WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross appointed Ben Graham as the new head coach of its women’s soccer program, as announced by the athletic director Kit Hughes.
The ninth head coach in program history, Graham served as interim head coach of the Crusaders in the spring of 2022 and takes over after spending six seasons on staff at the Holy Cross men’s football team, including all four past as Associate Head Coach.
“Through an incredibly competitive search process, it became clear that the ideal candidate to lead Crusader women’s football into the future was right here in Worcester,” said Hughes. “Ben Graham is a tireless leader and team builder who is ready to strive for excellence and realize the potential that we believe lies within this program. He has demonstrated the ability to build strong and lasting relationships with student-athletes and his peers, and I can’t think of a better person to represent our program and Holy Cross. The best is yet to come and I’m glad Ben is leading the way.
Graham was Holy Cross men’s associate head coach from 2018-2021, having spent two seasons as an assistant coach from 2016-2017. He helped the team to three Patriot League tournaments during that time, with Holy Cross reaching the league game in 2017, the semi-finals in spring 2021, and the quarter-finals in fall 2021. Last year, the Crusaders went 8-8-3 overall to their most wins in a single season since 2013, and ranked third in the Patriot League at 5-3-1 after being selected eighth in the preseason poll.
“I want to thank Kit Hughes, Rose Shea and the rest of the search committee for entrusting me with the leadership of the women’s soccer program here at Holy Cross,” said Graham. “I am thrilled to work with this impressive group of young women after seeing all the hard work they have put in this spring to improve themselves and the program. I look forward to continuing my association with Holy Cross and the community of Worcester for many years to come as we strive to return to the Patriot League tournament and strive for a championship.
“I would also like to pay special tribute to the head coach of men’s football Marco Koolman, who has been a fantastic mentor to me for the past six seasons. I look forward to seeing the men’s program continue to grow and strengthen over the next few years. ”
Prior to his move to Holy Cross, Graham spent two seasons as a men’s football assistant coach at Stanford from 2014 to 2015. He helped the Cardinal win the national championship in 2015, after the team qualified for the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2014. Stanford also won back-to-back Pacific-12 Conference titles during his time on staff.
Before heading to Stanford, Graham served as an assistant men’s soccer coach at Northeastern from 2012 to 2014, working with goaltenders in addition to assisting with scouting and opponent scouting. He helped the Huskies win their first-ever Colonial Athletic Association title and a second-round appearance at the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
From 2009 to 2011, Graham built Marymount (Calif.) College’s men’s and women’s soccer programs—the school’s first varsity teams—from the ground up as they transitioned to fully accredited NAIA programs. In three seasons, he led the Mariners to 31 combined wins and tied the best in the men’s program with eight wins in 2010. Under Graham, three Mariners earned all-conference status and two were named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
Prior to his time at Marymount, Graham served as a men’s football assistant coach at Cal State Bakersfield for two seasons from 2007-2008, helping with the Roadrunners’ transition from Division II to Division I. He was also a graduate assistant at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas from 2005 to 2006, helping the Cardinals to two NCAA Division II tournaments.
Originally from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, Graham received his LL.B. and JD from the University of Sheffield (England) in 1996 and 1998, respectively. He played semi-professionally in the UK before coming to the United States to coach at high school and club level in 2000. Graham won a high school state championship in Maine in 2002 and was named coach of the Year NSCAA in the State. He went on to earn a Masters in Curriculum and Instructional Teaching from Cal State Bakersfield in 2009 and is pursuing his Ph.D. at the United States Sports Academy.
Graham holds a USSF A License, a USSF National Goalie License and an NSCAA Premier Diploma.