It is a new chapter for Cornell women’s soccer, but the program has elected to turn to a familiar face in its hiring of Dwight Hornibrook as the sixth head coach in team history.
Hornibrook most recently served as acting head coach after former head coach Patrick Farmer resigned following last year’s completion. Before that, Hornibrook spent five years as an assistant with Farmer, helping lead the team to an overall 30-44-8 record.
A native Canadian, Hornibrook played soccer throughout high school and during his time at the University of New Brunswick where he graduated in 1982. He spent several years on the coaching staff for the Canadian national team in the late 80s and early 90s before going on to coach men’s soccer at Houghton College in Southwest New York.
At Houghton, Hornibrook compiled an impressive 119-46-13 record and led the program to multiple regional titles. He came to Cornell as an assistant for the men’s team in the spring of 2004, but left to become the head coach at nearby SUNY Cortland. During his time at Cortland — where he spent eight years at the helm — Hornibrook led his team to the second round of the NCAA tournament and to No. 17 in Division III by the time he left.
Hornibrook then returned to Cornell — this time to coach the women — where he had been the assistant coach before ultimately getting the nod to lead the program on Thursday.
In his first season running the show, Hornibrook will look to improve upon the team’s disappointing results from last year, when it finished 5-9-2 overall. The Red’s 2-4-1 record in Ivy League competition last season was only better than last-place Dartmouth. Plagued by an inability to score goals all season, the Red averaged well under a goal per game and was shut out nine times in just 16 contests.
Horibrook’s promotion also comes a year after the men’s program chose to go a different direction and hire John Smith as its 13th head coach. Both teams get back in action next school year, with schedules yet to be released.