Sean Phillips - Men's Soccer Coach (2024)

Sean Phillips enters his 14th season leading the UIC men's soccer program heading into the 2023-23 academic year.

As UIC's head coach since 2010, and a staff member since 2005, Sean Phillips has been a key component in leading UIC to the winningest era in its history.

Phillips led the Flames to the Horizon League semifinals in 2021, marking the seventh straight season that the team advanced to at least the final four of the conference tournament.

A dominant regular season and a near-sweep of the Horizon League awards highlighted the 2019 campaign. Phillips led the Flames to a 12-5-1 overall record, and a 6-2 mark in conference play to win the regular season championship.It was the fifth straight year that the Flames claimed a conference trophy. Phillips was named Coach of the Year, while Jesus Perez repeated as Player of the Year.Bar Hazut was named Offensive Player of the Year, Jacob Graiberbecame Defensive Player of the Year, and Roberto Alonzo won Freshman of the Year. It was the third time in program history, and one of four times in conference history, that a team won five of the six individual awards.

Perez became the program's sixth Division I All-American, and its third Major League Soccer SuperDraftselection.Hazut and Graibermade the All-Region Team. They and the rest of the squad placed the Flames in the nation's top five in shots and shots on goal per game, as well as goals and points per game.The team ended the season with an active 22-match home unbeaten streak.

Phillips and his squad brought home their third straight Horizon League Tournament title in 2018, defeating Wright State on the Raiders' home turf to claim the championship. He coached Jesus Perez - the national leader in assists - to the Horizon League Player of the Year award and first team All-Region status. Max Todd was the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year and an All-Region selection for the second time. The team went undefeated at home, was among the national leaders in goals and assists, and played in the program's eighth NCAA Tournament - six of which have come during Phillips' tenure.

The Horizon League Tournament threepeat, combined with the team's regular season title in 2015, made the senior class of 2018 the first in program history to earn four trophies in four years.

Phillips led the Flames to their second straight Horizon League Tournament championship in 2017, which capped one of the best runs in program history. Though the team lost five of its first seven games, Phillips engineered a dramatic turnaround. Over the last dozen games of the season, including the conference tournament, UIC went 10-0-2 and finished with a Horizon League record of 6-2-1.The 12-game unbeaten streak tied the program record for most games without a loss. Jesus Perez and Joel Leon were All-Horizon League First Team honorees.

In 2016, Phillips led the Flames back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008 by virtue of the program's fourth Horizon League Tournament championship. He turned the season around after a 1-5-1 start to finish 9-8-3 and 5-3-1 in conference play.Under Phillips' direction, Andrew Putnawon Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year, and three Flames (Putna, Jose Fuentes, and Max Todd) were named to the All-Horizon League First Team. Following the season, Putna was selected by Real Salt Lake in the MLS SuperDraft.

The Flames claimed the regular season championship in 2015 after the team produced a near undefeated record of 6-1-2 in conference play, marking just the sixth one-loss season in program history. Phillips earned his second Horizon League Coach of the Year distinction while coaching Player of the Year Manny Chavez and Co-Offensive Player of the Year Jorge Alvarez.

UIC had one of its most successful seasons in 2013 when it concluded with a 16-4-0 record after winning 16 of its last 18 games and producing a 10-match win streak into the postseason. While making an appearance in the national rankings at No. 23 on Nov. 12, the Flames ended the regular season at 15-3-0, setting a program record for most wins during the regular season, and 7-0-0 in the Horizon League, marking the most conference wins in program history and the first time UIC had won every League match. The feat allowed the Flames to clinch the Horizon League regular season title and the No. 1 seed for the first time since 2008.Phillips capped off the season by being named Horizon League Coach of the Year alongside Player of the Year Bob Novak, Defensive Player of the Year Josh Beard and Freshman and Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Putna.

During Phillips' tenure as head coach, UIC has won three United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Awards (2013, 2014, 2016). Four Flames have earned Scholar All-Region honors, and two have been named Scholar All-American.UIC has placed six on the Academic All-Horizon League Team, and boasts over 50 Horizon League Honor Roll members. In 2019, the team posted a 92% NCAA Graduation Success Rate, the highest figure among all UIC men's teams.

Prior to taking over the head coaching reins in 2010, Phillips served as the top assistant coach of the Flames since 2005. During his tenure, UIC advanced to three straight NCAA tournaments between 2006-2008, including back-to-back Sweet 16 runs and an unprecedented trip to the Elite Eight in 2007. The Flames also achieved their greatest national rankings during Phillips' UIC career, including a school-best No. 4 ranking in 2008. Two key contributors to that 2008 squad went on to play professionally.Baggio Husidic signed an MLS contract as a Generation adidas player, and Pat McMahon played for Rochester, Cincinnati, and Louisville in USL Pro.

In 2005, UIC enjoyed the sixth-biggest turnaround in the nation, capitalizing on a rebuilding project that began in the spring of 2005 when Phillips arrived with a new staff as the top assistant. Phillips coordinated countless facets of the program, including recruiting, game strategy, training, scheduling and academics.

Phillips began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, Indiana University, in 2000. He helped the Hoosiers advance to three College Cups while on staff, winning a national championship in 2004 before heading to UIC. The Indiana Hoosiers also made a pair of trips to the College Cup during his playing career from 1991-94.

In addition to his work at UIC, Phillips is very active in the soccer community, serving as a clinician for "America Scores Chicago," a soccer league with the purpose of providing boys and girls with an alternative to spending after-school time on the streets, and Urban Initiatives, a nonprofit for kids in the Chicago Public Schools that runs health, education and character development programming. His players are also active in the organizations, serving as coaches, clinicians and role models.

Phillips graduated with a bachelor's degree in Public Policy from Indiana in 1994, and earned his Master's in Sport Management from IU in 2002.

Phillips holds numerous coaching licenses, including an NSCAA Premier Diploma with Distinction, an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma with Distinction, and an NSCAA Goalkeeper Level III Diploma. Phillips additionally holds aUS Soccer B licenseand is a match evaluator for Major League Soccer.

Phillips, his wife Allison, and their two sons currently residein the West Bucktown neighborhood.

Year: Record (Postseason)
2022: 5-9-2
2021: 9-8-2
2020: 6-3-1
2019: 12-5-1
2018: 12-6-2 (NCAA First Round)
2017: 11-6-3 (NCAA First Round)
2016: 9-8-3 (NCAA First Round)
2015: 9-6-3
2014: 7-8-2
2013: 16-4-0
2012: 7-8-2
2011: 9-7-3
2010: 7-11-0

Year: Record (Postseason)
2009: 6-6-7
2008: 12-4-6 (NCAA Sweet 16)
2007: 13-6-6 (NCAA Elite Eight)
2006: 13-3-5 (NCAA Second Round)
2005: 10-5-2

Year: Record (Postseason)
2004: 19-4-1 (NCAA Champions)
2002: 15-4-2 (NCAA Third Round)
2001: 18-4-1 (NCAA College Cup)
2000: 16-7-0 (NCAA College Cup)

Sean Phillips - Men's Soccer Coach (2024)


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