Core Values

haulin netWhen folks think of successful Tarheel coaches, they generally think of Frank McGuire, Dean Smith or Roy Williams. Anson Dorrance, UNC women’s soccer coach, is another Tarheel legend.

In the universe of college Olympic sports, deserving amounts of attention, praise and even fame are oftentimes severely lacking. But ever so rarely, a coach so truly singular and exceptional comes along and experiences success at such an elite and consistent level that the world has no option but to take notice – and lots of it. In the case of Anson Dorrance, that has most certainly been the scenario.

Head coach of the North Carolina women’s soccer program since its inception in 1979, Dorrance has built and guided an unstoppable and veritable winning machine. Under his expert direction, the Tar Heels have raked in national and conference championships at an almost-ridiculous rate, compiled an overall record staggering in its numerical truth, set records likely never to be approached again and gained the respect befitting an absolute dynasty.

Key to his success is the set of expectations, or core values, he instills in his team. He shares them in the notes from his inspiring lecture at the 2007 NSCAA Convention. Here is a printable pdf of the UNC Women’s Soccer Team’s 12 Core Values.

Among my favorites is Number 5 :

We don’t freak out over ridiculous issues or live in fragile states of emotional catharsis or create crises where none should exist.

How necessary are core values to building winning teams? In sports, in organizations, in departments, in relationships—how well we communicate, agree upon, and live our shared core values can help determine the extent of our team’s success.


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