Gary Hamill enters his 27th season as the Wingate men’s soccer head coach, where he also serves as the director of soccer. Hamill is 320-155-27 during his coaching career, leading Wingate to the first NCAA team national championship in school history in 2016. He ranks 24th all-time in wins among NCAA Division II coaches and 13th among active D2 coaches. In addition to his overall record, Hamill has compiled a 134-54-12 record in the SAC. Previously, he has served the University as associate athletic director and head coach for women’s soccer. Hamill is the winningest coach in the history of men’s soccer at Wingate University and the South Atlantic Conference. The eight-time SAC Coach of the Year is a two-time Region Coach of the Year, with his staff earning National Coaching Staff of the Year honors in 2016.
Hamill guided the Bulldogs to their fourth straight regular season SAC title in 2017. Wingate went on to capture its second SAC Tournament championship in the last three years. Hamill was named the SAC Coach of the Year for a league-record eighth time. Wingate had a SAC-best seven players earn all-conference honors, while Pablo Jara became the first three-time All-American in Wingate men’s soccer history.
In his 26th year as the Wingate head coach, Hamill led the Bulldogs to the first NCAA team championship in school history, guiding the top-ranked Bulldogs to a 19-1 record in 2016. Hamill was named the SAC Coach of the Year in 2016, while he and his staff earned NSCAA Region and National Coaching Staff of the Year honors. Wingate had five players earn All-American accolades in 2016, while leading the nation in winning percentage and goals-against average. Consensus first team All-American defender Alex Nelson became the first Bulldog to ever earn NSCAA National Player of the Year honors. In addition, Jara, Aksel Juul, Damian Gaona and Callum Ross earned All-American recognition. Wingate's .399 goals-against average in 2016 ranks 14th all-time in NCAA Division II history.
Hamill led the Bulldogs to their second straight regular season SAC title in 2015, while also leading Wingate to its first SAC Tournament championship since 2002. It marked the first time since 1994 that the Bulldogs won both conference titles in the same year. Eight Bulldogs earned All-SAC honors in 2015, including SAC Player of the Year Jon Ander and the SAC Freshman of the Year and Tournament MVP Jara. Wingate had a program record three players earn NSCAA All-American honors in 2015. Ander was a second team selection, while Jara and Shaun Gadsby earned third team accolades. Wingate advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where top-ranked and eventual national champion Pfeiffer had to score twice in the final nine minutes to rally for a 2-1 victory en route to an undefeated season. Wingate was ranked as high as seventh during the 2015 season.
Hamill led Wingate to the 2014 regular season SAC title. The Bulldogs advanced to the SAC Tournament championship match and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Wingate advanced to the regional semifinals. The Bulldogs went 14-5-1 overall, led by NSCAA All-American Charlie Machell.
Hamill led the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Southeast Regional title in the history of the program in 2012. Wingate defeated Montevallo, Lander and Flagler to advance to the first Elite Eight in Wingate men's soccer history. Hamill was named the Region Coach of the Year. The Bulldogs followed by climbing as high as fifth in the national rankings during the 2013 season. Wingate finished the season 11-5-1 overall.
In 2010, the Bulldogs posted a 15-4-0 overall record (8-1 SAC) to claim a share of the league’s regular season title. The Bulldogs reached the semi-finals of the Food Lion SAC tournament. The Bulldogs made the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional men’s soccer tournament for the second consecutive season. Luke Mulholland picked up All-America honors for the third consecutive year, as well as All-Region, All-District and All-Conference honors. Mulholland signed professionally with the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Pro league.
In 2009, the Bulldogs compiled a 13-5-1 overall record and finished 6-1-1 in the SAC for a second-place finish. Wingate reached the semi-finals of the Food Lion SAC tournament. The Bulldogs recorded a win in the first round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Region tournament, blanking Flagler 4-0 in extreme conditions. Mulholland picked up All-America honors, scoring 17 goals from the midfield.
Wingate compiled a 12-7-2 overall record in 2008, advancing to the finals of the Food Lion SAC tournament. Mulholland was named to the NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division II All-America third team following his sophomore season. Mulholland and Junior Nyemb received regional recognition from CoSIDA (Daktronics) and the NSCAA. Mullholland, Nyemb and Thomas Poole were named All-SAC.
The Bulldog men’s soccer team finished the 2007 season with a 16-5-1 overall record, posting a 5-2 record in the South Atlantic Conference. Wingate finished the season ranked 19th in the NSCAA/Adidas Division II top 25; the Bulldogs charted as high as number eight during the year.
Mulholland, Nyemb and Ben Clark were first team All-SAC and first team All-Region selections in 2007. Clark was named to the NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division II All-America second team. The College Sports Information Directors of America named senior Kerrin Sheldon to the Academic All-America® first team in 2007.
Following the 2006 season, two Bulldogs were named to the All-Appalachian Region first team: Sheldon and Nyemb. Sheldon was named to the 2006 Academic All-America® second team.
In 2005, three players were selected for the All-Appalachian Region teams: Clark, forward Robert Dawson and midfielder James Lavery. Dawson was named to the Academic All-America® men’s soccer third team (college division), selected by CoSIDA.
In 2002, the Bulldogs were 16-6-1 overall (5-2-0 in the SAC). Wingate won the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference tournament in 2002, defeating host Tusculum College Pioneers 1-0 in a thrilling final.
The 1999 Bulldogs qualified for the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time in school history. Wingate completed the 1999 season 17-5-1 overall (8-0-0 SAC). Wingate won the SAC regular season championship with the first-ever 8-0-0 league ledger. Hamill was the SAC Coach of the Year in 1999.
Hamill led Wingate to a school-record 18-2-1 overall record in 1994 (7-0-0 SAC). In 1994, the Bulldogs won the SAC regular season and tournament titles. Hamill also earned SAC Coach of the Year honors in 1993, his first year as Wingate mentor. In 1993, Hamill’s 15-6-1 record earned him the NCAA/NSCAA South Regional Coach of the Year award. Hamill was a finalist for the NCAA/NSCAA national Coach of the Year award.
As women’s head coach, Hamill compiled a 20-19-0 overall record in two seasons. His 1996 team went 9-10-0 overall, earning a first-ever berth in the South Atlantic Conference tournament final four. His 1997 side established a then-school record for victories, ending the season with a 11-9-0 overall mark.
Hamill’s teams have won four conference regular season championships (1994, 1999, 2001, 2010) and two Food Lion South Atlantic Conference tournament titles (1994, 2002). Wingate participated in the NCAA Division II play-offs in 1999, 2007, 2009 and 2010. Hamill has been named South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year five times (1993, 1994, 1999, 2001 and 2010). He has received more COTY honors than any other men’s soccer coach in SAC history.
On the national scene, Hamill served as chair of the NCAA Division II men’s soccer committee for two years. Hamill was responsible for administering the NCAA Division II men’s soccer championships, coordinating the efforts of eight regional advisory committees. He spent four years as a member of the NCAA Soccer rules committee, serving one year as chairperson.
He has also served as the chair for the NCAA South Regional Advisory Committee for two years. In addition, he served three seasons as the national chairman of the NSCAA Umbro Select NCAA Division II top 25 ranking committee.
A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Hamill graduated from Orangefield High School and then attended the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. Hamill played soccer at both Orangefield High School and the College of Charleston. While a student at the College of Charleston, Hamill became the head soccer coach, assistant athletic director and director of playground sports at First Baptist Church High School in Charleston.