Having coached the Westminster College men’s and women’s soccer teams concurrently since 2002 and the men’s team since 1998, Girish Thakar has won a combined 283 wins and eight conference championships, while making 12 postseason appearances.
Since Thakar took over both teams ten years ago, Westminster has qualified for the NCAA Championships eight times, including three for the men (2002, 2004, 2008) and five for the women (2002-05, 2007). In addition, the eight Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) titles the Titans have collected includes three for the men (2002, 2006, 2008) and five for the women (2002-04, 2006-07). Thakar was named PAC Coach of the Year four times, three for women’s soccer (2002, 2005, 2006) and one for men’s (2008).
Both teams won the PAC title in the same year in 2002 and 2006, with the latter considered Thakar’s finest year of coaching as both teams won the league crowns as underdogs and qualified for the postseason in the ECAC Division III South Championships.
Thakar enters his 15th season with the men and 11th with the women in 2012 for a combined record of 283-184-34 (.599).
Thakar’s 14-year record as Westminster’s men’s coach is 146-118-16 (.550), including a team-record 17-6 mark in 2008 after the Titans won the PAC title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Thakar took the reins of the Westminster women’s program on an interim basis in 2002, then was named permanent head coach prior to the 2003 season. During the past 10 seasons, the Titan women are a combined 137-66-18 (.661) with five PAC championships and four-straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2002-05.
Prior to coaching at Westminster, Thakar was the head men’s coach at his alma mater, Slippery Rock University, from 1993-96, after graduating from SRU in 1991 and later earning a master’s degree from the school. As a player at Slippery Rock, Thakar was a four-year starter who earned all-PSAC honors.
Thakar's Records as Westminster's Head Women's Soccer Coach:
|2008||15-5-2||ECAC Division III South Tournament|
|2007||15-5-3||PAC Champions / NCAA Division III Tournament|
|2006||14-5-3||PAC Champions / ECAC Division III South Tournament|
|2005||17-5-1||NCAA Division III Tournament|
|2004||14-6-3||PAC Champions / NCAA Division III Tournament|
|2003||16-7||PAC Champions / NCAA Division III Tournament|
|2002||16-6-2||PAC Champions / NCAA Division III Tournament|
|Totals (10 years)||137-66-18 (.665)|
Stephanie Ricketts begins her third season as the assistant coach for the Westminster women’s soccer team in 2012. She came to Westminster from Adrian College where she was an assistant women’s soccer coach for three seasons, including the team’s interim head coach for six months during the spring of 2008. She was also the head varsity women’s bowling coach at Adrian.
During her three years as an assistant soccer coach at Adrian, the Bulldogs improved their record each season including the 2009 team that went 11-6-2 and placed second in the MIAA conference and ranked 10th in the Central Region by the NSCAA. That team also produced four all-conference players, one all-region player and its starting goalkeeper, Rickett’s area of expertise, ranked 25th in the nation.
As a player, Ricketts was a four-year starting goalkeeper at Goucher College in her hometown of Baltimore, Md., where she graduated with honors in psychology in 2007. She posted the second-highest save percentage in the CAC conference in 2006 and became just the fourth goalkeeper in school history to reach 300 career saves.