Mike Van Horn begins his 12th season as head coach of the women's soccer program at Bridgewater College. Under his
direction, the Eagles have steadily improved and moved into contention near the top of the ODAC standings.
In 2009, Van Horn led the Eagles to a record-setting season as the team finished fifth in the nation for most improved program after posting a 13-6-1 overall record. During the 2009 season the team set new program records for most shutouts, assists, goals and wins in a season. The Eagles put together another winning season in 2010 against the most challenging schedule in program history. The back-to-back winning seasons were the first in program history.
The 2011 season was a year of several "firsts" for the program. The Eagles were ranked in the regional poll for the first time ever and the team defeated a program ranked in the national Top 25 for the first time in program history. The program was also recognized by the NSCAA as it received the prestigious Ethics/Sportsmanship Gold Award. The Gold Award is presented to teams that play the entire season without receiving a yellow or red card. Bridgewater was one of just 13 programs in the nation, regardless of classification to receive the honor. The 2011 team posted a 13-5-1 overall record and hosted a first-round game in the ODAC tournament.
Bridgewater advanced to the ODAC Championship game in 2012, a first for the Eagles program. The Eagles hosted a quarterfinal game in the ODAC tournament and advanced on penalty kicks over Roanoke for the program's first ODAC tournament victory. In the semifinals, Bridgewater defeated Virginia Wesleyan, the nation's No. 3 ranked team, to reach the ODAC Championship game where the Eagles lost to Lynchburg, the nation's seventh-ranked team in the title game. The team set a new BC record for goals scored and Elizabeth Stump became the first player during Van Horn's tenure to earn first-team All-ODAC honors. Van Horn was also honored as the ODAC Coach of the Year honor.
In 2013, the Eagles posted their fifth straight winning season, finishing the year with an 11-8-1 overall record. Bridgewater made its second straight trip to the ODAC tournament semifinals and received the Ethics Sportsmanship Silver Award from the NSCAA.
The Eagles set a program-record with 16 wins in 2014, were regionally-ranked by the NSCAA, and earned their first-ever NCAA regional ranking late in the season.
Bridgewater reached overtime of the ODAC championship game in 2017, ultimately falling just short in a 2-1 loss to Lynchburg. The Eagles finished 16-5-1 overall, defeated #21 Lynchburg in the regular season, had a program-record 10-game win streak, and were seventh in the final regional rankings of the regular season. BC had eight All-ODAC selections, while three players- Keri Rager, Isabella Krider and Sarah Brennan- were named to both the All-Region and All-State teams. Van Horn was named the ODAC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
The Eagles earned their first ever NCAA tournament berth after a 15-4-2 campaign in 2018. Bridgewater was the top ODAC seed in the regular season and hosted the conference postseason final four. Bridgewater reached as high as #18 in the national polls.
Bridgewater has posted a 74-30-2 record over the past nine seasons against ODAC foes during regular season play. A total of 57 players have earned All-ODAC honors during Van Horn's tenure and 11 have received All-Region recognition.
The Bridgewater players have also excelled in the classroom. The team received the NSCAA Team Academic Award in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Prior to his arrival at Bridgewater, Van Horn obtained a wealth of coaching experience from the high school, club and collegiate levels, including assistant coaching stops with the men’s program at Bridgewater and King’s College.
During his three seasons with the Bridgewater men’s team, the Eagles qualified for two ODAC tournaments and made one appearance in the conference semifinals. In three years at King’s, the team posted back-to-back, double-digit winning seasons for just the second time in program history.
Van Horn graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. He earned his Masters of Science in athletic administration from James Madison University.
Van Horn holds a USSF National "A" license as well as a NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma.
"My goal," said Van Horn, "Is to develop a soccer culture focused on compassion and respect for each aspect of the game and each student-athlete, while progressively raising the standard of the program and maintaining high academic standards."
Van Horn lives in Harrisonburg with his wife Molly and sons, Ayden and Eyan.