William Smith College Head Soccer Coach Aliceann Wilber will be presented with the Women’s Soccer Award of Excellence at the United Soccer Coaches annual convention in January. The 2019 Liberty League Coach of the Year is just the fourth coach from Division III to win the award.
“Aliceann Wilber‘s commitment to excellence on and off the field has been exemplary,” said United Soccer Coaches President Kevin Sims. “She has lifted women’s soccer through coaching excellence and consummate service to the game.”
Sponsored by Women and Girls in Soccer (WAGS), the Women’s Soccer Award of Excellence was established in 1999 to recognize those who have brought honor and distinction to women’s soccer. WAGS has supplied sponsorship funds for this award to be used in the promotion of the women’s game through various charitable programs for women and girls in soccer. Notable recipients of the award include Jill Ellis, Tony DiCicco, Anson Dorrance, Michelle Akers and April Heinrichs.
“This is such a tremendous recognition for all that Aliceann has given to the sport,” Hobart and William Smith Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation Deb Steward said. “Her impact transcends generations and the respect she has earned in the soccer world is a direct reflection of her selflessness. AA is an educator, a teacher and the leader of the Heron soccer nation, she is incredibly deserving to be connected with the past winners.”
Wilber is the only coach the William Smith Soccer program has ever known. A 2018 United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame inductee, she has compiled an overall record of 593-137-59 for a .789 winning percentage. She has more career wins than any coach in Division III women’s soccer and only North Carolina’s Dorrance has more wins at any level of NCAA women’s soccer. Wilber is a five-time national coach of the year (1987, 1988, 1991, 2008, 2013). She is one of only three coaches, and the first woman, to win the award five times.
Wilber has led the Herons to a Division III record 30 NCAA tournament appearances, posting a tournament record of 61-22-10. William Smith has won two national championships (1988, 2013), advanced to the championship game five times (1987, 1988, 1997, 2013, 2019) and advanced to the championship weekend 11 times.
An outstanding mentor, Wilber has guided the development of 50 United Soccer Coaches All-Americans, 20 D3soccer.com All-Americans, 22 Liberty League Players of the Year, and 11 Heron Hall of Honor inductees. Wilber has coached more Division III first-team All-Americans (25) than any other Division III women’s coach. In fact, William Smith is one of only 11 Division III schools to have two players named first team All-Americans in the same season.
Wilber’s charges have excelled in the classroom as well. Thirteen players have secured 18 Academic All-America awards. Fifteen Herons have earned United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America honors and one player earned the United Soccer Coaches Scholar Player of the Year.
In 2013, Wilber was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the United Soccer Coaches as the Women’s College Representative and served in the same capacity on the organization’s Advocacy Council through the spring of 2020. She is the National Chair of the Women’s Division III All-America Committee. In 2003, Wilber became the first female to receive the United Soccer Coaches’ prestigious Bill Jeffrey Award for her long-term service to College Soccer. Wilber was inducted into the Heron Hall of Honor in 2002.