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Roanoke College Soccer School

Roanoke Soccer School

Coaching Staff

Phil Benne
Head Women's Soccer Coach

Phil Benne is now in his 26th season as head coach of the women’s soccer program. The Chicago native is the winningest women’s soccer coach in the college’s history with an impressive overall record of 298-171-37. As the program's winningest coach, Benne is second all-time among ODAC coaches in conference wins (178). He is also among the nation's elite, ranked among the top-15 in NCAA Div. III for victories among active coaches, top-20 all-time in Div. III in career wins.

Benne is a four-time ODAC Coach of the Year, his latest award coming after the 2007 season, where his team finished as ODAC Runner-Up and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Under his leadership, the Maroons have compiled 20 seasons of at least 10 wins. Benne also won the ODAC Coach of the Year award following the 1990, 1992,1998 and 2007 seasons. He was named NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year in 1991 and 2007 in addition to a 2007 VaSID State Coach of the Year award.

The women’s soccer program has been taken to a new level under Benne’s leadership, and his teams have been nationally ranked on several occasions. During the 1991 campaign, Benne’s team was ranked as high as ninth in Division III. In 2001, the team jumped to the 12th spot in the national rankings. After winning the conference title in 1998, the Maroons advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in team history.  He has guided Roanoke to the ODAC Championship game 10 times throughout his career.

Benne made history in the Spring of 1999. Also the head coach of the men's tennis team, Benne was recognized by his peers as the 1999 ODAC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year, making him one of a very few coaches in league history to win a Coach of the Year award in two different sports in the same year.

2011 was another banner year for Benne's program, as the women finished 14-5-2 and advanced to their third NCAA Tournament.  They fell to nationally-ranked Centre in penalty kicks after a scoreless tie.  It was the sixth-straight season with at least 11 wins.

In 2010, he guided his squad to a 13-4-3 record, including a 9-0-2 mark in ODAC play.  It was the programs' second undefeated conference record, with the last coming in 1988 (6-0).  The Maroons finished the year on a 13-game unbeaten streak (11-0-2) before falling in the conference semifinals.  He produced two NSCAA All-South Region selections for the fourth consecutive year.

2007 was his most successful season, leading the Maroons to a school-record 18 wins, an ODAC runner-up finish and the program's second NCAA Tournament berth.  They defeated Methodist in the first round for Roanoke's first-ever post-season win.  They capped an 18-4-1 season after falling to Lynchburg in the second round.

Phil Benne with Assistant Coach Esteban Martinez
In the summer of 2013, Benne took the women's soccer team to Costa Rica on a exhibition trip. This is an experience the program does every three years in which they also do outreach, visiting the hospitals, conducts clinics and helps at daycares in the community. In 2004 summers ago, Benne took the team on a European exhibition trip. The team traveled to both the Netherlands and Germany during a two-week training and playing, and sightseeing, journey.

The 1998 team finished 14-6-1 and won the ODAC Championship.  In addition, they received a berth into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.  It also started a string of five-striaght seasons with at least 10 wins from 1998-2002.

The Maroons won 14 games in 1995 and 12 in 1996 which capped seven-striaght years with at least 10 victories.  They advanced to the ODAC Championship final in both seasons.

In 1993, the Maroons finished 11-7-1 and advanced to the ODAC Championship game for the fourth-straight year.  In 1992, Benne led his women to a 12-6-1 overall record, 6-1-1 in the ODAC.  For his efforts, Benne was named ODAC Coach of the Year.  The higlight of their season was knocking off third-ranked North Carolina Wesleyan on Parents' Weekend.  

In 1991, Roanoke was ranked as high as ninth nationally and finished with 10 wins. In 1990, Benne led his team to 13 wins and was voted ODAC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career after leading the Maroons to their second ODAC Championship.  They defeated Washington & Lee, 2-1 in four overtime periods.

