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Paul Ratcliffe
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: UCLA '94
Experience: 12 Years
Ratcliffe Photos

Paul Ratcliffe is the most successful coach in more than 100 years of Stanford soccer, among men or women.

In 13 seasons as head coach, the Stanford women have won one national championship, reached three NCAA finals, won five Pac-12 titles, played in six College Cups, and reached the NCAA third round the past 10 seasons. The Cardinal has advanced to the College Cup six of the past eight years.

Ratcliffe, who has never failed to direct the Cardinal to the NCAA tournament, is Stanford's winningest soccer coach, with a 233-47-26 record (.804) on The Farm. Ratcliffe has more victories than any other coach in Stanford men's or women's soccer history. The men's soccer program began in 1911 and the women's in 1984.

He also is the most successful in the postseason, with a 36-10-4 record in NCAA playoff action. His Stanford teams have an ongoing streak of 29 consecutive NCAA tournament matches without a loss at home.

Ratcliffe is a six-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year and three-time NSCAA national Coach of the Year. After Stanford finished 19-2-2 in 2015, his record in 18 years as a collegiate head coach, including five at Saint Mary’s, is 289-81-33 (.751).

In 2011, he led Stanford to its first NCAA women's soccer championship, and a third consecutive NCAA final.

Some of the numbers under Ratcliffe are among the most incredible in NCAA Division I women’s soccer history. Stanford had a 73-match unbeaten streak (70-0-3) from 2008-13 for the second-longest such streak in NCAA annals. The Cardinal also won 44 consecutive conference matches during the same span for the third-longest streak ever. Also impressive was Stanford’s 162-match unbeaten streak when scoring a goal, a stretch that lasted from 2006-13. And Stanford had a 64-match regular-season unbeaten streak from 2008-12.

Two of Ratcliffe's former players -- Kelley O'Hara and Christen Press -- were members of the U.S. national team that won the 2015 World Cup. They were among five former Cardinal playing in the tournament.

Four of Ratcliffe’s former players competed in the 2012 London Olympics and six appeared in the 2011 World Cup -- no other school claimed as many players in either competition as Stanford.

Just as impressive is the level of talent that has come through the program, headlined by these national players of the year: Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy winners Teresa Noyola (2011), Christen Press (2010) and Kelley O'Hara (2009), and 2011 Soccer America Player of the Year Lindsay Taylor.

At Stanford, Ratcliffe has coached five Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year winners, nine first-team NSCAA All-Americans (17 in all), 36 all-conference players, and 66 Pac-12 All-Academic selections.

Stanford has proven to be a complete team under Ratcliffe, consistently among the nation's top scoring teams and among the best defensively. In Ratcliffe's 13 seasons, Stanford has a combined goals-against average of 0.56, a figure that in itself would be among the best in the nation in any given season.

Before arriving at Stanford, Ratcliffe spent five seasons as head coach at Saint Mary's, leading the Gaels to a 55-34-7 overall record. He was a three-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. In 2001, he earned West Region Coach of the Year honors when the Gaels - with only one senior in the starting lineup - reached their highest-ever national ranking of No. 7, had a 13-game win streak and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He would win four more regional coach of the year awards at Stanford.

Before coming to Moraga, Ratcliffe was an assistant at his alma mater, UCLA, from 1994-97. The Bruins posted an undefeated 1997 season, won the Pac-10 title and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Ratcliffe also served as UCLA's interim head coach from January through August of 1996.

Ratcliffe earned his National "A" License from the United States Soccer Federation in 1999. A 1994 UCLA graduate, Ratcliffe earned his degree in sociology with a specialization in business administration. Ratcliffe, a midfielder, was a four-year letterman, scoring 30 points in 73 matches, and was a member of the 1990 national championship team.

Ratcliffe was born in England and raised in Calabasas, California. He went on to play professionally for the Los Angeles United and Anaheim Splash of the Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1993 and 1994.

Ratcliffe and his wife, Amy, live at Stanford and have two daughters, Elena and Chloe.

Ratcliffe's Record Year-By-Year
Year School Record Conference Postseason
1998 Saint Mary's 6-12-0 3-4-0 --
1999 Saint Mary's 13-4-1 5-2-0 --
2000 Saint Mary's 12-6-2 5-2-0 --
2001 Saint Mary's 15-3-2 5-2-0 NCAA Second Round
2002 Saint Mary's 9-9-2 3-3-1 --
2003 Stanford 10-9-2 5-3-1 NCAA First Round
2004 Stanford 13-6-3 4-3-2 NCAA Second Round
2005 Stanford 10-7-3 4-3-2 NCAA First Round
2006 Stanford 15-6-2 6-2-1 NCAA Third Round
2007 Stanford 15-3-5 5-1-3 NCAA Third Round
2008 Stanford 22-2-1 8-1-0 NCAA Semifinals
2009 Stanford 25-1-0 9-0-0 NCAA Final
2010 Stanford 23-1-2 9-0-0 NCAA Final
2011 Stanford 25-0-1 11-0-0 NCAA Champion
2012 Stanford 21-2-1 11-0-0 NCAA Semifinals
2013 Stanford 15-6-1 6-5-0 NCAA Third Round
2014 Stanford 20-2-3 9-1-1 NCAA Semifinals
2015 Stanford 19-2-2 10-0-1 NCAA Quarterfinals
Totals 18 Seasons 289-81-33 118-32-12 14 NCAA Appearances

Ratcliffe's Honors

  • 1999 WCC Coach of the Year
  • 2000 WCC Coach of the Year
  • 2001 West Region Coach of the Year
  • 2001 WCC Coach of the Year
  • 2008 NSCAA National Coach of the Year
  • 2008 Soccer America National Coach of the Year
  • 2008 Soccer Buzz National Coach of the Year
  • 2008 NSCAA Pacific Region Coach of the Year
  • 2008 Pac-10 Coach of the Year
  • 2009 NSCAA National Coach of the Year
  • 2009 CaptainU National Coach of the Year
  • 2009 NSCAA Pacific Region Coach of the Year
  • 2009 Pac-10 Coach of the Year
  • 2010 NSCAA Pacific Region Coach of the Year
  • 2010 Pac-10 Coach of the Year
  • 2011 Pac-12 Coach of the Year
  • 2011 NSCAA Pacific Region Coach of the Year
  • 2011 NSCAA National Coach of the Year
  • 2012 Pac-12 Coach of the Year
  • 2015 NSCAA Pacific Region Coach of the Year
  • 2015 Pac-12 Coach of the Year