Entering his 18th season as head coach of the Women’s Soccer Program at the University of Bridgeport in the fall of 2016, Magnus Nilerud continues to elevate the profile of the University of Bridgeport both regionally and nationally. In 2007 Nilerud led the program to its first-ever NCAA appearance, and in 2008 the team reached the NCAA Round of 16 and posted a school record 18 wins. In 2009, the Purple Knights captured the school's first-ever ECC title and reached the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive year, hosting first and second round matches at Knights Field. In 2010, he posted an impressive 14-4-2 overall record and guided the Purple Knights to their fourth straight NCAA appearance and the team advanced to the second round with a first round victory over Franklin Pierce. In 2011, the Purple Knights had a 16-0-2 record and were ranked number one in the nation for six weeks during the regular season and advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. After losing in the 2012 ECC Final with a 11-6-2 overall record, Bridgeport rebounded in 2013 to reclaim the ECC Regular Season Title and the Conference Championship before advancing to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in seven years. In 2014, the Purple Knights once again reached the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the 2nd Round. Last season, UB had its most successful season in program history reaching the NCAA National Semifinals and posting a 21-2-1 overall record.
After inheriting a team in transition in 1999, Nilerud has systematically built a program that is nationally recognized, regionally respected and among the elite in the East Coast Conference. He has taken the women’s program at the University of Bridgeport and built into one of the premiere programs in the Northeast. Not one to settle for comparisons to others who have gone before him, Nilerud has taken the program and constructed it using his own vision for a collegiate women’s soccer program. And this vision has been impressive. Nilerud broke the existing record for most career wins by a head coach in Bridgeport Women’s Soccer history within his first four seasons. Nilerud reached his 50th career victory in his sixth season as head coach and his 100th career victory a mere three seasons later. In the past 12 seasons, he averages over 13 wins a season and an impressive 14 wins per season in his last eight. He is ranked 27th in the Nation for All-Time Wins in winning percentage and 25th in Nation for All-Time Wins of active coaches.
Nilerud’s overall record of 229-98-20 ranks in the top five in the East Region in both winning percentage and career wins among active coaches. He is one of only five active coaches in the East region with at least 100 career victories. Nilerud has been named the NYCAC Coach of the Year in 2002 and the East Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2011 and 2015. Furthermore, he was named the NSCAA East Regional Coach of the Year in 2011 and National NCAA Division II Coach of the Year in 2015.
Nilerud, in his previous 16 seasonsas a head coach has finished with a team ranked nationally in Division II in goals per game five times, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011; a team ranked nationally in Division II in fewest goals surrendered per game three times, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and a team among those with the best overall winning percentage in Division II four times, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013. The program has finished the season ranked in top 25 in the nation in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
In 17 seasons as a head coach, Nilerud has coached 91 All-Conference players including six Conference Rookies of the Year players, six Defensive Players of the Year and five Offensive Players of the Year, 36 National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division II All-Region players, 24 CCAA Women’s Soccer All-Northeast Region Team players, one Daktronics Division II Women’s Soccer Northeast Region Player of the Year, 12 ESPN The Magazine Academic District One Women’s Soccer Team players, seven NSCAA NCAA Division II All-America players, ten NSCAA NCAA Division II Scholar All-America players and eight CCAA NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer All-America players. In addition, he has coached 15 consecutive NSCAA Women’s Academic Award Teams.
Nilerud has qualified for every conference post season tournament in his time at the helm of the University of Bridgeport. He has led the University of Bridgeport Women’s Soccer program to regional or national post season play for nine consecutive seasons. His record in regional post season play stands at an impressive 17-6-2 with two Division II ECAC Championships and three ECC Championships. His overall record in NCAA post season play stands at 9-5-2
He is very active in the community and is the Director of Coaching of the Trumbull United Soccer Club, Connecticut. He is also the Co-Director of CT Summer Select, a youth summer soccer program with over 300 players. He is the member of the Connecticut Olympic Development Program staff. He holds a SFF (Swedish Football Federation) B License, a USSF C License and a NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma. After a second stint as the East Region Chair for the NCAA Championships, he was promoted to the National Chair in January, 2014.
Nilerud resides in Hamden, Connecticut with his wife; Sharon, also a University of Bridgeport Alum; and their three daughters, Isabelle, Sofia and Lilliana.