Over the past half-century, the Baltimore metropolitan region has produced some of this nation’s top players and coaches at the amateur and professional levels. By virtue of UMBC’s historic run to the College Cup in the fall of 2014, Pete Caringi, Jr. has surely cemented himself atop the Mount Rushmore of that elite group of men and women.
Caringi became just the third head coach in the history of Retriever Athletics to reach the quarter-century mark in tenure when the 2015 Retrievers took the field. Like a pied piper, he led not only the UMBC campus on the magical mystery tour with an NCAA-record four road victories by shutout in tournament play, but the Retrievers drew fervent fan support from all corners of a pride-filled Charm City.
Caringi, his staff, and squad established many school and America East firsts with the march to Cary. He presided over the first UMBC Division I and league-sponsored squad to reach a national semifinal. The Baltimore native earned national Coach of the Year honors from the sport’s governing body, the NSCAA, and from its most respected publication, Soccer America in the 2014 season. The ECAC and America East also recognized Caringi and his staff with their top coaching honors.
Caringi has built his UMBC record to 276-165-68. The Retrievers were ranked in the top five nationally in 2013 and 2014, and ended the 2015 campaign at No. 4 in the country.
During the season, UMBC placed in the top ten in all media polls. At its highest point, UMBC reached the No. 5 slot in Top Drawer Soccer, College Soccer News and the Continental Tire NSCAA Poll and climbed to a position of No. 10 in Soccer America. The program finished at No. 8 in the final NCAA RPI rankings.
UMBC finished the 2013 campaign with the top winning percentage in the nation (16-1-5, 84.1%).
After that record-setting 2013 campaign, Caringi inked a contract extension through the 2018 season.
Caringi earned the 2013 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Senior College Men's Northeast Regional Coach of the Year honor. In addition, the Retriever mentor and his staff earned America East Conference Coaching Staff of the Year accolades for the 2013 season.
Caringi and the Retrievers celebrated 2012 with aplomb, leading the squad to an America East title and past Old Dominion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers were ranked No. 28 in the final College Soccer News national poll, and received 24 votes (29th overall) in the final NSCAA poll. UMBC concluded the 2012 season on a nine-game unbeaten streak and did not allow a goal in four post-season games.
Caringi has won at every level, both as a player and as a coach. In his early years at UMBC, he led the Retrievers to a pair of regular-season league titles (1991, 1993), but building a true championship team eluded him. However, after carefully reconstructing his program over time, the Retriever mentor achieved that measure of success in 1999.
Like a master chef, Caringi blended experienced local talent with a couple of international standouts, and finished by adding a few impactful newcomers. The result was one of the finest products in UMBC history. The 1999 Retrievers won the Northeast Conference title, gave No. 1 Duke all it could handle in the NCAA Tournament, finished the year with the nation’s best winning percentage and earned national rankings in every major soccer poll.
Coach Caringi reaped the benefits of the team’s success. He was named Northeast Conference Coach of the Year and NSCAA South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, and he was a finalist for National Coach of the Year. Moreover, UMBC’s winningest men’s soccer coach became the first soccer coach in school history to surpass the 100-win plateau.
In 1994, he was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Hall of Fame, and in May 1998, he was inducted into the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was a member of the second class inducted into the University of Baltimore Athletic Hall of Fame and was a member of fourth class selected to the CCBC- Essex Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
Caringi was a two-time All-American at the University of Baltimore (1976, 1977) and is the school’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 70 goals. Moreover, the Retriever mentor is 21st on the NCAA Division II all-time goals list and is 39th in scoring with 159 points. He captained the 1975 NCAA Division II national championship team and played for the Washington Diplomats of the North American Soccer League in 1978.
He and his wife, Susan, have two children, Christina, a 2011 UMBC graduate, and Pete III, who became UMBC's first-ever NSCAA Division First Team All-American after his senior campaign of 2013. The Caringis welcomed a grandson, Jackson, in November of 2016.
Coach Caringi holds a USSF “A” license and is a staff coach with the ODP under-23 squad.