Temple dismissed men’s soccer coach David MacWilliams on Tuesday, declining to renew his contract after he spent 18 seasons in charge on North Broad Street.
“We have high expectations at Temple and I believe we need a fresh voice leading us forward,” athletic director Patrick Kraft said in a statement. He also thanked MacWilliams “for his service and commitment to our university and to the hundreds of young men who came through his program.”
MacWilliams’ record may seem undistinguished at 140-164-34 overall. But he was constrained over the years by facilities that were often less-than-stellar. Up to 2004, the Owls played on the site of the demolished Temple Stadium in West Oak Lane. From 2004 through 2015, they played at Temple’s auxiliary athletics facility in Ambler. In 2016, they moved back into the city to play at a new field built on the site of the demolished William Penn High School at 13th and Master Streets.
Despite the team’s middling record, MacWilliams’ program produced some notable pros during his tenure.
Tony Donatelli (class of 2006) played for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact before those teams joined MLS, then briefly made it to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2011 before returning to the lower leagues. The Glenside native now plays for the Major Indoor Soccer League’s Baltimore Blast.
J.T. Noone (class of 2010) signed with the Harrisburg City Islanders, then joined the Union during their inaugural season. His lone appearance came in the 2010 friendly against Celtic.
Jorge Gomez Sanchez became the first Temple player ever selected in the MLS SuperDraft this past January, when the Vancouver Whitecaps took him in the third round. He did not make the team. This summer, he moved back to his native Spain to join the reserve team of La Liga club CD Leganés. He has played six games this season in Spain’s third tier, and has scored one goal.
Another player from last year’s team, Matt Mahoney, signed with Bethlehem Steel in March. He played nine games for the Union’s USL affiliate this past season.
Before arriving at Temple, MacWilliams coached in the Major Indoor Soccer League, first with the Baltimore Blast then with the Philadelphia Kixx. His coaching career began in the former American Professional Soccer League with the Penn-Jersey Spirit in 1990 and 1991.
MacWilliams’ playing career included the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies and Philadelphia Fury and the indoor Rowdies, Philadelphia Fever, Blast and Chicago Sting.
Temple has a considerable soccer history. American soccer legends Walter Bahr and Walt Chyzowych played there. Bahr also coached there in the 1970s. Chyzowych still holds the program’s single-season goals record with 25, set in 1959.
But the Owls haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1985. MacWilliams’ successor likely will be asked to end that drought.