Former West Virginia University men’s soccer All-American Andy Wright enters his fifth season on the Mountaineer men's coaching staff and his first as associate head coach in 2020.
Wright, a Mountaineer from 2004-07 and one of the top players in program history, returned to Morgantown after concluding a successful playing career, in which he played for five clubs from 2007-15.
In his four seasons back at WVU, he has helped guide the Mountaineers to two conference titles, two NCAA Tournament berths, multiple weeks in the national rankings and numerous national athletic and academic honors.
Last season, WVU won its first MAC Tournament title, winning three matches in six days to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers reached the NCAA Second Round for the second consecutive season, while finishing the campaign with a 10-9-2 mark. Senior defender Sebastian Garcia-Herreros was named to the MAC Second Team, while four players reached the MAC All-Tournament Team, including junior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky, the Tournament MVP. In the classroom, WVU continued to excel, as nine members of the team were named to the Academic All-MAC Team.
WVU was ranked as high as No. 19 in the national polls at one point during the season and finished No. 1 in the MAC and No. 26 nationally with 38 assists as a team.
West Virginia won the MAC regular-season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round in 2018. With a 14-7-0 record and a 5-0-0 mark in conference play, the Mountaineers were one win shy of the tying the program record and one of just two teams in the country to record a 1.000 winning percentage in conference play.
WVU finished the season in the top-25 in each of the major poll’s final rankings, coming in as high as No. 17, while senior Joey Piatczyc earned three All-America accolades, was the MAC Player of the Year and was drafted in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls. Piatczyc and Tekesky were named to the All-MAC First Team, while four earned second team accolades.
The record-setting 2018 campaign for West Virginia included 51 assists and 129 shots on goal, both program bests. WVU’s 21 matches played and 135 total points were tied for third-most in school history.
In 2017, the Mountaineers earned a top-25 ranking for five weeks, coming in as high as No. 14, while the team recorded nine shutouts, tied for the fifth-most in a single season in program history. One of the shutouts was a 1-0 victory over then-No. 5 Michigan State.
As a team, WVU earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 10th consecutive season. The list of individual award winners were highlighted by junior Stephen Banick and sophomore Ryan Kellogg, who were recognized on the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team, and senior Steven James and Garcia-Herreros and Kellogg, who were named Distinguished Scholar-Athletes by the Mid-American Conference.
Wright’s first season back at West Virginia saw the Mountaineers in the top-25 for six consecutive weeks, ranking as high as No. 15, and ranked in all four major polls for two weeks in a row. The season’s second game saw WVU beat then-No. 7 Georgetown, 1-0, which began a string of seven consecutive shutouts, the longest in program history.
Additionally, senior Jack Elliott capped an impressive career by earning Academic All-America First Team honors and was named to the 2016 All-Great Lakes Region First Team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Elliott was selected in the fourth round (77th overall) by the Philadelphia Union in the 2017 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
A three-time All-American, Wright ranks in the top-10 in team history in numerous statistical categories. During his time donning the Gold and Blue, he helped lead the Mountaineers to three NCAA Tournaments and was named the Big East Midfielder of the Year in 2007 and a Big East All-Conference selection from 2005-07.
The Formby, England, native played in 83 matches in his WVU career, tied for third-most all-time, with 80 starts, second-most. He netted 11 game-winning goals, one shy of the program record. Wright assisted on eight game-winning goals, second-most in team history, and his four game-winning assists in 2007 are tied for fourth all-time. Wright’s 12 game-winning points in 2007 is second and his nine in 2006 is tied for ninth. He is second with 30 game-winning assists in his career.
Wright played 6,755 minutes at WVU, which ranks No. 2 in program history, while his 17 assists tied for second-most at the conclusion of his Mountaineer tenure.
His 60 career shots on goal were third-most in program history, and his 20 shots on goal in 2006 tied for fourth. Wright recorded 151 shots, which was sixth on WVU’s all-time list.
Wright led the team in shots in 2006, with 50, and tied for the team lead as a senior in 2007 with six goals, helping lead the Mountaineers to the Sweet 16.
Upon the conclusion of his WVU playing career, Wright returned to England to play professionally from 2008-15. He began his professional career with Scunthorpe United from 2008-12, where he helped the team win promotion from League 1 to the English Championship. He was loaned to Grimsby Town in 2010 and 2012. From 2012-15, he played for Morecambe before he concluded his playing career with Southport.