Having coached the Westminster College men’s and women’s soccer teams concurrently since 2002 and the men’s team since 1998, Girish Thakar has won a combined 429 games and ten conference championships, while making 18 postseason appearances. Thakar enters his 22nd season with the men and 18th with the women in 2019 for a combined record of 429-281-64 (.604).
Coach Thakar’s Profile:
PAC Champions: Ten Times
M: 2002, 2006, 2008, 2015, 2018
W: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007
NCAA Tournament: Ten Times
M: 2002, 2004, 2008, 2015, 2018
W: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
ECAC Championship: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2017
National All-Americans: 4
Regional All-Americans: 42
All-Conference Selections: 166
ESPN Academic All-District Selection: 20
Thakar took the reins of the Westminster women’s program on an interim basis in 2002, then was named permanent head coach prior to the 2003 season. During the past 17 seasons, the Titan women are a combined 217-111-33 (.661) with five PAC championships and four-straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2002-05.
Thakar’s 21-year record as Westminster’s men’s coach is 212-170-31 (.555), including a team-record 17-6 mark in 2008 after the Titans won the PAC title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. In 2015, the Titans won their fourth PAC title; Westminster advanced to the finals after upsetting the No. 2 nationally ranked Thomas More College in the Semifinals. Westminster qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time, however, lost to No. 1/5 Kenyon College in the first round. In 2018, the Titans won their fifth PAC Championship with a 1-0 victory over Grove City College, advancing to the NCAA tournament for the fifth time.
Since Thakar took over both teams, Westminster has qualified for the NCAA Championships ten times, including five for the men (2002, 2004, 2008, 2015, 2018) and five for the women (2002-05, 2007). In addition, the nine Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) titles the Titans have collected includes five for the men (2002, 2006, 2008, 2015, 2018) and five for the women (2002-04, 2006-07). Thakar was named PAC Coach of the Year six times, three for women’s soccer (2002, 2005, 2006) and three for men’s (2008, 2015, 2018).
Both teams won the PAC title in the same year in 2002 and 2006, with the latter considered Thakar’s finest year of coaching as both teams won the league crowns as underdogs and qualified for the postseason in the ECAC Division III South Championships.
Prior to coaching at Westminster, Thakar was the head men’s coach at his alma mater, Slippery Rock University, from 1993-96, after graduating from SRU in 1991 and later earning a master’s degree from the school. As a player at Slippery Rock, Thakar was a four-year starter who earned All-PSAC honors.