Former William & Mary head men's soccer coach and current Associate Director of Development Al Albert was recently presented with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) 2011 Honor Award at the organization's annual awards banquet in Kansas City, Mo.
A native of Baltimore, Md., Albert graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1965 and enrolled at the College of William & Mary, where he majored in sociology while playing soccer and lacrosse. He graduated from the College in 1969, only to return as an assistant coach for men's soccer and lacrosse. He became the head coach for both sports in 1971.
With soccer increasing in popularity at the school and throughout the nation, Albert elected to focus exclusively on that sport and stepped down as lacrosse coach in 1977. The result was a 33-year career that included an overall record of 401-187-64 (.664). At the time of his landmark 400th career victory, he was only the eighth men's coach to achieve the plateau, and only the third to amass all of his wins at one school. He retired from coaching the Tribe after the 2003 season.
Albert's program became a model of consistent success, putting together a string of 29 consecutive winning seasons and 26 in a row with 10 or more wins. That type of consistency ranked it with such elite collegiate programs as UCLA, Saint Louis, Indiana, Southern Methodist, and Virginia. The list of alumni from his program was impressive in its reach, both in and beyond soccer. It included Steve Jolley and Adin Brown, who have enjoyed success at the professional level, and Jon Stewart, who has achieved fame as a comedian and television personality.
In addition to his intercollegiate success, Albert was influential in youth soccer, co-founding the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club and the Tidewater Soccer Camp. As coach of the Williamsburg Wizards, he led his team into competition throughout the United States and Europe and claimed a total of six Virginia State Cup titles.
His impact also has been felt on the international level through his work with the Maccabiah Games in Israel. He served as head coach of the U.S. men's team at the 1981 and 1985 Games, leading them to the silver medal in 1981. In 2007 he was an assistant coach for the U.S. side that defeated host Argentina for the gold medal at the Pan-Am Maccabiah Games.
Currently serving as an associate director of athletic development at William & Mary, Albert also has played an integral role in the growth of the NSCAA Foundation, the Association's philanthropic arm. Through his work, several endowments have been established to honor coaches by providing coaching education scholarships to those who service disadvantaged areas or groups. After a stint on the NSCAA Board of Directors as a regional representative, Albert was elected to the Association's Executive Committee in 2004 and served as its president in 2008.
Albert and his wife, Gail, have two children: a daughter, Allison, and a son, Graham, who played for his father at William & Mary.