“I am so excited that Phil has accepted the head men's soccer position at Dominican. His passion for the University and for Penguin soccer is unbelievable and I look forward to continued success under Phil's leadership,” said Leimbach. “Phil is a tremendous recruiter and knows first-hand what it takes to succeed as a student-athlete at Dominican.”
A former Dominican player himself, Billeci-Gard has served as the soccer program's interim director since early May and takes over a men's program that last season had its best finish in NCAA Division II competition at 9-7-2.
Billeci-Gard's extensive coaching résumé spans the past 15 years. He embarked on his coaching career as a youth instructor at Graff Willem VAC in Den Hagg, Holland, then following one season as an assistant coach at Santa Rosa Junior College, Billeci-Gard played an instrumental role as assistant coach for Montgomery High School, which earned a nationally ranking that season. He also spent time on the club circuit with Santa Rosa United, Marin FC, and Central Marin soccer clubs. He returned to Dominican to coach the women's soccer team in 2006 and was named associate head coach of both the men's and women's teams in 2009.
“I'm proud to say that we've created a platform here at Dominican where student-athletes can find success in academics and athletics and I look forward to fostering the men's soccer program for years to come,” said Billeci-Gard. “I'm grateful to President Marcy, Brandon, and the administration for this opportunity.”
During his tenure at Dominican, which dates back to 2006, Billeci-Gard has developed top talent in the region and in the nation, including 2008 NAIA All-American Honorable Mention Eleanna Mendez '10 and 2012 Capital One Academic NCAA Division II First Team All-American® Pedro Guevara '13.
Day-to-day duties have included recruiting, training, game day operations, player management, alumni relations, ID camps, and scheduling.
Billeci-Gard's playing career extends from De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., to Southern Oregon, to Reno, Nev. where he played for the Northern Nevada Aces, a Division 3 professional team. He also competed in the United States Developmental Player League for one year.
Billeci-Gard has his BA in English from Dominican and is currently enrolled in the University's MBA program. He and his wife Megan and son Franklin reside in San Rafael.
“The women's program has always been close to my heart and we'll work hard to ensure that the person we bring in to lead that program continues that success.”
A national search for a women's head coach, led by Leimbach and Billeci-Gard, will begin immediately.