HEAD COACH CHAKA DALEY
Chaka Daley is in his eighth year as the head coach for the University of Michigan men's soccer program. Following back-to-back 12-win campaigns, Daley is 61-54-20 during his seven-year run in Ann Arbor. He was named the second head coach in program history on Dec. 23, 2011.
Daley has engineered a massive turnaround the last two years, leading Michigan to a record of 24-11-6 with one Big Ten title (2017) and back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths. He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2017.
U-M built off its Big Ten championship run in 2018, winning 12 matches for the second consecutive year (12-5-4). The Wolverines finished tied for third in the Big Ten (4-2-2, 14 points), made a run to the Big Ten Tournament final and were a part of two thrilling PK shootouts in the NCAA Tournament, toppling Princeton in 14 rounds on a snow-covered pitch at U-M Soccer Stadium before bowing out in 12 rounds to Notre Dame in the second round. Despite injuries throughout the season to several key contributors, U-M was plus-18 in goal differential, aided by a record-setting defense that allowed the fewest goals in a season in school history (18 in 21 matches). Jack Hallahan was a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, while Robbie Mertz (1st), Umar Farouk Osman (2nd) and Marcello Borges (2nd) also earned All-Big Ten honors.
The program's turnaround began in 2017, as Daley was named Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading Michigan to its first Big Ten title and its first NCAA Tournament in five years. The Wolverines won eight more matches than the previous year, making strides both offensively (scored 10 more goals) and defensively (conceded five fewer goals). They secured a crucial early-season 1-1 draw against then-No. 1 Indiana, shut out rival Ohio State and clinched the Big Ten title by beating No. 9 Maryland, 2-1, in double overtime on the final day of the season -- all away from U-M Soccer Stadium. Hallahan, Francis Atuahene, Mertz and Borges received All-Big Ten honors, while Mohammed Zakyi, Marc Ybarra and Osman each made the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Atuahene went on to be selected fourth overall by FC Dallas in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
The Wolverines went 8-6-4 (3-3-2 in the Big Ten) in 2015 behind a stellar defense, conceding just over one goal per contest. Atuahene was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was an All-Big Ten (first team) selection after leading the team in goals (10) and points (25). The Wolverines successfully defended the Big Bear Trophy with a win over Michigan State in Ann Arbor, marking the first time in school history the Wolverines have won the trophy in back-to-back campaigns.
The 2014 season saw the Wolverines defeat No. 6 Notre Dame at home, and reclaimed the Big Bear Trophy with a 3-2 win at Michigan State, marking the first time U-M won in East Lansing since 2003. Colin McAtee and Tyler Arnone earned All-Big Ten (second team) honors. Arnone became only the fourth player in U-M history to accomplish the feat. Additionally, freshman Billy Stevens and Ahinga Selemani were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman squad.
Prior to the 2014 campaign, Daley welcomed the best recruiting class in program history to Ann Arbor, and was ranked as the consensus No. 2 class in the nation.
The 2013 season brought an 8-7-3 mark in his second season at the helm, with the marquee win of the season coming against No. 17 Creighton at U-M Soccer Stadium. Individually, Daley guided Arnone to the first-ever Big Ten Midfielder of the Year honor, as well as All-Big Ten First Team. Two members of his first full recruiting class, Rylee Woods and Lars Eckenrode, earned spots on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team
In year one as the head man for the Wolverines, Daley guided the Wolverines to a berth in the Big Ten Championship game, defeated Niagara 3-1 in an NCAA Tournament home match, and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history. The Wolverines finished No. 21 in the NCAA RPI on the heels of playing the fourth toughest schedule in the nation. U-M defeated the eventual NCAA champion Indiana by a 2-1 count on Oct. 19 in its signature win of the season.
Prior to arriving in Ann Arbor, Daley spent the previous 12 seasons as head coach at Providence, his alma mater. Daley was a four-year letterwinner and graduated in 1996, playing in 69 matches as a defender.
In 2011, the year before Daley left for Michigan, Providence went 11-8-1 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In his final seven seasons, he guided the Friars to a 72-47-21 mark and five NCAA Tournament appearances. Providence hosted NCAA Tournament match-ups during the 2010 and 2011 campaigns.
On Nov. 29, 2011, Daley was inducted into the New England Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2005, Daley was named NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division I New England Coach of the Year and was one of eight candidates for NSCAA National Coach of the Year.
Daley was also a member of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship Committee for four seasons (2003-06). Daley was also the regional advisory committee chairperson for New England and was part of the 10-member selection committee for the men's tournament during that time.
Daley was affiliated with the U.S. Soccer Academy, serving as the head coach for the U16 FC Greater Boston Bolts (1998 to 2011). He also spent two seasons with the U17 & U18 Olympic Development Program in Rhode Island. Additionally, he holds a USSF "A" Coaching License and earned an MBA from Providence in 2005.
In his six years, Daley has seen four of his players get selected in the MLS SuperDraft: Atuahene (FC Dallas; No. 4 in 2018), Lars Eckenrode (Toronto FC; No. 83 in 2017), Fabio Pereira (Sounders FC; No. 77 in 2014) and Kofi Opare (LA Galaxy; No. 24 in 2013). Other players reaching the professional ranks include defender Billy Stevens (New York Cosmos), goalkeepers Evan Louro (New York Red Bulls) and Adam Grinwis (Orlando City FC), and forward Luke Coulson (Cardiff City).
Four of Daley's former players at Providence played signed professional contracts, including Chris Konopka (Sporting KC), Tim Murray (New England Revolution), Andrew Sousa (New England Revolution) and midfielder Ryan Maduro (New York Red Bulls).
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Daley pursued a professional career following his graduation from Providence. He played for the United Soccer League's Rhode Island Stingrays (1996-97) and spent two seasons with the New England Revolution's A-League affiliate, the Boston Bulldogs (1998-99). On June 14, 1999, he was promoted to Major League Soccer with the Revolution, and spent the 1999 season with New England, before accepting the job as head coach of the Friars in 2000.
He and his wife, Heather, have two children: Donovan and Savanah.