The 19th head coach in Franklin & Marshall history, Dan Wagner concluded his 17th season as the squad's mentor in the fall of 2018. A three-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Adidas Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, the only active coach in the region to win the award three times, Wagner has turned the Diplomats into a consistent national player.
Wagner has guided the Diplomats to 15 straight winning seasons, including 10 straight appearances in the Centennial Conference (CC) Playoffs. From 2006 to present, the Diplomats have participated in the NCAA tournament eight times and were nine times ranked in the top 25 of the national rankings at the season's end. Wagner’s players have been named All-America nine times during his tenure and CC Players of the Year in three seasons.
Under Wagner’s leadership, his Diplomat squads have obtained unparalleled success in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 on four occasions – a streak that ran from 2013-16 and was matched by only five teams in the nation during that period.
Two of Wagner’s teams advanced as far as the NCAA Elite Eight, with the first being in 2013 and the most recent accomplishment occurring in 2016.
Centennial Conference Championships have also become a hallmark of Wagner’s tenure at F&M, with the Diplomats capturing the only two crowns in the program’s history – the first in 2013 with a 2-1 2OT thriller over Dickinson, as well as a 1-0 shutout over Dickinson to earn the title in 2017.
F&M has also been recognized nationally as one of Division III’s most respected and successful programs with a consistent place in the top-25 rankings. The 2015 squad became the first in program history to reach No. 1 in the nation – a reign the Diplomats held for four consecutive weeks, while the 2016 team finished at No. 6 in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America's (NSCAA) National Poll – the highest ever for F&M.
Wagner’s first two seasons were building blocks for what would become one of the most successful stretches in program history. The Diplomats won only 12 of their 34 games in 2002 and 2003 and finished last in Centennial Conference in ’03. The program came roaring back in 2004, with 11 wins marking one of the 10 best season-to-season turnarounds for a program in the NCAA that year.
Wagner's soccer pedigree is rich. Steeped in the storied tradition of Messiah soccer, where he excelled as an undergrad, Wagner is the only player to captain the Falcons for three seasons. While playing in Grantham, he earned All-Middle Atlantic Conference honors in 1991, 1994 and 1995. He finished his career at Messiah with 16 goals and 23 assists for 55 points. Wagner also captained Mechanicsburg High School for three seasons and was named Mid-Penn Player of the Year in 1991. He also was All-State and captained his EPYSA ODP team.
Wagner also directs the F&M Soccer Africa Project, a cooperative venture with Amandla Edufootball and the CTC Ten Foundation. This group has created the Chris Campbell Memorial Field as well as a clubhouse and education center in Khayelitsha South Africa. The facility operates similar to a boy’s and girl’s club in the United States and promotes positive life choices for underprivileged youth in one of the poorest areas of South Africa. The idea of the facility was conceived by Wagner, created by CTC Ten and is now managed by South African NGO Amandla Edufootball. The F&M soccer team travels to Cape Town every three years in support of the facility. Wagner also works closely with F&M’s Ware Institutes for Civic Engagement in supporting faculty and student study abroad, volunteer and community-based learning experiences.
In addition to his time at Franklin & Marshall, Wagner is the Co-Director of Tactical Team Trainers, conducting high school soccer team and player development camps.
Wagner first went from the pitch to the sideline at Northern York High School, coaching the girls' junior varsity (1994) and varsity (1995) teams. From Dillsburg, it was on to Pequea Valley High School, where he stood at the helm for two seasons. In that time, he raised the varsity boys' program from a 5-13 record in 1997, to 14-4 in 1998. The sudden turnaround earned Wagner the 1998 Lancaster-Lebanon League Section III Coach of the Year award and demonstrated his uncanny knack for making his teams instantly competitive.
- Three-time NSCAA/Adidas Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
- Winningest Coach in F&M Men’s Soccer History
- Two Centennial Conference Championships
- Four NCAA Sweet 16 Appearances
- Two NCAA Elite Eight Appearances
- Undefeated Regular Season in 2014
- Reached No. 1 Ranking in 2015
- Fifteen Straight Winning Seasons
- Ten Consecutive CC Playoff Appearances
- Coached Nine All-Americans, Three CC Players of the Year
Updated 2/15/19 | BW