Providence College Athletics Director Bob Driscoll announced today the appointment of Craig Stewart as the head men’s soccer coach at the College. Stewart, who becomes the fourth head coach at Providence College, comes to PC after spending the last three seasons as the head coach at Division II power, Franklin Pierce University (Rindge, N.H.). He replaces Chaka Daley, who resigned in December to take the head coaching position at the University of Michigan.
In 2011, Stewart guided Franklin Pierce to a 21-1-1 overall record as the team captured the Northeast-10 Conference regular season and tournament championships for the second consecutive season. The 21 victories set a single-season school record. In addition, the team earned a trip to the NCAA Final Four. Franklin Pierce also had its first unbeaten regular season record in team history as the Ravens went 16-0-1. For his efforts, Stewart was named NSCAA/Mondo East Region Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Franklin Pierce also excelled in the classroom as the team earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award with a 3.12 team grade point average and two of his players garnered CoSIDA Academic honors.
In three seasons, Stewart led Franklin Pierce to a 51-8-6 overall record, two Northeast-10 Conference championships (regular season and tournament), two trips to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and one trip to the Final Four. Stewart also coached four players who combined to win six player-of-the-year awards from either the conference or regional committees. In addition, he guided the Ravens to an undefeated record (24-0-2) in the Northeast-10 Conference during the last two seasons.
Prior to Franklin Pierce, Stewart served as an assistant coach at Providence College for three seasons (2006-08) under Chaka Daley. While at Providence, Stewart helped the Friars to consecutive NCAA Tournament berths and a trip to the 2006 BIG EAST Semifinals. Stewart spent the 2005 season as an assistant coach at Northeastern University. In addition, Stewart is currently the head coach for the U18 Boston Bolts Academy Team which is affiliated with US Soccer and Celtic FC. He also serves as an assistant coach for the British University Team which competes in the World University Games.
“We are excited to welcome Craig Stewart as the next men’s soccer coach at Providence College,” Driscoll said. “Over the past seven years, the men’s soccer program at Providence College has been one of the most successful teams in the BIG EAST Conference and for three years Craig was part of that success. In Craig, I believe we have a leader and a winner, who will not only maintain that success, but also take it to the next level.”
Stewart is inheriting a Providence team that has made the NCAA Tournament five times in the last seven seasons, including two consecutive years (2010, 2011). Over the seven-year span, the Friars have recorded seven consecutive winning seasons and posted a 72-48-21 overall record. In addition, Providence advanced to the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals four times and the championship game once.
“I feel honored and privileged to be returning to Providence College as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach,” Stewart said. “I look forward to building upon the tradition of success and commitment to excellence that has been established by those who led before me. I would like to thank Bob Driscoll and Father Shanley for the opportunity to lead a program at such a prestigious institution which competes at the highest level of collegiate athletics.”
In addition to coaching, Stewart also played collegiate soccer at Franklin Pierce, where he earned a master’s in business administration and managerial leadership in 2004. At Franklin Pierce, Stewart was named NSCAA Division II All-American and Northeast 10 Player of the Year in 2004, as he helped the Ravens to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Following his collegiate playing career, Stewart played professionally for the New Hampshire Phantoms and the Western Massachusetts Pioeneers, both of the United States Soccer League.
Stewart was a product of the Newcastle (England) United Football Club youth system, spending almost 10 years at the club followed by stints with Sunderland AFC and Everton FC. Stewart then attended Loughborough University (England), where he was part of a BUSA National Championship team, earning a degree in Sports Science (2002). The native of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, earned his Football Association (FA) coaching license and served as academy coach at the Newcastle Football Development Scheme.
Stewart and his wife, Jessica, reside in Massachusetts.