One of the most renowned soccer coaches in the United States, Manfred Schellscheidt completed his 24th year as the head coach of the Seton Hall men’s soccer program in 2011. A committed teacher of the game of soccer, he has enjoyed a distinguished career at every stop from the youth to international levels. The first coach in the United States to earn an “A-1” license, Schellscheidt has worked with some of the country’s most respected coaches, including Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley, while mentoring several players who have risen to the professional and international stage.
Schellscheidt’s coaching philosophy is to have his players learn by playing, which has led to him becoming the winningest coach in the program’s history, compiling a 232-177-48 record and a 104-85-16 mark in BIG EAST Conference play. He has guided the Pirates to two BIG EAST Championships, nine NCAA Tournament berths, seven conference title game appearances and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2001, while having just two losing seasons in 20 years.
Under Schellscheidt’s direction the Pirates have enjoyed some of their most successful campaigns in the program’s history. Schellscheidt came to Seton Hall in 1988 after a one-year stint as assistant coach at Princeton University and quickly established SHU as a national power. In his first season at SHU, Schellscheidt piloted the team to 16-4-4 record and a final No. 3 ranking, its highest ever. The Pirates won their third straight BIG EAST title and reached the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals before losing to eventual national champion Indiana.
In 2006, Schellscheidt won his 200th career game in a 2-0 victory over Monmouth on September 1. A 13-4-3 mark in 2005 was the 17th winning season under his guidance as SHU finished second in the BIG EAST’s Blue Division. Schellscheidt’s staff was named BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year and led SHU to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a final ranking of 24th nationally.
The Pirates made their 7th appearance in a BIG EAST title game in 2004 after becoming the first No. 8 seed in the BIG EAST to win a game in the league tournament. Schellscheidt’s squad started its run in the quarterfinals by defeating fourth-ranked Notre Dame in penalty-kicks. Despite falling on penalty-kicks to Connecticut in the championship, SHU advanced to the NCAA’s and finished with a 12-7-3 mark. Schellscheidt’s leadership also earned him NSCAA/adidas Middle-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year honors.
Under Schellscheidt’s tutelage, the Pirates have become a tough opponent for ranked teams to face, especially at Owen T. Carroll Field. Despite fielding a team with just three seniors in 2003, SHU recorded wins over No. 6 St. John’s and at No. 14 Virginia, en route to another NCAA bid and a spot in the Top 25. The 2002 season saw another NCAA bid and two more wins over ranked opponents. SHU opened the year with a win over No. 6 UConn, a win that propelled the Pirates into the Top 10, and followed that with a win over No. 21 Penn State later in the year. The two-year run saw SHU go an impressive 14-1-1 at home, including a perfect 7-0-1 mark in 2003, which was the start of a 17-game unbeaten streak at Owen T.
After gaining an at-large berth to the 2001 NCAA Tournament, Seton Hall earned a first-round win over Coastal Carolina before recording the upset of the championship – a 1-0 victory at second-seeded and heavily favored Virginia. The win earned the Pirates a berth in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1992.
Schellscheidt’s 2000 squad finished with a 13-7 record and a runner-up finish in the BIG EAST Tournament after the fifth-seeded Pirates knocked off top-seeded and eventual national champion Connecticut, 3-2, in overtime to advance to the championship game. Seton Hall was ranked as high as 15th in the nation in the NSCAA/adidas poll, including first in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The 1998 squad spent several weeks in the NSCAA top 25 and had an impressive 3-2 record against ranked teams. On October 25, Schellscheidt guided Seton Hall to a 2-1 win over No. 1 Connecticut, marking the first time a Pirate soccer team had defeated a top-ranked opponent. For his efforts, he was named New Jersey Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
Schellscheidt reached a milestone when he recorded his 100th career victory with a 3-0 win over West Virginia on October 20, 1996. Nearly a year later, the Pirates earned a 5-1 win over Providence, giving Schellscheidt his 107th win as head coach at Seton Hall, passing Nick Menza (1958-84), who retired with 106 career victories. His 1995 squad won 10 games and climbed as high as 16th nationally, while his 1994 team advanced to the BIG EAST Semifinals and went 12-6, with Schellscheidt being named the New Jersey Coach of the Year.
Seton Hall went 10-7-1 in 1989 and advanced to the conference championship match before losing at Connecticut to end a reign as three-time champions. The Pirates rebounded in 1990 going 11-8-2, claiming the regular-season league crown, reaching the BIG EAST title match, while making its fifth NCAA tournament appearance in six years. The success continued in 1991 as the Pirates posted their finest BIG EAST record at 7-1 and won the conference title en route to an NCAA Second Round berth and a No. 15 national ranking by the ISAA. The following season was almost an exact repeat as the 1992 squad went 12-7-3, reached the BIG EAST Championship, and again went to the NCAA Second Round. That season also saw the program host the first-ever NCAA contest on Seton Hall’s campus.
Known for his ability to nuture and develop talent, Schellscheidt has coached five All-Americans at Seton Hall, including two-time first team selection Pat O’Kelly in 1988 and 1989. Sacha Kljestan became the second repeat All-American under Schellscheidt, earning first team honors in 2004 and third team in 2005. Schellscheidt helped Tom Houston earn second team honors in 1994, while Hector Zamora earned first team status in 1992 and Gerson Echeverry was a third team pick in 1991. Zamora (1992), O’Kelly (1990) and Greg Strohmann (2002) were also recipients of the prestigious BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
Schellscheidt’s experience as a coach reaches beyond the collegiate level as he has been active at both the national and local level coaching senior and youth teams. At the youth level, Schellscheidt served as the Region I head coach in the Olympic Development Program until 2007 and has served as the coach of the U-14 Boys National Team since 2000. He also led the local Union Lancers’ U-19 team to McGuire Cup titles in both 1987 and 1988.
At some point he also coached over half of the members of the 1990 U.S. World Cup team, the first American team to qualify for the World Cup in 40 years. He coached the U.S. National Team in 1975 and led the 1984 United States Olympic Team and two editions of the U.S. Pan American Games team, along with numerous other youth national squads.
Schellscheidt, who was inducted into the United States Soccer Hall of Fame and selected to the “Collegiate All-Coaches Team” by Soccer America in 1990, has long been considered one of the outstanding coaches in the nation. He was inducted into the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 1991 and was one of the first inductees into the College Soccer Association of New Jersey’s Wall of Fame in December 1995. Also in 1995, he received the “Spirit of the Game” award from the Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association of New Jersey, citing good sportsmanship and work with youth programs. The New England Soccer Hall of Fame inducted him in May 1999. In 2003 he was inducted into both the New Jersey Soccer Association Hall of Fame and Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League Hall of Fame.
A 1967 graduate of the University of Sports in Cologne, Germany, Schellscheidt played there professionally for FC Solingen and FC Victoria Cologne before coming to the U.S. in 1964. Upon arriving in the United States, he immediately began playing with the semi-pro Elizabeth Sports Club of the German-American Football Association and helped the team to the U.S. Open Cup titles in 1970 and 1972.
He has been involved with five other national championships during his career. He played for the Philadelphia Atoms which won the North American Soccer League crown in 1973, coached the New Jersey Americans to the 1977 American Soccer League title, and was a player-coach for the Rhode Island Oceaneers that won the 1974 ASL championship, earning him “Coach of the Year” honors.
A native of Solingen, Germany, he wrote “Youth League: Soccer Skills - Mastering the Ball,” which was published in the spring of 1992. Schellscheidt and his wife Annette currently reside in Union, N.J. They have two daughters, Jackie and Janet, and a son, Karl, who was a former player at Princeton University.