Courtesy Cassidy Mace, Grand Canyon Media Relations
PHOENIX - Schellas Hyndman's historic year at the helm of the Grand Canyon men's soccer program is being followed with his induction into the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame.
Hyndman, now in his 42nd year as a collegiate or professional head coach, will be inducted in January alongside New York prep coaching legend George Herrick and Ohio Wesleyan coaching great Dr. Jay Martin.
"I think I lost my breath when I first found out," said Hyndman, who is in his fifth season as GCU head coach. "I think I was just shocked and stunned. The president of the association, Jeff Farnsworth, called me and I almost didn't pick up the phone because I didn't recognize the number. I picked it up because I thought it could be a recruit. He introduced himself and he said, 'I have the great honor of telling you that you've been selected to the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame.' "
The United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame, established in 1991, selects up to three members per year for induction. Honorees are chosen with an emphasis on success in the game, work with the association and lifetime contributions to soccer.
"It's really overwhelming," Hyndman said. "The feelings are so high and so emotional. It's not something that I've thought about. It came as a wonderful surprise and I'm completely honored and humbled to receive such a prestigious award in consideration of all the fantastic, tremendous people that have been inducted already."
Hyndman has coached at Eastern Illinois, SMU and GCU, as well as spending six seasons as an MLS head coach for FC Dallas. He holds the fifth most wins by a Division I men's soccer coach after reaching the historic 500-win mark for his collegiate career in this season's Aug. 30 opener against Northern Kentucky. Only South Carolina's Mark Berson has more wins among active Division I coaches.
In 34 postseason-eligible season, Hyndman has guided teams to 32 NCAA tournament appearances and advanced to the quarterfinals 11 times and the College Cup twice. He led teams to seven conference tournament championships and was named 2010 MLS Coach of the Year.
After receiving the call from Farnsworth, his first thought was that he couldn't wait to go home and tell his wife, Kami.
"Of course, she was just happy for me," Hyndman said. "I think she recognizes what an honor it is. We've all made sacrifices in our lives and my sacrifice has really been my passion. It's my coaching and the thousands of players that I've been involved with. A lot of it too is the sacrifices to help improve the game, help improve the coaches, help them become better coaches and I really appreciate the support my family gave me."
Hyndman led the Lopes to their first WAC Tournament championship last season, making men's soccer the first GCU team to advance to the NCAA tournament in the athletic program's Division I era. The Lopes went 6-0 against top-25 opponents in 2018 and ended the season with a NCAA RPI ranking of 46, the highest finish in program history.
"Last year was a historic year for us here at GCU in our soccer program," Hyndman said. "It's been work and there have been a lot more people involved than just myself. It was a tremendous accomplishment for the players at GCU and the coaching staff. Now to get this award on top of it and the 500 wins, things have just kind of happened and I've surely been blessed with it."
Hyndman will be inducted at a Jan. 17 awards banquet during the 80th Annual United Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore. He, George Herrick of Vestal High School, and Dr. Jay Martin make up the Class of 2020.