Last Updated: Mon Mar 21, 2022 - 2:47PM
Seton Hill University men’s soccer head coach Dan McCarty knew right away that Dilveer Chaggar had all of the traits of a future coach. Chaggar, who initially played under McCarty with the Griffins, and most recently served as his assistant, was hired as the new head coach of the program last week. He replaces McCarty, who stepped down from his role after guiding the program since its inception in 2002.
“You knew it from the beginning that he was built for this. It just comes naturally to him,” McCarty said of Chaggar, a 2014 grad of Seton Hill who earned All-PSAC West honors as a senior.
“I think just his culture, really,” McCarty continued. “His experiences in the UK, coming up through Burnley’s Academy program, I think that had a lot to do with his ability to coach and really understand the game.”
Following his graduation, Chaggar joined the Griffins’ staff as a volunteer assistant, a role he continued for five years. Last year, he served as an assistant for both the men’s and women’s programs, an opportunity he embraced as he continued to expand his coaching acumen.
“It was a really, really big learning curve, and one that I’m really grateful for,” Chaggar said of his experience with the women’s squad. “I had different insight into mentalities and games, while maintaining this winning mentality.”
While Chaggar’s ascension through the coaching ranks was apparent, he did not expect that he’d be on his own so quickly. But even though McCarty will not be on the sidelines next year, his impact on Chaggar and the Griffins’ program will remain.
“The realization that next season will be without Dan, it was a shock at first,” Chaggar admitted. “We were building his vision together, and even though he stepped down and won’t be by my side, the influences we had on each other will rub off next year. The vision and the progression of the program which he started and has done an incredible job with, I will continue to work on that vision.”
Chaggar inherits a team that went 9-8-2 overall in 2021, falling to Gannon University in the PSAC Tournament quarterfinals.
According to McCarty, Chaggar will excel at several key aspects of coaching as he greatly expands his responsibilities.
“Dil’s an excellent trainer. He’s a very good tactician,” McCarty said. “He’s very good with the boys in a group and individually. His strengths really lie in the coaching aspect of things.
“Recruiting good players and good people is key, and I think he’ll continue with that,” he added.
Additionally, less than a decade removed from his playing days, Chaggar believes he’ll be able to relate to his players.
“It’s nice to kind of have within touching distance of the feelings of those game days. It’s good for me, because it really enhances the empathetic side of how I try to help players mentally,” he noted.
McCarty vowed to help Chaggar’s transition to his new role, albeit from a distance.
“I think this is Dil’s program now. I don’t plan on looking over his shoulder all the time, but if he needs me, I’m a phone call away,” he said. “We’ve become very close, so I would hope he would be comfortable to come to me if he has any problems or any issues or any concerns. I’ll always make myself available to Dil.”
Following the only coach in program history is a big task, but Chaggar has been preparing for this moment, and there’s no program he’d rather guide than Seton Hill.
“It was a dream come true,” Chaggar said of becoming the new head coach. “It’s a magical place. Everyone seems to be in the same mindset of “We’re a Griffin, and what we are and what we represent is more than just a school.”’