Mick D’Arcy Leads Woman’s Soccer To Back to Back NEC Championships

George Attwood, Assistant Sports Editor

When you go to watch a game of women’s soccer at Central Connecticut State University, you can’t miss the unmistakable man that is Mick D’Arcy. D’Arcy is an incredibly tall man. When he stands on the sideline he towers over everyone, all of his players look up to him both physically and as a leader.

As head coach, he has built a sense of family within the program. When they played Rutgers, former players drove from Pennsylvania to support the team. After the game, D’Arcy’s phone was blown up with text messages from former players congratulating the team for their win. They’re proud of the program and the coach they once played for.

D’Arcy doesn’t just want to know his players on the pitch, he wants to know them as human beings, which is what makes him such a likable person.

D’Arcy is one of Central Connecticut State University’s most successful coaches. In his 20 years in the job, he has won the Northeast Championship 10 times and has won two NCAA tournament matches. As head coach of the Blue Devils, he has amassed 200 wins. This makes him the winningest women’s soccer coach in Central’s history.

In his office, your eyes are immediately drawn to his window sill. Upon which are a plethora of trophies, all of which showcase the achievements he has won as head coach. As the program keeps on winning, he may have to get a new window sill to continue to showcase their trophies.

When you go to interview Mick, you sit opposite him and your eyes are drawn to all the photos and memorabilia on the wall behind his desk. There is an Ireland shirt that pays tribute to his Irish roots.

His father Eamonn D’Arcy was a professional soccer player in Ireland and England and coached the Irish National Women’s Soccer team.

“My parents have been the greatest influences on my soccer career,” D’Arcy said. “My dad has always been my mentor. He had grown up being a professional player and then went onto be a coach as well. He shared his love for the game with me while my mother has always taught me how to keep the game in perspective.”

Under D’Arcy, individual players have been successful as well as the team. They are honored with a photo and their accomplishments around the top of his office. Which combined with all the trophies for Northeast Championships and personal coaching awards give the vibe that rather than an office, it is more of a museum, toasting to the successes of the women’s soccer program.

Being the head coach of a college team means you have a consistent turnover of players. However, every year D’Arcy gives them a competitive side and has instilled in his team a sense of family. When you step out onto the pitch you are a part of something bigger than yourself.

When he goes out to scout players D’Arcy looks for, “blue-collar players”. The type of players that put the team first over personal success. This type of culture that D’Arcy has created has made the team one of the most formidable teams in the NEC championship, also helping to deliver their first NCAA tournament win.

Despite the turnover of players in college soccer, D’Arcy always looks forward to the following season when there is a bunch of new challenges to overcome.

“Challenge-wise, it is reinventing the team every year,” D’Arcy said. “The differences between club soccer and pro soccer is the natural four-year evolution. It really is a game of snakes and ladders, you work your way close to the top. You never win unless you’re the one team that wins a national championship but you feel like you’re getting close but then it’s back to the start again.”

Looking ahead to next year, D’Arcy and his coaches are trying to figure out how they are going to repeat as champions.

“I’m excited, right away we start looking at who we have next year and how it is all gonna play out,” D’Arcy said. “We’re gonna lose some great players, but that’s the price of success, if you didn’t lose good players, then you would be a bad team.”

D’Arcy enjoys the challenges collegiate soccer presents him and his coaches.

“I think it’s fun because you can’t get burnt out,” D’Arcy said.

He is able to bring in high-quality players which has always helped this program to be competitive.

On the current side they have NEC midfielder of the year, Roma McLaughlin. McLaughlin was in the Irish national team and is here at Central since D’Arcy is the coach. The chance to play under him is something that a lot of players want to experience. In the state of Connecticut, they have a long line of players all who want to play for D’Arcy.

As a coach D’Arcy has found himself constantly evolving in his approach to being a coach.

“I can certainly see how I have developed as a coach,” D’Arcy said. “I think I was a lot more vocal in the olden days. I learned a great lesson because, at the old grass pitch, the press box was directly behind the bench so the video cameras picked up everything I said. It was like I was wearing a microphone. I’d go back and watch the games for video analysis and I would hear myself talking to the referees and players and I would think, look you sound like a fool, shut up and watch the game. So now I’m a lot less vocal on the sideline. I coach when I need to coach. It’s now a case of less is more.”

D’Arcy really enjoys being head coach and after winning his 10th title as head coach, he has no intentions of slowing down.