Barry Bimbi will enter his eighth year as the women's soccer head coach at Loyola University Chicago in 2018, and has the Ramblers poised to become a contending team in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Bimbi oversaw one of the nation's top offenses in 2017 as the Ramblers closed the season with a 13-7-0 record and finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference, going 4-2-0 in league play. Led by United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-Midwest Region honoree Jenna Szczesny, who was also one of five Ramblers to earn All-MVC accolades, the Maroon & Gold finished second nationally in goals scored, finding the back of the net an astonishing 61 times as they easily shattered the previous school record in the category. Bimbi's team picked up a pair of impressive road wins over power five conference opponents in Iowa and Kentucky, before downing Valparaiso by a final count of 2-1 to earn a fourth consecutive trip to the semifinals of the MVC Women's Soccer Championship. Loyola also continued its run of impressive work away from the field, earning the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for an eighth-straight season.
In 2016, Loyola finished the year with a record of 5-11-3 and 2-4-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play. The sixth-seeded Ramblers pulled an opening-round upset in the Missouri Valley Conference Women's Soccer Championship as they downed third-seeded Northern Iowa, 1-0, before bowing out of the league tournament to Evansville in a penalty shootout for the second time in as many seasons. Shelby Koch, Jenna Szczesny and Sienna Cruz all earned Second Team All-MVC accolades, with Cruz also being tabbed as a member of the Valley's All-Freshman Team. For the seventh time in as many seasons, Loyola was honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) with the organization's College Team Academic Award for its work and dedication in the classroom.
The 2015 season was arguably Bimbi's finest during his time in Rogers Park as he took a team that was picked sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Coaches Poll to the Final of the Missouri Valley Conference Women's Soccer Championship. The Ramblers posted the fourth winning season in program history, going 9-7-5 overall and 2-2-2 in Valley play. Early season highlights included a 0-0 draw with then No. 21 DePaul and a thrilling 3-2 triumph over former Horizon League foe Milwaukee. Postseason victories over established Valley power Illinois State and Drake, the league's regular season champion, helped Loyola to is first appearance in the league's Championship game. The Ramblers were also well-represented on the MVC's All-Conference teams, led by First Team selection Mariah Vichich and Valley Freshman of the Year Jenna Szczesny. Bimbi's team also continued it's solid work away from the pitch as Loyola was honored with the NSCAA College Team Academic Award for a sixth-straight season.
Bimbi's team struggled with injuries throughout the 2014 campaign en route to a 5-13-1 overall record, finishing at 2-3-1 in Valley play. The Ramblers booked a second-straight ticket to the conference tournament by defeating Evansville, 1-0, on the final day of the regular season by virtue of a first-half goal from Sammy Gage and a clean sheet from goalkeeper Monica Gonyo, two of five Ramblers who were honored as All-Missouri Valley Conference selections during the conference tournament. 2014 also served as a coming-out party freshmen Avalon Senn-Raemont and Katie Grall. The duo combined to score seven goals in their debut season in Rogers Park. Success away from the field, a hallmark of Bimbi's teams since his arrival at Loyola, continued when the Ramblers were honored with the NSCAA's College Team Academic Award for the fifth consecutive year.
In 2013, Loyola's first year as a member of the Valley, Bimbi led the Ramblers to a final mark of 6-8-6, going 3-3-0 in conference play. The team finished third in the conference standings, far exceeding outside preseason expectations. The season was highlighted by a group of five Ramblers earning All-Missouri Valley Conference accolades. Leading the pack was senior Tricia Stonebraker wrapped up a fantastic career for the Maroon & Gold by racking up a career-best 11 points (3 goals, 5 assists) en route to a First Team selection. The development of Loyola's talented freshman duo of Hailey Merrill and Shelby Koch was also on full display. Merrill developed into a viable scoring threat for the Ramblers as the season progressed, which Koch was a stalwart on the Loyola backline. Bimbi's squad continued to excel away from the pitch as well as they were recognized for the third-time in as many years with the NSCAA College Team Academic Award.
Under Bimbi's tutelage in 2012, Loyola posted an 8-9-3 record and advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League tournament. Hubly wrapped up her Loyola career by being named a First Team All-Horizon League selection, while Gonyo was joined on the second team by senior Chelsie Stokes. Freshman Mariah Vichich went on to be named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team. Loyola's success in the classroom continued as well. The team ranked 20th out of 323 Division I women's soccer programs in the country, collecting a 3.52 grade point average en route to being recognized by the NSCAA with the College Team Academic Award.
In his first season at Loyola in 2011, Bimbi coached the Ramblers to a 6-10-3 overall record and helped mold Jessie Hubly into a Second Team All-Horizon League selection, while Valerie Gonyo and Moriah Schwarz were chosen to the All-Newcomer Team. Last year, Bimbi's squad also excelled in the classroom, posting a cumulative 3.46 grade-point average in the fall and 3.58 mark in the spring. Bimbi also stresses the importance of giving back to the Loyola and surrounding community and last year, the program earned the Horizon League Community Outreach Award.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Bimbi spent four seasons (2007-2010) as an assistant women's soccer coach at the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as the program's recruiting coordinator and was in charge of player development. In each of his last seasons there, the Panthers developed an All-Big East Rookie Team player, marking the only two occasions in program history that accomplishment has occurred.
In 2009, Pitt finished with an 8-5-5 overall record during a breakthrough season in which the Panthers received their first-ever national ranking by Soccer America, checking in at No. 25 in September. Bimbi helped the team earn victories over nationally ranked teams such as Ohio State and Connecticut as well as earning ties against Notre Dame, which eventually reached the NCAA Final Four.
Prior to his time at Pittsburgh, Bimbi served as an assistant coach on the men's soccer staff at Marquette University and in 2002, helped the Golden Eagles to a 10-8-1 ledger. During his four-year stay at Marquette, Bimbi mentored 10 total All-Conference USA selections and helped recruit a pair of National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) High School All-Americans. While at Marquette, he served as the program's recruiting coordinator, oversaw player development and coordinated academic activities.
Bimbi began his coaching career at his alma mater, spending six seasons at Saint Francis (Pa.), as an assistant on the men's staff. There, he helped lead the Red Flash to the program's first-ever back-to-back winning records in Northeast Conference play and aided in the recruitment of four academic All-Americans.
Bimbi has also coached several Olympic Development teams and earned his USSF "A" license in 2005.
A 1994 graduate of Saint Francis (Pa.), Bimbi earned four All-Northeast Conference honors as a player, including first team recognition as a junior. He led the conference in scoring as a freshman and was a three-time team captain. In February, 2011 Bimbi was inducted into the Saint Francis (Pa.) Athletics Hall of Fame.
Bimbi and his wife, Melissa, are the proud parents of a son, Amedeo, and daughter, Lena.