Mark Ludwig enters his 16th season at the helm of the York program having become one of the top mentors in the country. Under his tutelage the Spartans’ have accumulated a mark of 236-68-30 including a glistening 140-19-24 record since the 2005 season.
Since 2005, the Green and White have made nine consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament including two appearances in the Elite Eight. York’s first two NCAA bids came on the heels of back-to-back Capital Athletic Conference Tournament championships, while York also enters the 2014 campaign as reigning five-time CAC champs. The Spartans have finished seven out of the past eight seasons with final national rankings of tenth, fifth, fifth, tenth, eighth, 12th, and tenth in 2013.
York's 2014 season was another highly successful campaign as York went 19-3-1 with a fifth straight Capital Athletic Conference championship and a ninth straight NCAA Touranment appearance. The Spartans advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual runner-up Rutgers-Camden. The Spartans earned their CAC championship with a 1-0 road win at Salisbury in the conference title tilt.
York's 2013 season saw the Spartans capture their fourth straight conference championship, a first for any York College program. The Spartans capped their conference championship with a tournament record 5-0 win over Mary Washington in the championship contest. The Spartans opened the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 win over St. Joseph's (Long Island) followed by a tie and penalty kick advancement against Rutgers-Camden. In the Sweet 16, York fell behind eventual national champion Messiah 2-0 before roaring back to tie the game and force overtime. After the extra sessions were scoreless, the Falcons ended one of the most exciting games in Graham Field history as they advanced on PK's, ending York's Final Four quest.
The 2012 campaign was different for the Spartans as they started the season 0-2 for the first time since 2001. The next few weeks weren't much better as the Spartans were just 3-5-3 in the first 11 games of the year. The Green and White bounced back in impressive fashion as they reeled off a 10-game unbeaten streak including their third straight CAC tournament championship. The streak ended with a tight 1-0 loss in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2011, the Spartans posted a 16-5-1 mark including a flawless 8-0 record in CAC play. Much to their credit, York did not surrender a single goal throughout conference action. The Spartans would go on to secure their fifth CAC Tournament championship courtesy of a penalty-kick shootout victory after a 1-1 draw against Salisbury. York once again reached the NCAA Tournament, chosen as a host for the first and second rounds, but fell 1-0 to Kenyon in the opening match.
In 2009, the Spartan squad posted an outstanding 17-1-5 record including an undefeated 6-0-2 mark in CAC play. Highlighting the campaign, York won the 2009 CAC Tournament title with a 2-1 triumph over Stevenson. The conference crown was York's fourth CAC championship and their third in the past five seasons. With the conference title, the Green and White garnered their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. York, chosen to host the first- and second-rounds notched 6-0 and 2-0 wins, reaching the Sweet 16 for the third time in the previous four seasons.
The 2008 campaign proved to be one of the top seasons for a Ludwig-guided program. The Spartans posted a sterling 18-0-2 record, including an 18-game win streak to open the season, outscoring their opponents by a wide 59-3 margin, as the three goals allowed ranked the 2008 York squad as the top defensive team in the history of NCAA Division III men’s soccer. A mark tied by Amherst College in 2012.
In 2007, the Green and White stretched their unbeaten streak, which began at the end of the 2005 season, to 49 consecutive contests, one of the top marks in NCAA history. York then climbed to first in the country in mid-October, the first team in York College history to achieve such a ranking. The Spartans made their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, this time on their first at-large bid. After winning three contests, including a penalty-kick shootout win, the Spartans would bow out in the Elite Eight to Middlebury, the eventual national champion.
Ludwig guided the Spartans to a stellar 2006 season which saw them post a sterling 21-0-3 mark as they won the CAC regular season and tournament crowns and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament before being ousted on penalty kicks. He was again named the CAC and South Region Coach-of-the-Year, having received both honors in 2005, and then earned Division III National Coach-of-the-Year accolades. The Spartans finished the season ranked fifth in the nation after reaching as high as second in the country during the 2006 year, and sported the top winning percentage in NCAA Division III men’s soccer.
Ludwig holds an NSCAA Premier Diploma and has coached 36 of the 37 Spartan Regional All-Americans. Over the past nine years, he has also coached all nine Spartan All-Americans including five first-team honorees, and the 2009 NSCAA National Player-of-the-Year Jon Ports.
In addition to coaching the Spartan men's soccer program, he also teaches math at York College.
Ludwig resides in York with his two sons, Christian and Rees.