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SOCCER

Bob Warming retires as UNO men's soccer coach

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One way or another — whether he was wearing red or blue — soccer coach Bob Warming spent a good chunk of his career on an Omaha sideline.

He first came to the city to lead Creighton, then came back nine years later to coach UNO.

In between, his résumé told the story of his accomplishments. On Thursday, after 44 seasons that spanned eight universities and netted 485 wins, Warming announced his retirement.

The 69-year-old leaves seventh all time in Division I career wins and had been D-I's winningest active coach. Warming was also the first to lead four schools to a victory in the NCAA tournament.

"In my experience, who you work for and who you work with are everything for happiness ... and for rewarding success," Warming said in a press release. "I have been fortunate, in my coaching life, to have been around amazing people. ... I have been so blessed to be a part of the journey and grateful for everyone who has made this coaching journey amazing.”

Warming came to UNO in 2018 — the second men’s soccer coach in school history — and helped the program to its first NCAA postseason victory in 2020. The Mavericks produced nine Summit League first-teamers during his tenure.

"Bob will be missed at Omaha," said Mike Kemp, UNO executive associate athletic director. "His selfless act of coming out of retirement in 2018 to lead the program in its transition ... helped to enhance the image of Omaha men's soccer."

Before UNO, Warming was already well known in the area for his success at Creighton, which included a College Cup appearance in 2002. He led the Bluejays from 1990-94 and returned for a stint from 2001-09, becoming the winningest coach in program history.

Warming also helped recruit a young midfielder from Colombia to the school in 1994. That proved to be mutually beneficial for coach, program and player, Johnny Torres.

Torres went on to win the Hermann Trophy in 1997 then played professionally. But something, or someone, pulled him back to Creighton.

And the man Torres considers his mentor is one of the biggest reasons he got into coaching.

“Bob recruited me twice,” he said. “First as a player back in the mid ’90s, and then he recruited me again in 2007 to come back to finish my degree. And he was gracious enough to give me a spot on the staff here.”

Torres was a graduate assistant under Warming in 2007. Then in 2018, Torres was named CU’s head coach — the same year Warming took over at UNO.

Though the two have been on opposite ends of Dodge Street teams, Torres knows how important Warming has been to the city's soccer community — on both sides.

“(Warming) laid the foundation,” Torres said. “The biggest thing about Coach is his competitive nature and his passion for the game. It’s the same now as it was back when I was a player. And I think that’s a necessary thing that you need regardless of what you’re doing in life.”

In between CU stints, Warming led Saint Louis to four NCAA berths and a College Cup bid in 1997. He was Penn State's coach from 2010-17, when the Nittany Lions won back-to-back Big Ten championships in 2012 and 2013. Warming also coached at Old Dominion (1996), Charlotte (1982-88), Berry College (1977-81) and Transylvania University (1976).

"Bob's legacy extends well beyond the numerous accolades and championships," UNO Athletic Director Adrian Dowell said in a release. "And his tenure will have a lasting impact on Omaha soccer and the industry.”

Dowell said the Mavs will begin a national search immediately for a successor. But it will be hard, as Torres said, to fill the void.

"He’s a legend in this town and he’s done it for so long now," he said. "It’s well-deserved time away with his family.”

World-Herald staff writer Jordan McAlpine contributed to this report.

KDonovan@owh.com, 402-444-1164

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