Head Coach Men's Soccer Coach, Swarthmore College
Eric Wagner took over the Garnet soccer program in 2002, transforming the team in short order. In ten seasons, Wagner's teams have posted a 122-59-22 record, and have had 12 post-season tournament appearances. Last season, the Garnet won their second ECAC championship, defeating the top two seeds en route to the title. In 2010, Wagner's Garnet squad posted a 16-1-4 record, won the Centennial Conference Championship for the second time in three seasons (2010, 2008) and reached the NCAA Tournament for the third-consecutive season (2008-10). The 2010 season also saw the Garnet earn a No. 1 national ranking for the first time in program history. During the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Wagner led the Garnet to back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. For his coaching efforts during the breakthrough 2008 season, Wagner was named the Centennial Conference and Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
In 24 years coaching at the college level, Wagner has earned a reputation for developing talented young soccer players and turning teams into nationally competitive programs. Emphasizing intelligent, creative attacking play, an honest work ethic, and hard-nosed, disciplined defending, Wagner's team had a +36 goal differential in '10, the best in program history. In the past nine seasons, the Garnet have had 32 All-Centennial Conference players, 58 Academic All-Conference selections, 13 Regional All-Americans, four All-American selections (Morgan Langley '11, Micah Rose '12 (twice), Jeff Kushner '09) and two players sign professional soccer contracts (Morgan Langley '11 and Ladule Lako Lo Sarah '09). Wagner's Garnet squads have also earned multiple selections to thePhiladelphia Inquirer Academic All-Stars selections – including recent grads Micah Rose '12 & David D’Annunzio ‘12 – and three Academic All-Americans. Along with goalkeeper Reuben Heyman-Kantor '06, who was named 1st-team CoSida Academic All-American in 2005, Rose and D’Annunzio were named Academic All-America in 2011, marking just the 12th and 13th so honored in Swarthmore athletics history.
Wagner earned a B.A. from Connecticut College in '88, and an M.Ed. from Temple University in '07. He played four years of Division III soccer for the Camels, after which he served as the assistant coach of the women's team at his alma mater. He helped the Camels earn the school's first-ever ECAC Championship in 1988. He was assistant coach at Wheaton College (Mass.), Duke University, and at The University of Notre Dame. In 1993, he was selected as the first head coach of the new varsity soccer program at Southwestern University in Texas. In 1997, Wagner moved to St. Mary's College of Maryland, where he became the winningest coach in the college's history.
Wagner earned the Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, and has also coached baseball and tennis at the college level. He has been a staff coach in four states' Olympic Development Programs, and a member of the Region 1 ODP staff. Wagner's teams are always active in the community, with service projects, youth soccer clinics, and community outreach throughout the year.
Wagner's playing career includes four years of NCAA soccer, one year with the Heidelberger Sport Club in Germany, two seasons in Raleigh, N.C. ('92 State Champions), two years in Austin, Tex. and a year of semi-pro soccer in Hartford, Conn. His connections to Swarthmore College go back several years, as two of his sisters graduated from Swarthmore. Lise ('85, Political Science) and Karin ('90, Religion) are two of the Garnet's most dedicated fans. Wagner lives in Swarthmore with his wife, Leslee, and their sons, Camden and Nicholas.