T.R. Bell, the winningest coach in Midwest Conference soccer history and a 2009 inductee into the Forester Athletic Hall of Fame, begins his 23rd year as the program's head coach in 2019.
The Foresters were 4-4-1 in the MWC in 2018 to post a league winning percentage of .500 or better for the seventh year in a row and the 21st time in Bell's 22 seasons. Defenders Molly Major and Hiwa Brown were named Second Team All-MWC while goalkeeper Maggie Kersting led the conference in goals against average and save percentage.
Bell led Lake Forest to the program's finest season in 2014. The Foresters won their first 21 games of the year, including each of the team's 10 conference contests and both MWC Tournament matchups. Lake Forest hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time and a 2-1 overtime triumph over the College of St. Scholastica was the program's first NCAA Tourney victory. Bell was voted by his peers as the MWC Coach of the Year and was selected by the NSCAA as the NCAA Division III North Region Coach of the Year.
Bell's teams have compiled a 238-144-17 record in his 22-year career, including a 147-45-11 (.751) mark in conference play. He has amassed more victories than any other women's or men's coach in league history and is a four-time MWC Coach of the Year (2003, 2004, 2012, 2014).
The Foresters have advanced to the MWC Tournament 17 times under Bell's direction and hosted the event for the sixth time in 2015. Lake Forest captured conference championships in 2001, 2004, 2012, 2014, and 2015 and the 2003, 2012, and 2014 teams reached the NCAA Tournament.
Four different players have earned All-American honors under Bell's direction and Foresters have been named All-North Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America 20 times during his tenure. Of the team's 72 all-conference selections over the last 22 seasons, 40 have been first team choices and 16 have been freshmen. His players have also been named Academic All-MWC 145 times with 15 of the team's 24 players earning that distinction in 2018.
A 9-0 season-opening rout of visiting Wisconsin Lutheran College on September 1, 2015, made Bell the first men's or women's coach at the College to reach 200 career wins. Other milestone victories for Bell include a 3-1 triumph at UW-Whitewater on September 12, 2000, that made him the program's all-time leader in wins. A 1-0 shutout of visiting Monmouth College on October 21, 2006, was the 100th victory in his coaching career.
Bell, a Milwaukee native, graduated in 1996 from Lake Forest College not only with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and anthropology, but as a two-time First Team All-MWC performer, two-time Forester Most Valuable Player, and four-year starter. Bell ended his playing career with 91 points, which ranks him fifth on the program's all-time scoring list. He is the school's career leader with 35 assists and ranks tied-for-eighth with 28 goals, despite spending his senior year on the defensive side of the field. He also holds the school record for assists in a season with 16 in 1993. During Bell's four-year collegiate career, the Foresters were 63-12-2 (.831), won at least 11 overall and eight MWC games each season, lost just five times in MWC regular season play (34-5-2), and were 4-2-0 in the MWC Tournament along the way to two conference titles (1992, 1995).
Bell's pre-Lake Forest career was highlighted by seven Wisconsin state championships while playing for the Bavarian Club of Milwaukee.
Bell has also coached at several soccer training facilities, including the Reebok Post-to-Post Camps.
He, his wife Julie, and their children Luke and Olivia reside in nearby Lake Bluff.