Rowan's Gilmore Steps Down

Rowan's Gilmore Steps Down Rowan's Gilmore Steps Down From Coaching, Will Stay In Administration

One of the great coaches in South Jersey history has decided to hang it up, although he will still be a major part of the local sports scene.

Dan Gilmore, who built Rowan’s men’s soccer program into a national Division III power during 38 years, has stepped down but will remain as athletic director at the school.

Gilmore said on the school’s website that he his decision came about due to his expanded duties as athletic director. He was named Rowan’s AD in 2012.

Scott Baker, a former standout player for Gilmore, who was a Rowan assistant the past two years, has been named the new head coach--only the third in the program’s history.

Gilmore once said that he originally took the Rowan job thinking he would one day move up the ranks to the Division I level.

Early in his career, he had been offered the head coaching position at Rutgers, but at that point, he was well established at Rowan and felt it was best to continue to build on what he started. And what a run it was.

Beginning in the 1976 season, Gilmore compiled a 559-184-59 record (.734).

The pinnacle was winning the national title, not once but twice. Rowan was Division III champion in 1981 and 1990. In addition, Rowan finished as national runner-up in 1979 and 2000 and added third place finishes in 1980, 1985 and 1998.

Under Gilmore, Rowan earned 24 NCAA Tournament appearances and recorded 13 New Jersey Athletic Conference titles.

He has been named the NJAC Coach of the Year nine times.

The balance of power has changed over the years in the NJAC. For instance, the College of New Jersey won the Division III national title in 1996.

Richard Stockton won the national title in 2001. And this past season Rutgers-Camden lost to Messiah, 2-1 in double overtime.

So over the year, Gilmore has competed in one of the nation’s top men’s soccer conferences. That meant just earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament was extremely difficult, let alone advancing.

Gilmore enjoyed a lot of his success by being able to recruit the entire state. Before his arrival, Rowan, which was named Glassboro State at the time, relied primarily on South Jersey products.

While South Jersey has always had talented players, expanding the pool to the best in the state, improved Rowan. Gilmore did an especially good job in Central Jersey.

Gilmore’s team took on his personality. The players were aggressive and most of all, always in tip-top shape. That came from having preseason triple-session practices.

And now it will be up to Baker to keep Rowan competitive in the NJAC, no easy feat. Right now, Rutgers-Camden remains the program that everybody else is trying to catch.

The success of Baker will depend on how he is able to recruit the state. Baker, who was a first-team all-conference player on the 1990 national championship team, will no doubt use his experience as a student-athlete to sell the virtues of Rowan in recruiting.

Most of all, if he has any questions, Gilmore’s office is only down the hallway. One of the all-time great coaches, will also be a major resource for not only Baker, but any coach at Rowan.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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