will do an excellent job recruiting high quality student-athletes to the University of Houston. I am extremely confident that Chris will smoothly transition the Cougars into the competitive BIG EAST Conference."
"Coach Pfau was an amazing addition to the staff and one of the best coaches I've ever worked with. Houston is very lucky to have him and I wish him all the best."
"This is a brilliant hire by Mack Rhoades and DeJuena Chizer. You're talking about one of the elite coaching talents in the country. Chris is a genius from a tactical perspective, an extraordinary teacher of the game and a great competitor. The young women in the program will love playing for him. He has a very unique balance of being able to demand and achieve excellence from them while maintaining a fun environment that fosters their enjoyment of playing the game. Chris re-built Evansville into an NCAA Tournament program in a very short period of time, and I am very confident he will do the same at UH." -Bill McGillis, USF Executive Associate Athletic Director and former University of Evansville Director of Athletics