Career Coaching Record: 275-114-23
2018 & 2015 NCAA Division II NSCAA National Coach of the Year
2018, 2015 & 2011 NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year
02, 07, 09, 11, 15, 16, 18 Conference Coach of the Year
2018 NCAA National Champions
2018, 2016 & 2015 NCAA Regional Champions
Entering his 21st season as head coach of the Women’s Soccer Program at the University of Bridgeport in the fall of 2019, Magnus Nilerud reached the pinnacle of D2 soccer in 2018 by capturing the National Championship.
Over a decade of National Prominence - 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.
The 2015 season proved to be the most successful season in program history reaching the NCAA National Semifinals and posting a 21-2-1 overall record, capturing the ECC title and the NCAA Regional title along the way. In 2016, the UB women’s soccer team fell just shy of repeating a trip to the final four by losing 1-0 in the Elite Eight, though a back-to-back conference and regional title was captured. 2017 proved to be a rebuilding year, having lost 10 starters to graduation from the Final Four and Elite Eight teams. With 18 freshmen tallying up the roster, the Lady Purple Knights still managed to qualify for the ECC Tournament in where they fell to LIU Post by a margin of 1-0. 2018 proved to be the most successful season in program and school history for all UB sports. After claiming both the ECC Regular Season and Tournament title, and overcoming LIU Post for the third time in the season to lift the NCAA East Regional title the road headed to Pittsburgh for the 2018 NCAA Fall Festival Final Four. In snowy conditions, the Lady Purple Knights advanced to the National Final after beating UC San Diego 2-0. Nilerud and his team then scored in the 72nd minute against Grand Valley State University to lift the National Trophy for the first time in school history.
The Early Years - 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 17 seasons, he averages over 15 wins a season. He is ranked 11th in the Nation for All-Time Winningest Active coaches by wins and 15th in Nation for All-Time Winningest coaches by percentage.
Nilerud’s overall record of 275-114-23 ranks in the top two in the East Region in both winning percentage and career wins among active coaches. He is one of only two active coaches in the East region with at least 250 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, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Furthermore, he was named the NSCAA East Regional Coach of the Year in 2011, 2015 and 2018. He’s also been honored with the National NCAA Division II Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2018.
Nilerud, in his previous 20 seasons as a head coach has finished with a team ranked nationally in Division II in goals per game ten times, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018; a team ranked nationally in Division II in fewest goals surrendered per game nine times, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 and a team among those with the best overall winning percentage in Division II ten times, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. The program has finished the season ranked in top 25 in the nation in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
In 20 seasons as a head coach, Nilerud has coached 126 All-Conference players including nine Conference Rookies of the Year players, nine Defensive Players of the Year and eight Offensive Players of the Year, 52 National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division II All-Region players, 35 CCAA Women’s Soccer All-Northeast Region Team players, two Daktronics Division II Women’s Soccer Northeast Region Player of the Year, 24 ESPN The Magazine Academic District One Women’s Soccer Team players, eighteen NSCAA NCAA Division II All-America players, eighteen NSCAA NCAA Division II Scholar All-America players and fourteen CCAA NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer All-America players. In 2018, Maegen Doyle was also named the 2018 NCAA D2 National Player of the Year. In addition, he has coached 19 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 twelve of the last thirteen seasons. His record in regional post season play stands at an impressive 32-9-2 with two Division II ECAC Championships, eight regular season ECC Championships, four ECC tournament Championships, three NCAA Regional titles and a NCAA National Championship in 2018. His overall record in NCAA post season play stands at 23-7-2
Magnus is a native of Sweden and graduated from the University of Bridgeport in 1999 with a degree in Marketing. He was a standout soccer player for the Purple Knights from 1995 to 1998. As a four-year starter and captain, Nilerud was a two-time All-New England Conference selection, and was selected to play in the Senior Bowl.
He is very active in the community and is the Director of Coaching of the prestigious Connecticut Football Club. 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.