Sean Phillips – Director
Director of Sean Phillips Soccer
Head Men’s Soccer Coach – UIC
Professional Match Evaluator Major League Soccer
Sean Phillips, who finished his 10th season as the head coach of UIC in 2019, has been a key component in leading UIC to the winningest era in its history. In 2019, Coach Phillips led the Flames to a fifth straight championship season winning the Horizon League Regular Season Championship. The 2019 post season accolades included Coach of the Year, several All Horizon League First Team and United Soccer Coaches All Region selections as well as an All American. Each of these players have served as coaches at the Sean Phillips Soccer programs. This season followed up the 2018 season where Coach Phillips led the program to a third consecutive Horizon League Tournament Championship as well as the NCAA Tournament. The 2017 season saw Phillips lead the Flames to a second consecutive Horizon League Tournament Championship and an appearance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Regular season honors included two All Horizon League First Team Selections, one All Horizon League Second Team Selection as well as two selections to the All Horizon League Newcomer Team. Post season accolades included four All Horizon League Tournament team selections, the Horizon League Tournament MVP, two All Region Selections and an All Scholar All Region Selection. After finishing the 2016 Horizon League Regular Season in 2nd place, Phillips lead the UIC Men’s Soccer Team to the Horizon League Tournament Championship and an appearance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Regular season honors included three All Horizon League First Team selections as well as two All Horizon League Newcomer selections. Post season accolades included four All Horizon League Tournament team selections and the Horizon League Tournament MVP Oscar Rivero.Phillips led the Flames to their second Horizon League regular season championship in the past three seasons in 2015 after the team produced a near undefeated record of 6-1-2 in conference play, marking just the sixth one-loss season in program history. Phillips earned his second Horizon League Coach of the Year distinction while coaching Player of the Year Manny Chavez and Co-Offensive Player of the Year Jorge Alvarez.UIC had one of its most successful seasons in 2013 when it concluded with a 16-4-0 record after winning 16 of their last 18 games and producing a 10-match win streak into the postseason. While making an appearance in the national rankings at No. 23 on Nov. 12, the Flames ended the regular season at 15-3-0, setting a program record for most wins during the regular season, and 7-0-0 in the Horizon League, marking the most conference wins in program history and the first time UIC had won every League match. The feat allowed the Flames to clinch the Horizon League regular season title and the No. 1 seed for the first time since 2008. Phillips capped off the season by being named Horizon League Coach of the Year alongside Player of the Year Bob Novak, Defensive Player of the Year Josh Beard and Freshman and Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Putna.With Phillips as the fifth all-time head coach, UIC has recorded a pair of wins over Ohio State (one each in 2010 and 2012) and prominent victories over Gonzaga and Milwaukee (both in 2013), captured two UIC Soccer Classic titles and had eight players receive All-Region accolades. Academically, two players have received NSCAA All Scholar All Region (2012 and 2015) and the team has earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award twice.Prior to taking over the head coaching reins in 2010, Phillips served as the top assistant coach of the Flames since 2005. During his tenure, UIC advanced to three straight NCAA tournaments between 2006-2008, including back-to-back Sweet 16 runs and an unprecedented trip to the Elite Eight in 2007. The Flames also achieved their greatest national rankings during Phillips’ UIC career, including a school-best No. 4 ranking in 2008.
In 2005, UIC enjoyed the sixth-biggest turnaround in the nation, capitalizing on a rebuilding project that began in the spring of 2005 when Phillips arrived with a new staff as the top assistant. Phillips coordinated countless facets of the program, including recruiting, game strategy, training, scheduling and academics.
Phillips began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, Indiana University, in 2000. He helped the Hoosiers advance to three College Cups while on staff, winning a national championship in 2004 before heading to UIC. The Indiana Hoosiers also made a pair of trips to the College Cup during his playing career from 1991-94.
In addition to his work at UIC, Phillips is very active in the soccer community, serving as a clinician for “America Scores Chicago,” a soccer league with the purpose of providing boys and girls with an alternative to spending after-school time on the streets, and Urban Initiatives, a nonprofit for kids in the Chicago Public Schools that runs health, education and character development programming. His players are also active in the organizations, serving as coaches, clinicians and role models.
Phillips graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Indiana in 1994, and earned his Master’s in Sport Management from IU in 2002.
Phillips holds numerous coaching licenses, including his USSF “B”, an NSCAA Premier Diploma with Distinction and an NSCAA Goalkeeper Level III Diploma with Distinction. Phillips is additionally a scout for the US Soccer Development Academy and a Professional Match Evaluator for Major League Soccer.
HEAD COACH – UIC
2017: 11-6-3 – Horizon League Tournament Champions; NCAA Tournament First Round; Horizon League Regular Season 2nd Place
2016: 9-8-3 – Horizon League Tournament Champions; NCAA Tournament First Round; Horizon League Regular Season 2nd Place
2015: 9-6-3 – Horizon League Regular Season Champions
2013: 16-4-0 – Horizon League Regular Season Champions
ASSISTANT COACH – UIC
Year: Record (Postseason)
2008: 12-4-6 (NCAA Sweet 16)
2007: 13-6-6 (NCAA Elite Eight)
2006: 13-3-5 (NCAA Second Round)
ASSISTANT COACH – INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Year: Record (Postseason)
2004: 19-4-1 (NCAA Champions)
2002: 15-4-2 (NCAA Third Round)
2001: 18-4-1 (NCAA College Cup)
2000: 16-7-0 (NCAA College Cup)