11 America East Regular Season Titles (1988, 1990, '91, '92, '93, '94, 2001, '04, '08, 2010, '11)
7x America East Coach of the Year (1991, '94, 2001, '04, '08, 2010, '11)
5x NSCAA New England Coach of the Year (1985, '86, '88, 1994, 2004)
Five-time NSCAA New England Coach of the Year Neil Roberts enters his 29th year at the helm and will be leading the Terriers into their inaugural season in the Patriot League. Before making the transition, he guided BU to an impressive 26 winning regular season records, highlighted by an America East record 11 regular season titles and seven tournament crowns.
Since taking the reigns in 1985 when BU rolled to a 14-4-1 record and a bid in the NCAA tournament, Roberts has established the BU men's soccer program as one of the elite in the nation. Ranking 11th in the nation among active coaches in victories, Roberts has guided the Terriers to a 313-162-74 (.638) overall record.
This past season with six nationally ranked opponents on the schedule, the Terriers were plagued by injuries and finished at 6-8-4 with three of the losses coming in overtime. They had many memorable moments, including a 1-0 victory at then-No. 11 Boston College, marking BU's first shutout win against the Eagles since 1998. BU held up well at No. 1 North Carolina, creating multiple chances but came up just short in a 2-1 defeat, and followed up with a 1-1 draw at No. 3 Connecticut.
In 2011, Roberts received his seventh league Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Terriers to a 9-9 (5-2 AE) record and the program's 11th regular season title. In the previous year, BU finished with a 11-5-1 record and a RPI of 40 to become one of the last teams left out of the NCAAs.
In 2009, BU was ranked as high as 15th before before ending the season with a 9-7-2 record. Highlights of the season included a 3-0 win at the UConn's field and a 1-0 home victory over then-No. 1 St. John's. The victory marked the program's first win against the top-ranked team since defeating Virginia at the start of the 1994 season.
In 2008 with the seventh-best strength of schedule in the nation, BU finished 12-6-3 and advanced to the second round of the NCAAs after knocking off Fairleigh Dickinson at home. A late second-half goal by eventual College Cup participant St. John's snapped a 10-game unbeaten streak for the Terriers, who finished the year with a RPI rating of 20.
Under Roberts' direction, the Terriers have appeared in 13 NCAA tournaments, advancing past the first round seven times. During the 1985 season, the Terriers reached the national quarterfinals. In 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 2004 and 2008, the Terriers won their first-round matches before being eliminated in the second round.
BU has enjoyed similar success in the America East men's soccer championship during Roberts' tenure. The Terriers won five straight conference titles in the 1990s and, during that stretch, had a 10-game tournament winning streak. In the 23-year history of the postseason competition, BU has advanced to the finals nine times and boasts an overall record of 16-7-6 (.655).
Similarly, in 25 years of regular-season conference play, the Terriers have won the regular-season title 11 times and posted an overall record of 124-43-26 (.710). From September 1989 through October 1993, Roberts' clubs were undefeated in 29 consecutive conference games, compiling a mark of 28-0-1.
One of the highlights of Roberts' career came in 1994 when the Terriers posted a 16-0-1 regular-season record, making them the only undefeated team in the nation. The season opened with a stunning 3-2 upset win over No. 1 ranked and eventual national champion University of Virginia. The Terriers set seven team records and finished the regular-season ranked first. They ended the year with a 19-1-1 (.929) mark, including a first-round win in the NCAAs.
The all-time winningest soccer coach in program history, Roberts has coached 12 All-Americans and nine Academic All-Americans. In 1994, Nick Bone, who went on to become the Terriers' all-time leading scorer, was voted the National Freshman of the Year.
Roberts' association with BU soccer began in 1979, when he served as an assistant under Hank Steinbrecher, who is the former executive director of the United States Soccer Federation. In 1985, when Steinbrecher left the University, Roberts was named the head coach.
Since then, he has been recognized 16 times for coaching excellence. He was the NSCAA New England Coach of the Year in 1985, 1986, 1988, 1994 and 2004. In 1986, 1990 and 1994, he was also the New England Soccer Coach of the Year as selected by the Eastern Massachusetts High School Soccer Coaches Association, and in 1991, 1994, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2011, he was the America East Coach of the Year. In 1995, he received the William French Award for coaching excellence from the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Having coached nine academic All-Americans, Roberts is equally proud of his players' successes in the classroom. During the 2005 season, 13 players earned America East academic honors, and Steve Walker (1993) and Ola Olsen (1994) previously received the conference's Scholar-Athlete Award as the outstanding student-athlete in men's soccer. In 2008, senior co-captain Dan Schultz earned national academic honors from both CoSIDA and the NSCAA. Ben Havey followed two years later in 2010 with CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades.
The holder of a USSF license, Roberts has been actively involved with soccer at all levels. Most recently, he guided the Massachusetts Under-15 team to the 1999 regional title, while he has also coached the Mass Bay Strikers to the 1993 Under-17 State title. In 1984, he led the Cambridge Portuguese Sport Soccer Club to an undefeated season and the American Soccer Association title.
A native of Braintree, Mass., Roberts was an All-New England selection and captain of the 1976 Mitchell Junior College team that finished second at the junior college national championships. He then enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University, where he enjoyed two outstanding seasons. Roberts captained the team during his junior and senior seasons and led the Owls to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances.
Currently residing in his hometown, Roberts and his wife, Sue, have a son, Dan, and a daughter, Deidre.