Internationally renowned for his leadership philosophy, John Herdman is the first coach to qualify both a women’s and men’s national team for the World Cup. During his prolific career, he has coached at four FIFA World Cups, three Olympic Games, and two FIFA youth World Cups. Now the head coach of Toronto FC, Herdman shares his proven performance philosophies in his inspirational keynotes, emphasizing the importance of vision, passion, and discipline in achieving success, whether it’s on the field or in the office.
From 2018-2023, Herdman was the head coach of the Canadian men’s national soccer team. His goal was to transform the struggling team into World Cup contenders. In 2022, Herdman made history when he led the men’s national team to their first FIFA World Cup qualification since 1986. Along the way, his team earned their first top 30 FIFA ranking, was first in their CONCACAF WCUP qualification, and was the first team with a 17-game winning streak. They also scored Canada’s first ever goal at a men’s FIFA World Cup.
Prior to coaching the men’s team, Herdman was the head coach of the Canadian women’s national soccer team, where he helped them win historic back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics — the first team to do so, male or female, at a Summer Olympics in over a century. They also won a gold medal at the Pan Am Games, the first in Canadian soccer history, and earned a top-six finish at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Herdman has been credited with revolutionizing how soccer is organized and delivered through his award-winning “Whole of Football Plan”. He developed this as New Zealand’s director of football development and head coach of the New Zealand women’s national football team. He coached the team from 2006-2011 with the team qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2007 and 2011, and for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In 2017, Herdman won the Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award. He is also the recipient of the 2016 CONCACAF Outstanding Achievement Award and the 2012 and 2016 Sport Canada Coaching Excellence Award. He is a three-time nominee for FIFA Coach of the Year and his teams were named the Canadian Team of the Year in 2016 and 2022.