The National Soccer Coaches Association of America recently awarded William Smith College Head Coach Aliceann Wilber the Bill Jeffrey Award for her outstanding achievement and longtime dedication to college soccer. She is the first woman to win the award.
This honor comes after Wilber became the first female head coach and only the fourth women’s coach to reach the 300-win plateau on her way to guiding the Herons to their sixth appearance in the Division III National Semifinals.
In her 23 years at William Smith she has amassed a record of 304-95-28, including a national championship in 1988 and runner-up finishes in 1987 and 1997. Winning national awards is nothing new for Wilber. She is one of only three collegiate coaches at any level to garner NSCAA National Coach of the Year accolades three times.
The 2002 Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year, Wilber has guided William Smith to a record 16 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, winning six New York Region Championships (1993, ’95, ’97, 2000, ’01, ’02) since the NCAA instituted regional play in 1993, and advancing to the national semifinals in 1987, ’88, ’93, ’95, ’97, and 2002.
An exceptional mentor, Wilber has coached 29 All-Americans, including 15 first-team selections, and the 2002 NSCAA Player of the Year Leah Cornwell (Wheatland-Chili/Scottsville, N.Y.). No other Division III women’s coach has overseen the development of so many All-Americans.
The Herons finished 2002 with a 17-4-3 record, one win shy of school’s single season record, advancing to the national semifinals before losing to eventual National Champion Ohio Wesleyan.