Sonny Travis was named the head coach of the Emory men's soccer program in July of 2007. He served in that capacity until August of 2017 when he resigned his position to assume the athletic director position at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
During his 10 seasons at Emory, Travis led the Eagles to a 122-47-14 record, including five trips to the NCAA Tournament and back-to-back 16-win seasons for the first time in school history in 2007 and 2008.
Travis coached four different Emory players to All-America honors – Patrick Carver (2007 and 2008), Marc Del Marmol (2008), Andrew Natalino (2010) and Matt Sherr (2014 and 2015) – while seeing his players accumulate 18 all-region awards and 52 all-conference honors. He coached Carver to the University Athletic Association Most Valuable Player Award in both 2007 and 2008, saw Ben Schlang win the conference Rookie of the Year award in 2008, and led the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year in 2008.
During the 2016 season, Travis guided the Eagles to their 14th season out of the last 15 years with at least 10 victories, closing out the year with a 10-5-1 overall record.
He finished the 2015 season with a 9-6-2 record and 3-3-1 mark in UAA play, good enough for fourth place finish. Travis earned his 400th career victory on September 23rd, 2015 as Emory knocked off Sewanee 1-0 on the road. With the victory, Travis became just the 18th coach to reach the 400 wins milestone in Division III history and just the 39th coach to do so in all of NCAA men's soccer at the time.
In 2014, Travis led the Eagles to a 13-4-2 record and an NCAA Tournament berth during the 2014 season. It marked the Eagles’ 13th-consecutive season with a double-digit win total, and the team’s third-place finish in the UAA marked the seventh time in eight seasons under Travis that Emory has finished third or better in the conference. He won his 100th game with Emory on October 1st, 2014, with a 2-1 double-overtime victory at home against Oglethorpe University.
The prior season, Emory finished with an 11-5-2 record and a second-place finish in the UAA during the 2013 campaign.
In 2012, Travis guided the Eagles to a share of the UAA Championship, marking his second conference title with the team, and the program's seven overall. Emory qualified for the NCAA Tournament and claimed a 4-1 win over Roanoke College in the first round, giving the program its first postseason win since 1988 and just the second overall in the team's history. The Eagles advanced to the second round, where they were defeated by the eventual National Champions, ending the year with a record of 11-7-2.
Travis led the Eagles to a 14-3-2 record and a berth into the NCAA Tournament in 2010, as Emory finished the year ranked 18th in Division III. On September 18, 2010, he won his 50th game with the Eagles, reaching the mark in just 62 games, the fastest by any coach in the program's history. In 2008, he coached the Eagles to their first UAA Championship since the 1998 season, as Emory advanced to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament, finishing the campaign with a 16-2-1 overall record. In 2007, Travis helped the Eagles to a 16-3-0 record, as his squad advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
He won the 300th match of his career during the Eagles' 4-0 win over Heidelberg College (Ohio), on September 15, 2007, becoming the 27th Division III head coach to do so at the time. The win came at the Adidas Invitational, hosted by Center College (Ky.), where Travis began his coaching career.
In 31 years of coaching at the Division III level, Travis posted a career ledger of 416-139-51. After the 2016 season, his .729 career winning percentage places him 44th among NCAA all-Division coaches all-time, and 14th among Division III coaches all-time. His 416 victories were 17th-most in Division III history and 37th-most all-time in all of collegiate soccer.
Travis came to the Eagles' program after an extremely successful 18-year stint with the Virginia Wesleyan program. During his tenure, he established himself as the school's all-time winningest coach with a record of 270-74-31. He directed Virginia Wesleyan to 13 NCAA appearances, including four this decade (2000, 2003, 2005, 2006), and eight Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships. He had three of his squads advance to the NCAA Tournament's Final 16. He had been honored as the "Coach of the Year" on 15 occasions including five ODAC Conference selections. For his work at Virginia Wesleyan, he was named to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame as part of their fifth class in 2013. Travis was the head men's soccer coach at Virginia Wesleyan since 1989 and school's athletic director since 1999 before leaving for Emory. His coaching career also includes a three-year stay at Centre College (1986-89).
Travis holds a Class "A" license with the United States Soccer Federation as well as an NSCAA Premier Diploma.
Travis played collegiately at Slippery Rock University where he earned his bachelor's degree in physical education and health in 1977. He obtained his master's degree in physical education/sports administration concentration from the University of North Carolina in 1980.