The McCaskill Soccer Center on the University of North Carolina campus was dedicated in a gala ceremony on April 11, 1999. Attending the event were members of the Educational Foundation as well as other University of North Carolina soccer enthusiasts and donors to the building project. Construction on the 6,600-square-foot soccer facility was completed shortly before its dedication.
The McCaskill Soccer Center is located on the same site as the former soccer offices adjacent to Fetzer Field. The old soccer offices were located in a building called the UNC Soccer Hut that dated back to the original construction in 1935. The new structure honored the McCaskill family, long-time supporters of Tar Heel athletics. The two-story structure accommodates varsity men's and women's soccer locker rooms on the first floor as well as a common team meeting room between the dressing areas. The second floor houses coaches' offices for both sports as well as a large conference room.
Carolina has one of the richest traditions in collegiate soccer, both men and women. The men's team attained varsity status in 1947 under legendary coach Marvin Allen. The Tar Heel men have suffered only one losing season since 1957.
Carolina has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 16 times in the last 23 years. Fourteen of those appearances have come in the last 22 years when Elmar Bolowich has served as head coach. One of the high water marks for the Tar Heel men's team came in 1987 when UNC claimed the ACC championship and advanced to the NCAA semifinals under the direction of coach Anson Dorrance.
Under the auspices of coach Bolowich, the Tar Heel men's team made great strides during the 1999 season, earning the first NCAA bid in five years. The 2000 season was an amazing one for UNC men's soccer as Carolina claimed the ACC championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Carolina went one better in 2001, earning the first NCAA men's soccer championship in school history. UNC also advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2005 and in 2008 the Tar Heels advanced all the way to the NCAA championship game as the tournament's No. 13 seed. Last year, Carolina made a return to the NCAA College Cup in back-to-back years, falling on penalty kicks in the semifinals.
Coach Anson Dorrance's women's teams have comprised one of the most amazing dynasties in college athletics. The Tar Heels have won 21 national championships in the 29 years in which tournaments have been held. The women have an all-time record of 696-36-22. The women have an incredible record of 295-12-6 at Fetzer Field. In 19 of the past 26 years, Carolina has had at least one player chosen National Player of the Year by a soccer organization. Eight Tar Heels were members of the U.S. National Team which won the title at the 1999 Women's World Cup championship and four played on the 2008 Olympic Team which claimed a gold medal.
"The former 1,200-square-foot soccer office was greatly outdated," said former UNC Director of Athletics Dick Baddour at the time. "We've made improvements to a lot of our facilities in recent years and this one was badly needed. That would be the case regardless of the teams' records. We want to give our student-athletes the best chance to succeed and enjoy the experience here. This is a way to help in that regard."
The destruction of the Old UNC Soccer Hut was carried out in 1997. Construction of the new building commenced following the conclusion of the 1997 season. In the meantime, the soccer offices were housed in temporary facilities at Finley Field, the Tar Heels' practice facility near the University golf course. While the new center has over five times more space than the old facility, the expansion occurred without any loss of parking on campus, always a major concern.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees approved the selection of NBBJ Architects of the Research Triangle Park to design the project. Estimated cost of construction was approximately $1.7 million. The project was funded through Athletic Department funds and Educational Foundation gifts. The building was named in honor of the McCaskill family, long-time benefactors of the University. It specifically was named for Mildred McCaskill and facilitated through her brother Norman and his wife, Carol McCaskill.Together, Fetzer Field and the McCaskill Soccer Center give Carolina two of the best facilities in collegiate soccer.