Trinity College has announced the appointment of Methembe Ndlovu as head men’s soccer coach.  Ndlovu comes to Trinity owning a wealth of impressive coaching and playing experience at many levels.  A four-time All-Ivy League player at Dartmouth College, Ndlovu coached at numerous clubs both in the U.S. and abroad and most recently served as an assistant coach at Penn State University and women’s associate head coach at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in California.  Ndlovu was also the Africa CEO of Grassroot Soccer and played both professionally and for the Zimbabwe National Team.  He replaces Mike Pilger who retired from coaching following the 2021 season.

“We are thrilled to welcome Methembe to the Bantam family and have him write a new chapter in the long and storied history of men’s soccer at Trinity College,” said Trinity Athletic Director Drew Galbraith. “His personal history with the game is marked by success at every level. Methembe has a clear vision for our men’s soccer program that includes competitive success and the holistic development of our student-athletes. He is a skilled teacher and his passion for the game is contagious.”

Ndlovu earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth in 1997, where he starred on the pitch for the Big Green.  He went on to a professional career that saw him spend six years with the Albuquerque Geckos, Highlanders FC in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and the Boston Bulldogs. In addition, Ndlovu earned nine international caps with the full Zimbabwe Men’s National Team between 1997 and 1999.  Ndlovu started his coaching career as a player assistant coach with the Cape Cod Crusaders, then of the PDL, in 2002. In his first season as head coach in 2003, he led the Crusaders to the 2003 PDL National Championship. He then joined the PDL Indiana Invaders as general manager and head coach. A holder of the USSF B License, he was voted 2004 PDL National Coach of the Year. That year, Ndlovu also served as a volunteer assistant coach with the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team under one of his mentors, the legendary Bobby Clark.

Ndlovu was the head coach of the Highlanders Football Club from 2006 to July 2008, leading the club to a CAF Africa Champions League qualification in 2006 and the CAF Confederations Cup in 2008. Ndlovu was also the Zimbabwe National Under-20 Men’s Head Coach from 2007 to 2010, and guided that squad to the COSAFA championship in 2007 and to the COSAFA silver medal in 2008.  Ndlovu went on to found and serve as CEO and technical director of Bantu Rovers Football Club in Zimbabwe for 10 years (2008-17). Bantu fostered sporting and academic excellence, sent players to professional leagues in Africa and beyond, and sent student-athletes to prestigious prep schools in the United States. As CEO, he was responsible for all club operations and as technical director he oversaw the clubs’ technical staff.  He re-entered college coaching at Penn State under another of his mentors, Jeff Cook, in 2020 and helped guide the Athenas to a 9-4-3 record at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps last fall.

Ndlovu’s achievements as a co-founder of Grassroot Soccer, Inc. (GRS), a youth health, non-governmental organization that uses soccer as a tool for social change, is equally if not more impressive as those as a player and coach. In 2010, Ndlovu was awarded the Dartmouth College Martin Luther King Social Justice Award for his vision, enthusiasm and persistence in youth health education. Ndlovu was part of the organization’s Africa leadership team and was The Grassroot Soccer Africa CEO when he left the organization’s management team in 2018 to serve on the GRS Global Board as a trustee.

“Trinity College stands apart in its student-centered culture, reputation for excellence in both academics and athletics, commitment to the whole person and deliberate fostering of an environment of inclusion,” said Ndlovu. “I am truly honored to accept the position of head men’s soccer coach at Trinity College and join the team of extraordinary coaches and staff. I am grateful to Drew Galbraith, Kristen Noone and the entire search committee for selecting me for this role.”

Trinity men’s soccer finished the 2021 season with an 3-11-1 overall record and an 0-9-01 mark in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).  The Bantams have qualified for 10 NESCAC Championship Tournaments and played in the NCAA Tournament in 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1997, and 2011.

What People Are Saying About Methembe Ndlovu

Bobby Clark, Former Head Coach, Notre Dame, Stanford, New Zealand and Dartmouth

“Methembe Ndlovu was one of the best players I ever coached. His big strength was reading the game and he brought this nicely into his role as a coach. It was a joy to have him as part of my staff while I was coaching at Notre Dame and he was coaching the Indiana Invaders in the Professional Development League. I am confident the Trinity players will enjoy having him as their coach.”

Jeff Cook, Head Coach, Penn State University

“Trinity College have made an inspired choice to lead their men’s soccer program. Methembe Ndlovu is one of the most outstanding, knowledgeable, and thoughtful coaches that I have had the pleasure to be around. I know that Methembe will put his vast experience to work right away shaping the student-athletes he works with into a high functioning team. His commitment to the overall development of young people is unparalleled, Methembe’s impact will be transformational. I am very excited to follow the Trinity program, exciting times are ahead for the Bantams.”

Brian Wiese, Head Coach, Georgetown University

“Methembe is that rare form of coach who has a breadth of experience that might be unrivaled in college soccer that allows him to be a great teacher of the game on the field and a great teacher of life off of it. I’m looking forward to seeing the program that Methembe will build at Trinity to compete in the best DIII soccer conference in the country. The Trinity soccer family couldn’t have found a better coach, and, truly, a better person to lead their program.”