Entering his sixth season as head coach of the Braves and having achieved success at every stop of his playing and coaching career, Phil Hindson was named the seventh head coach in the history of the UNCP men’s soccer program on Jan. 4, 2010.
Hindson joined the Braves after serving the previous six seasons on the Clemson coaching staff, including a stint as the head coach for the Tigers in 2009. He also boasts a 5-year term as a Clemson assistant coach, as well as four seasons as an assistant coach at Winthrop. He his duties at UNCP ialso include serving as a lecturer in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) department.
"UNC Pembroke is thrilled to have Phil join our athletic family at UNCP,” said former UNCP athletic director Dan Kenney. “The search focused on hiring someone who had a demonstrated ability as a collegiate recruiter, teacher and coach. Phil has lots of energy and a proven track record of helping college soccer programs elevate their level of success. We are excited to have him on board.”
In 2012, the Braves matched their third-best finish in 20 years (NCAA Division II era) with 12 wins and made history as the squad advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament for the first time in 10 years. The squad capped off the season with a 12-5-2 record and during the season reached as high as 15th nationally and second in the region polls.
Under Hindson in 2011, the Braves posted the fourth-best finish in the last 20 years with 11 wins since joining the Peach Belt Conference. In his time at UNCP, he has coached two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, a PBC Freshman Player of the Year, Golden Ball Winner, PBC Player of the Year, two Daktroncis All-Region and NSCAA All-Region players, 10 NCCSIA All-State players, six all-PBC players, six PBC all-tournament players, two PBC all-preseason players, 10 PBC Players of the Week, 15 PBC all-academic team players and the team that garnered the sportsmanship award in 2011. He also coached Sam Miles who exited Pembroke in 2014 as one of the most decorated players in school history including accolades as an Elite 15 Award Winner, Disney/NSCAA Player of the Week and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship selection.
Clemson amassed 55 victories over the course of Hindson’s tenure, including 14 triumphs over nationally ranked competition (including a road victory over eventual national champion Virginia as interim head coach in 2009), while also booking a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. In just his second season on the coaching staff, the Tigers tallied a 5-game turnaround from the previous campaign, rattling off a 15-6-3 record, an appearance in the 2005 NCAA Final Four and a No. 3 national ranking in the final polls. Clemson also advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 the following season en route to posting a 13-5-2 final record. That same season, the Tigers also achieved the nation’s top ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association Top 25.
Individually, Hindson helped mentor four all-Americans and 11 all-ACC selections with the Tigers, and was also involved in overseeing the classroom progress of 18 academic all-ACC honorees. In addition, a handful of Hindson’s former players are currently on the rosters of four different Major League Soccer rosters, including Nathan Sturgis who was drafted with the 12th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Los Angeles Galaxy, as well as Stuart Holden who had a stint with the MLS’s Houston Dynamo and currently plays for the Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier league as well as being a vital member of the U.S. National Team.
During Hindson's four seasons with Winthrop, the Eagles amassed a 47-28-5 cumulative record, included in which was the 2002 Big South Conference regular season and tournament championship in 2002 and the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Following the conclusion of that incredulous 2002 run in which the Eagles ranked fifth in the nation in scoring, Winthrop was ranked among the top 48 teams in the nation by Soccer America. The 2003 squad was ranked as high as seventh in the NCAA South Region and 36th nationally.
Hindson was a 3-time all-conference, all-region and 1995 all-America selection while playing for perennial NAIA powerhouse William Carey in Hattiesburg, Miss. He still holds several scoring records at WCU after booking 130 points on 54 goals and 22 assists in just three seasons. In May 2011, he was one of two members in the first class of soccer players to be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.
“I am just very excited about the challenge ahead and the potential that this program has,” Hindson said. “(Former UNCP head coach) Mike (Schaeffer) has done a great job with this program and I am now looking to progress it forward from there. We want to build the program as quick as we possibly can and, ultimately, we want to be competitive with everybody in our region and, eventually, on the national level. It is a progression and you take one step at a time, but that is the goal.”
Prior to joining the Crusaders, he was among the final pool of 50 players for selection to the U-18 Scottish National Team. He also served as an apprentice with St. Johnstone of the Scottish Premier Division. His professional playing experience includes a two-year stint with Arbroath F.C. of the Scottish Second Division from 1993-94. He was on the roster of two United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues clubs from 1995-97, first as a member of the Nashville Metros (1995-96), and then with the Cocoa Expos (USISL) which reached the national tournament both seasons. He closed out his professional career with the Pensacola Flyers of the Eastern Indoor Soccer League.
Hindson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from William Carey in 1999 and his master’s degree in physical education from Winthrop in 2005. Professionally, he holds a Premier Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and a "C" Coaching License from the Scottish Football Association.
In July 2012, he attended a special topics course at UCLA through the NSCAA which involved instruction from Jose Mourinho and his staff, as well as observing Real Madrid.
Besides his commitments at UNCP as head coach, he coaches the North Carolina ODP 95 Boys team which lost in the regional finals in the summer of 2011. Hindson and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children, Sophia and Connor, and currently reside in Hope Mills.