|Ask Doctor Lve, Anson Dorrance|
The UNC Athletic Department has had its interpersonal problems with coaches. Football players leaving the team, basketball players threatening to leave, track coaches dating and marrying sprinters, players grabbing women's crotches on Franklin Street....but one man has got it all together. He's the most handsome coach on campus, Carolina's own version of The Ladie's Man, Anson Dorrance. In this CarolinaSucks feature, Coach Dorrance will give YOU love advice!
How do we know that Coach Dorrance is a ladie's man? Here's proof.
Have a question? E-mail him!
I have been playing soccer all my life and I love Carolina. I am a senior in high school and would love to play with you. I am All-State and the leading scorer on my team. Do I have a chance to make it with you? I've enclosed a picture of me in action - Amber
Ooooooh yeah. You can come play with me any time. I think we could make it together. Leading scorer, huh? Hopefully we'll have many more pictures of you in action when you get to UNC. Love, Ans
I play soccer for a small midwest school. I am not a starter and get very little playing time. My coach says I am not competitive enough. What can you do to help me? - Crystal
First, I would bring you flowers and take you to a nice restaurant for a couple bottles of wine. Then we'd top of the evening with a good long back rub. Once you get a woman in the mood, they'll perform like they've never performed before. That's in my book. - A.D.
COME BACK SOON FOR ADVICE FROM DR. LOVE, ANSON DORRANCE!
This webpage is a parody. It is not real. Any resemblance to factual names or events is purely for comical purposes. Don't sue me.
CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (AP) -- Anson Dorrance built a soccer dynasty with the premise that women want to be treated like family not competitors.
But since August, when two of his former players accused him of sexual harassment, people have wondered whether Dorrance's coaching style is too personal.
Nearly 100 former and current team members have stepped forward to defend him and his winning ways as the case awaits trial in federal court in Chicago. But some other coaches and athletics officials wonder now whether the same philosophy that made Dorrance so successful also made him vulnerable to just such a lawsuit, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
"People are going to learn from examples like this to be professional," says Donna Lopiano, executive director of the New York-based Women's Sports Foundation. "You have no business having a personal relationship with someone over whom you have power -- that goes for any teacher."
The organization, dedicated to advancing women's sports opportunities, has fielded calls from parents across the country concerned about the case.
Dorrance, 47, who is married and has three children, vows to clear his name even as many things remain the same: The Tar Heels are undefeated again. This week they play in the NCAA quarterfinals and appear headed toward another national championship, which would be the team's 16th since 1981. Dorrance has lined up another crop of high school stars eager to play for him.
The $12 million sexual harassment lawsuit was filed by two former UNC players: Debbie Keller, one of the best in UNC history; and Melissa Jennings, who seldom played and was dismissed from the team. The women accused Dorrance of making lewd comments about team members, questioning them about their sex lives, and twice making sexual advances to Keller.
Neither woman has spoken publicly about the suit, but their fathers are determined to push it to trial.
"He shouldn't be around young women at all," said Craig Jennings, Melissa's father. The lawsuit seeks to bar Dorrance from coaching women in any capacity again.
To many, that is unimaginable.
Before most schools even offered women's soccer, Dorrance secured scholarships for his players -- giving UNC-Chapel Hill a huge head start over other universities. Coach of the U.S. national team for eight years, Dorrance paved the way for UNC players to continue their sport after college. Today, a growing number of collegiate coaches are his former players and assistants.
In 1996, Fortune Magazine named his team one of seven high-performance groups, alongside the Navy Seals, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line and Massachusetts General Hospital's trauma unit.
He built up his women's teams not by yelling at players and demanding performance -- as he had done with men -- but by focusing on positive reinforcement.
In his 1996 book "Training Soccer Champions," Dorrance wrote that coaching women is more civilized. Women, he wrote, "have to feel like they have a personal connection with the coach, and it has to be unique. ... Women want to experience a coach's humanity."
To establish the connection, he sets goals with players in one-on-one meetings. He invites them to the Dorrance home for pizza or a banana split party, and he has been known to present senior players with a single long-stemmed red rose at their final game.
As he talked at the beginning of the season, Dorrance seemed both confident and determined. He insisted he wouldn't abandon the style that's worked for him and his team for 20 years.
"You obviously review all these things in your mind and review what you could have done to have this not occur," he said. "But I don't want to change what we have here. I want to preserve it. I want to preserve it for the girls who are here."
One of his best players was Keller, who was voted Carolina's top athlete in 1997 and player of the year by two national soccer magazines. Keller and Dorrance apparently once had a close rapport. In a 1994 Chicago Tribune story, Dorrance talked about an inspirational poem given to him by Keller. He made it into a poster and put it on his daughter's bedroom wall, because, he said, "I'd like for my daughter to be like Debbie."
Keller, in the Tribune story, said: "Coach Dorrance is a great motivator and you never want to disappoint him because he does so much for us."
But in the lawsuit filed in August, she accused Dorrance of going too far. She said he made uninvited physical contact many times, touching her head and stroking her hair. She said he used his position of authority to coerce her into a secluded area and twice made sexual advances toward her -- and later intimidated her with phone calls and e-mail.
The lawsuit also cited talk that Dorrance had had an affair with a player on the national team before he quit as coach in 1994.
Keller's father, Ron Keller, said evidence "will make it extremely obvious that the man is on the border when it comes to how he deals with his players."
Of the players willing to discuss Dorrance, nearly every one insisted that his personal style was not threatening.
"I don't know anyone who didn't have a positive experience," said Emily Pickering, who graduated in 1985. "You're not just playing for UNC, you're playing for him."The university has stood behind Dorrance, saying an internal investigation revealed no harassment. But UNC also admitted he made mistakes, including participating in inappropriate banter with players, allowing underage recruits to be exposed to alcohol and wrongly borrowing money from Jennings to supply bottled water for the team.