In ten years leading the Central Connecticut State University women's soccer program, Mick D'Arcy has earned five Northeast Conference Championships, guiding the team to the NCAA Women's College Cup in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and most recently in 2008. In 2003 he led the Blue Devils to the first ever NCAA Tournament game victory in any sport in the school's Division I history.
In 2009, the Blue Devils proved once again to be among the elite programs in the NEC, winning the regular season Championship. At the annual end of season awards banquet Coach D'Arcy collected his fourth Northeast Conference Coach of the Year honor, after a regular season which saw the Blue Devils run the conference slate undefeated. In addition to Coach D'Arcy, several players were honored including Leah Blayney who was named NEC Player of the Year. In all five players were named All-NEC, Blayney, Karise Hilt, and Beth Lloyd to the first team and Brittney Jackson and Caity Casey to the second team. Already the program's winningest coach, D'Arcy improved his career record at Central to112-76-16.
D'Arcy reached a milestone when the Blue Devils captured their seventh overall NEC title in 2008. The 1-0 shutout win over Long Island in the NEC Championship game was the 100th victory of his career. The 2008 squad that won the NEC title was the seventh straight team to qualify for the NEC Tournament, the second-longest active streak in the league. Six Blue Devils were named All-Conference, including four on the first team. In addition, Clio Tregear and Karise Hilt were named to the NSCAA All-Northeast Region squad, and Hilt was also named All-New England. The Blue Devils posted a 12-7-4 overall mark in 2008, including a 7-2 record in NEC play.
In 2007 CCSU senior Megan McClements was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year following the season and five Blue Devils were named to the all-conference teams. The Blue Devils were 9-9-1 overall and 6-3 in league action.
In 2005, D'Arcy collected his third Northeast Conference Coach of the Year honor, leading the team to a program-record 17 wins. D'Arcy added to his 2002 and 2003 awards while his players tacked on additional individual accolades. Sophie Hopper earned the program's fourth Northeast Conference Player of the Year award in five seasons, joining Denise Thomas (2001) and Kelly Shimmin (2002 & 2003), and Ashley Ferra garnered Defensive Player of the Year honors. In addition, D'Arcy has coached two Rookies of the Year (Denise Thomas in 2000 and Jessica McCavanagh in 2003), while 16 players have appeared a combined 26 times on the All-NEC first team.
Not only has D'Arcy successfully recruited top players, he also develops players to reach their highest potential. After two years playing for CCSU, Thomas made her international debut for the Irish Women's National Team and has since become a consistent starter for the team. Jane McFarlane, D'Arcy's team captain and leading goal scorer in 2000, also made her international debut in 2002 for the Scottish National Women's Soccer Team. McFarlane and Thomas bring CCSU's tally of full international players to five. Jackie Hadden and Shimmin played for the Australian and English National Teams, respectively, while Hannah Bromley plays for New Zealand, a team which competed in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.
D'Arcy also began his international coaching career in 2004, working with the U.S. Youth International teams. He was as an assistant coach for the U-19 U.S. National team.
"It was a great experience," he said. "I enjoyed working with Head Coach Mark Krikorian again, and it was a thrill to work with some of the best young players in the world."
In July 2004, D'Arcy was invited to work with the U.S. U-21 National Team as they prepared for the Nordic Cup. In August 2005, D'Arcy participated in an accelerated coaching education program presented by the Dutch National Soccer Federation (KNVB). He furthered his international coaching career, working with the U.S. U-17 National team, in the spring of 2006.
Additionally, D'Arcy holds his players to a high standard of achievement off the field. The 2003 and 2004 Blue Devils earned academic recognition from Central for the highest team GPA. In 2003 and 2004 goalkeeper Sabrina Mariani was named NEC Women's Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year, starting a streak of four straight Blue Devil honorees. Ferra won the award in 2005, while McCavanagh took home the hardware in 2006. In 2008 it was goalkeeper Erin Herd winning the honor, giving the Blue Devils five of the last six award winners.
Mariani earned Verizon Academic All-District Women's Soccer First Team honors in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and was named to the Verizon Academic All-American Third Team in 2003 and 2004. Ferra and McCavanagh followed suit again. The former earned ESPN the Magazine All-District First Team honors in 2005. McCavanagh picked up an all-district selection in 2006. The Blue Devils have earned seven straight NSCAA/adidas Team Academic Awards.
Prior to arriving at CCSU, D'Arcy was the men's and women's assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Hartford. While at Hartford, D'Arcy went to the NCAA Elite Eight twice, once with the men and once with the women. D'Arcy was also the National Director for Tony DiCicco's SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School.
"I learned a lot from Tony," D'Arcy said. "He is a pioneer of coaching women's soccer. A lot of my coaching philosophy was developed from the lessons learned working with Tony at SoccerPlus and with Mark (Krikorian) at Hartford."
D'Arcy's first taste of college coaching was as a Graduate Assistant at Springfield College with both the men's and women's soccer teams. D'Arcy holds his "A" coaching license from U.S. Soccer, the Advance National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), and a "B" license from UEFA (Europe's soccer governing body). Currently, D'Arcy instructs U.S. Soccer coaching courses in Connecticut. He is also on the Northeast Conference women's soccer committee and the ECAC tournament selection committee.
A native of Ireland, he has spent most of his life around soccer. His father Eamonn 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 shared his love for the game with me while my mother has always taught me how to keep the game in perspective."