Adel Heder, the winningest coach in IUP women’s soccer history, announced his retirement from coaching earlier this week.
Heder served as the head coach since 2001, accumulating an overall record of 220-139-24 (.606) with two regular-season division titles, a conference tournament championship and three NCAA tournament appearances.
“I would like to thank IUP for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to coach here,” Heder said. “I believe we have built a very competitive soccer program not only within the PSAC, but also the region. I am incredibly proud of all my players – not only what they accomplished on the field, but also their successes in the classroom and in life. I will miss all of them tremendously and I thank them for everything they have given me and taught me over the years. I will miss the recruiting, building our program, and the competition. But it is my time to step away. ”
“I want to thank Coach Heder for all he has done for the IUP women’s soccer program,” said Todd Garzarelli, IUP director of athletics. “Adel left an indelible mark here and his contributions to the soccer program and our athletic department, as well as his service to his student-athletes, will not be forgotten. His impact has not only been felt here at IUP, but reaches the soccer community throughout the conference and all levels in Western Pennsylvania. We are extremely proud of Adel and all of his accomplishments. ”
Heder left a huge mark on IUP women’s soccer, leading the program for 20 of its 27 seasons of existence. Heder coached IUP to a PSAC championship in 2004, and led the program to conference tournament title matches in both 2006 and 2008. He won at least 10 matches in a season 11 times during his tenure, guided IUP to three NCAA tournaments (2004, 2006 , 2009), and was named the PSAC Coach of the Year on two occasions (2004, 2006). Heder also led IUP to PSAC Western Division regular season titles in back-to-back seasons (2005-06) with a combined 17-2-1 (.875) divisional record.
In 20 seasons, Heder coached 77 total PSAC postseason honorees: including 32 first-team selections, three freshman of the year honorees and one player of the year. In addition, 10 players since 2007 have earned All-Atlantic Region recognition.
Heder coached three players who would be inducted into the IUP Athletic Hall of Fame: Erin Falce (2003-06), Tia Kipp (1999-2002), and Sarah Romasco (2006-09).
Prior to IUP, Heder ran the soccer program and served as boys’ varsity coach at Kiski Area High School from 1987-2001. In addition, he was the head coach of the Pennsylvania West Olympic Development program and the head coach and coordinator of the state select Pittsburgh Strikers Soccer Club.
Heder was honored for his contributions to the sport in 2019 when he was inducted into the Pennsylvania West Soccer Youth Hall of Fame.
Heder earned his master’s degree in health and physical education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984. Heder’s daughter, Crystal, played on the IUP soccer team from 2003-06, and daughter Viann finished her senior season with the Crimson Hawks in 2011.