Coach Ashby records career milestone
FORT KENT, Maine — University of Maine at Fort Kent men’s soccer coach Bill Ashby reached a major milestone when his team defeated the University of Maine at Machias Sept. 25, as he recorded his 400th career victory, defeating the school where his career began.
The win makes him only the 42nd head coach in United States collegiate soccer history to reach the plateau. Ashby is the 19th active coach to reach 400 wins. His overall record is 400-173-24.
Ashby took over the University of Maine at Machias program in 1984, where his team went 1-9. He improved each season there and eventually got his squad to a 5-6-1 record in his final season there in 1987. He then moved on to Husson University, where he turned the program around, winning two games in his first season to a 12-7-1 record, winning Conference coach of the year in the process.
Maine Maritime Academy, in 1992, is where the real success began for Ashby. He led his teams there to four winning seasons, winning 64 games in six seasons. From then on, he has turned in an overall winning record at each stop prior to arrival in Fort Kent.
He spent four years each at the University of Mary in North Dakota and Brescia University in Kentucky, winning 58 and 50 games, respectively. During those eight seasons, he was named NAIA Regional Coach of the Year twice, NAIA Sectional Coach of the Year twice, KIAC Conference Coach of the Year and in 2001 was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Regional Coach of the Year.
Ashby came to Fort Kent in 2006 and was named athletic director and men’s soccer coach. His winning percentage speaks for itself and shows the utter dominance his teams have displayed in his 10 complete seasons. Through 10 games of his 11th season as the man in charge of the Bengals, he is an astonishing 188-15-6. His win percentage is slightly under 90 percent.
His teams won the USCAA National Championship in both the 2011 and 2015 seasons. His UMFK teams have never lost more than three matches in a single season and have won 20 or more, five times. Ashby has been chosen as NSCAA Coach of the Year six different times while at the helm of the Bengals.
In 2015, he was recognized by his peers and association as USCAA National Coach of the Year.
Arguably his best team ever, the 2008 squad, who was inducted into the UMFK Hall of Fame last year, made it all the way to the NAIA Elite 8, which made them one of the top eight teams nationally among the NAIA. This was the furthest a UMFK team, men or women, in any sport had ever advanced.
In total, Ashby has completed 31 seasons of coaching, 24 Coach of the Year awards, two National Championships and in 2014 was named as USCAA Athletic Director of the Year. He also holds the school record for victories at Maine Maritime Academy, Brescia University and University of Mary.
Upon completion of the 2016 season, Ashby will also hold UMFK’s all-time record for soccer coaching victories.