This week, William Smith Soccer Head Coach Aliceann Wilber will be recognized by her hometown for her achievements both in athletics and in the community. On Thursday, Feb. 9, she will receive the Penn Yan Sports Person of the Year award at the second annual dinner and ceremony at St. Michael’s Church.
The award winner must have a Penn Yan connection and have enjoyed success in sports or in a sports-related field. Equally as important in the selection process is the contribution the person has made to the community. A Penn Yan native, Wilber has made an impact not only in her community, but also on women’s collegiate sports.
Wilber is the only soccer coach William Smith has ever had. She guided the Herons to a national championship in 1988, and her 443 wins put her first on the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer all-time list. This year she was named the NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year for the eighth time in her career. She was named NSCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year in 1987, 1988, 1991 and 2008. She is one of three NCAA coaches (and the first woman) to win the award four times at any level. In 2003, Wilber became the first woman to receive the NSCAA’s prestigious Bill Jeffrey Award for her outstanding achievement and longtime dedication to college soccer. In 2007, Wilber was honored by the NYSWCAA with a Service Award for her meritorious commitment to women in intercollegiate athletics.
In her 32nd year at William Smith, Wilber led the Herons to a 20-1-1 mark, setting a new William Smith record for wins. She guided the Herons to the national semifinals for the eighth time in program history, and the third time in the last four years.
An exceptional mentor, Wilber has coached 19 first team All Americans. The Herons have garnered the most first team All-Americans in Division III women’s soccer. Wilber has also impacted hundreds of young athletes in soccer camps and seminars through the years. In addition, she has served on many community betterment programs including anti-drug and anti-tobacco campaigns.
The Penn Yan Sports Person of the Year Awards dinner and ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9. Hobart and William Smith College President Mark D. Gearan and Dan Mason, general manager of the Rochester Red Wings will also be featured speakers at the event.