Kalekeni M. Banda has resigned as head coach of the mens soccer team at the University of Wisconsin after five seasons on the job.
Banda, whose teams have improved their on-field record in each of the last four seasons, brought some stability to the program after being named head coach prior to the 1997 season.
"I am a recently divorced parent with three African-American school aged children living at home with me. My parental responsibility as a father has caused me to conclude that at this juncture in my life, I must place a greater emphasis on my parental obligation, rather than my career aspirations. My children want and need to be exposed to a more culturally and racially diverse set of life experiences. To provide them with that opportunity for growth and development, I have decided to dedicate more of my time and energy into addressing that need, which will probably necessitate the relocation of my family," said Banda. "I thank the University community for all of the support extended to my family and team during the last five years. At the time of my hiring as the mens soccer coach, there was controversy and instability associated with the program. It is my belief that my successor will find the program on solid ground and headed in the right direction, both on and off the field. Although the team did not win any Big Ten titles during my tenure as we had hoped to do, we can hold our heads high because we were always competitive on the field athletically, and high achievers off the field academically. I wish nothing but success to the UW mens soccer team."
Bandas five-year Wisconsin record was 37-58-4, including a personal-best 10-8-1 slate this season. The two-time NSCAA National Coach of the Year (1985 and 1987 at UMass) owns a 194-129-30 career record in 20 years as a college head coach. His 1987 womens soccer squad was the NCAA runner-up. Banda is also a member of the UMass and Mamaroneck High School Halls of Fame.
"The University accepts Bandas resignation while also recognizing his tireless work in building our program," said Director of Athletics Pat Richter. "Banda inherited a difficult situation when he took the reins of the program and worked diligently to develop a successful team. The personal sacrifices that he made during his tenure at UW are significant. The Department of Athletics appreciates his work and wishes him well in his future professional and personal endeavors."
A national search to find a replacement for Banda will begin immediately.