Dennis Grace began his playing career at The Behrend College – now Penn State Erie – before claiming two letters as a member of Jerry Yeagley’s Indiana Hoosier sides in 1974 and ‘75. Grace quickly launched his coaching career as he took the reins of The Bloomington Cosmos for a handful of years.
Grace made the jump to collegiate coaching with two seasons as an assistant at Indiana before taking a head coaching position at Tri-State where he earned Mid Central Conference coach of the year honors. After stops at Indiana State-Evansville, Bloomsburg State, and Clemson, Grace returned to the Hoosier state as he took the helm of the University of Notre Dame men’s program in 1984.
While at Notre Dame, Grace made an impressive impact across both the men’s and women’s programs. While leading the Irish men from 1984 - ‘89, Grace also headed the women’s program in its first two seasons. Under his leadership, the women’s program won 25 games over the pair of campaigns.
Grace’s legacy of developing players is evident. Not only did Grace help the Notre Dame men’s program produce their first All-American selection and develop over a dozen Division 1 soccer players while with the Cosmos, but he is known to have inspired countless players over his illustrious career.
“There is no one person that has had any greater impact on my life as a player, a coach, a mentor, and a friend,” said Roger Wicker. “The fruits of his passion for coaching soccer continues to grow and expand in youth soccer across the nation having been nurtured here in Indiana.”