In his 24th season as the men's tennis coach, Benne has compiled 146 career wins, including a 86 victories in the ODAC.  From 2004-08, the Maroons had three-straight 10-win seasons and five-consecutive winning campaigns.  The only winning season prior came in 2001 (9-5).  In 2007, his team won a school-record 15 matches and went 7-1 in the ODAC, the best conference record in school-history.  They also landed on the ITA Atlantic South Rankings for the first time ever.  He was named ODAC Coach of the Year following the 1999 and 2004 seasons.

After graduating from Wittenberg University in 1986, Benne joined Bob Hartman as an assistant with the women’s soccer team, leading them to the programs' first winning season (9-3). He left Roanoke after one season to pursue a master’s degree at Alfred University, where he also served under Steve Allison as an assistant coach for the powerful Saxons’ men’s soccer program.

After obtaining his graduate degree in 1987, he returned to RC as an assistant coach for the men’s soccer program in 1988 under Scott Allison.  That season, he helped lead the Maroons to their second ODAC Title.

Benne just completed a three-year stint on the South Region NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament Committee. He has been a member of the NCAA South Region All-American committee, and is a past chairman of the ISAA South Region. He has active role in local youth soccer, tennis and basketball programs as a volunteer coach. He is also the director of several successful summer camps at Roanoke and within the Roanoke Valley region.

Benne, his wife Stephanie and three sons Andrew (15), Alex (12), and Max (9) reside in Salem.

Ryan Pflugrad
Head Men's Soccer Coach

Ryan Pflugrad '02 enters his third season as head coach of the Maroons men's soccer program.  Pflugrad entered the Roanoke coaching ranks in 2013 after assuming the role held by Scott Allison for 27 years before retiring to take on the role as Athletic Director on a full-time basis.

In his third year, Pflugrad has led the Maroons to a record of 24-10-4, 15-4-2 in Old Domion Athletic Conference (ODAC).

Pflugrad return to Salem after spending six-years as Associate Head Men's Soccer Coach at the University of Denver. While at the NCAA Division I program, Pflugrad put together five nationally ranked recruiting classes and helped build the program to two conference championships. He also coached the team to multiple national rankings, five MLS SuperDraft picks and the school's first two NCAA Division I tournament appearances (2008, 2010).

Prior to his time in Denver, Pflugrad spent a year as Assistant Coach at Wake Forest University. In that year, the Demon Deacons won an ACC regular season championships and went to their first-ever NCAA Men's Soccer College Cup. He helped guide Wake Forest to an 18-3-4 record, with 10 wins over nationally-ranked teams.

From 2002-2006, Pflugrad worked a series of assistant positions to break into the coaching world. While earning his master's degree at Goucher College, he also served as Assistant Women's Soccer Coach from 2002-03. From there, Pflugrad moved to Johns Hopkins, serving as Director of Athletic Games Operations. In the fall of 2004, he took his first men's assistant coaching position at Elon University. He then returned to Goucher and served as Interim Head Women's Soccer coach in the spring of 2005. Pflugrad landed his last position before heading to Winston-Salem, at High Point University, where he was Assistant Men's Soccer Coach for 2005.

In addition to the college game, Pflugrad remains active in the youth soccer community in the Roanoke/New River Valley.  He served on staff in both the North Carolina and Colorado ODP systems prior to coming back to his alma mater.  Pflugrad was an assistant coach for the North Carolina 89 unit, which won an ODP National Championship in 2007 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.  He also served as head coach for the 90, 91, 92 Colorado boys ODP teams.  Pflugrad holds a USSF "B" License.

Pflugrad received his bachelor's degree from Roanoke College in 2002, where he was a four-year starter on the Maroons men's soccer team. He is the career leader in game-winning goals as a Maroon, netting 12 in total. He also ranks ninth all-time in goals scored (30), 11th in points (76), fourth in shots (193), and third in shots on goal (95).  The midfielder was a four-time All-ODAC performer, including first-team honors in his final two seasons.  He was named team captain as a senior in 2001, leading the team to their first ODAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in nearly a decade.