Michael Pilger begins his 16th season as head coach of the Trinity College men’s soccer team in 2019, having guided the Bantams to the NESCAC Championship Tournament in seven of the last 12 years. The Bantams posted one of the best seasons in the team's history in 2011 with an 11-5-3 record, the program's first NESCAC Finals appearance, and reached the NCAA Second Round for the first time since 1997. Pilger, named the NESCAC Coach of the Year in both 2007 and 2011, possesses a 233-172-47 record in 28 seasons as an NCAA Division III head coach. He is 92-109-24 in 15 years at Trinity including an 84-71-20 mark over the last 12 autumns. Trinity battled through an injury-plagued 2018 season with a 2-13 overall record and 0-10 mark in NESCAC play, losing six times by a single goal, and had a successful season in the classroom as well with nine players collecting NESCAC All-Academic recognition.
Also a physical education instructor at the College, Pilger came to Trinity from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and the Cleveland Crunch of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), where he coached in 2003 and 2002-03, respectively, after highly successful stints as head coach at the University of Rochester and Kenyon College. Pilger coached the Kenyon men’s soccer team from 1988-1991, leading the squad to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament in 1990 and 1991. He was selected as the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1991, and the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year in 1990 after leading Kenyon to a perfect 18-0 regular season. Pilger guided the Rochester men’s soccer program to University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship titles and NCAA Tournament bids in 1993, 1995, and 1997 and to ECAC Championship titles in 1994 and 2000. He was selected as the UAA Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1997 and the NCAA Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 1995. Pilger posted records of 57-13-3 at Kenyon and 84-51-19 at Rochester in a total of 13 seasons.
Pilger is a 1982 graduate of Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education, where he was an all-conference and an all-New England player throughout his career. He went on to play professionally and semi-professionally for six years. He has also been an assistant track and field coach at Trinity.