The 2007 season will mark Larry Sullivan's 17th and final season as the head coach of men's soccer at Villanova University.
With 10 starters and 21 letter winners returning, the Wildcats hope to return to the BIG EAST Conference Tournament in 2007.
There have been more than a few highlights for the Wildcats since the start of the 2003 campaign.
After being picked to finish last in the pre-season Big East poll, Sullivan steered the `Cats to a 10-8-1 record and an appearance in the Big East Tournament. The Wildcats earned their first national ranking in more than a decade when they moved to No. 25 in the polls late in the regular season. It took a strong effort from eventual NCAA Finalist St. John's, to subdue Villanova 2-1 in overtime in the Big East Tournament. Villanova appeared in the top 25 poll in both 2003 and 2004.
In the course of his stint on the Main Line Sullivan has earned a reputation as a teacher and educator, a fitting tribute given the fact that his background is in education. Overall Sullivan owns an 104-155-28 mark.
One of the trademarks of the Sullivan era has been success in the classroom. In 2001 and 2002 Stephen Leaman was named the Philadelphia Soccer Seven academic player of the year and the Wildcats have had 132 athletes voted named Big East Academic all-stars during Sullivan's tenure.
There have been other high points in his stint as well.
In 1997 a senior laden Wildcat squad finished with a 4-4-3 mark in conference play that put the Wildcats in the Big East Tournament for the first time since 1993.
Among the athletes Sullivan has tutored is Jim Curtin, a 2000 Villanova graduate who has gone on to become an MLS all-star with the Chicago Fire.
During this past offseason Villanova attracted another outstanding recruiting class.
Sullivan arrived at Villanova in 1991, after spending the previous nine years as head coach of the Father Judge High School boy's soccer program in the Philadelphia Catholic League. During his nine years at the helm of Father Judge, he also held several head coaching positions with the Keystone Games and with Olympic development teams. His first collegiate experience came in 1977-78, when he served as an assistant coach at St. Joseph's University for two seasons.
A Philadelphia native, Sullivan was a three-year letter winner at Northeast High School. At Northeast High, he twice earned All-Catholic honors, as well as All-City and All-Scholastic distinctions. Following high school, Sullivan joined the United States Army and served a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam. While serving in Vietnam, he was wounded twice and received the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star for Valor twice and the Army Accommodation for Valor Medal. Discharged from the Army in 1969 with the rank of First Lieutenant, Sullivan headed to Temple University on a soccer scholarship from 1970-73.
Sullivan and his wife, Kathleen, live in Philadelphia and are the parents of three children, Megan (33), Brenden (31) and Bryan (30). Both Sullivans played college soccer and Brenden played professionally as well. Sullivan's nephew, Chris Albright, is a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS and represented the country as a member of Team USA in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.