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Top Assistant Coaches 2018

June 24, 2019 - The 2018 college soccer seasons is in the rearview mirror but there is one important look back before the focus totally shifts to the upcoming 2019 campaign. College Soccer News annually seeks to recognize assistant coaches across the country who are excelling at their work. The 2018 honorees include several familiar faces as well as a few new faces. In making these selections, we acknowledge up-front that some very deserving assistant coaches will not be included as is always the case when individuals are singled out for recogniation. It should be noted that our current selections take into consideration team success on the field of play in 2018 with additional weight given to consistent success over multilple seasons. 

There are many excellent assistant coaches in the collegiate ranks across the nation who have a positive impact on college soccer and player development. The very best are effective teachers, communcators, motivators, recruiters, and ambassadors for their respective programs. Some, but not necessarily all, aspire to become a head coach at some point. All seek to make a positive contribution in their current role. 

Assistant coaches recognized in past years by College Soccer News who are now head coaches include Kevin Grimes at California, Cameron Rast at Santa Clara, Bill Irwin formerly at Portlant, Robert McCourt at Monmouth, Bobby Muuss at Wake Forest, Mike Jacobs formerly at Evansville, Todd Yeagley at Indiana, Jesse Cormier at FGCU, Kelly Findley at Liberty, Erik Ronning at Colgate, Brian Wiese at Georgetown, Darren Powell formerly at Elon, Damon Rensing at Michigan State, Jamie Clark at Washington, Kevin Anderson at Columbia, Sean Phillips at UIC, Eric Pogue at Oakland, Ralph Polston formerly at Wofford, Scott Calabrese at UCF, Brad Ruzzo at Mercer, Andy Fleming at Xavier, Carlos Somoano at North Carolina, Ryan Anatol at Stony Brook, Johan Cedergren at Kentucky, Jared Embick at Akron, Chris Volk formerly at UC Irvine, Kylie Stannard at Yale, Mario Sanchez formerly at SIUE, Nick Carlin-Voight at Portland, John Murphy at Georgia Southern, Brian Maisonneuve at Ohio State, Brian Rowland at Temple, Brian Gill at Penn, Zach Samol at American, Johnny Torres at Creighton, Leonard Griffin at San Francisco. 

Scott Buete

Maryland 

Buete helps players elevate their game.  The former Terp All-American and three-year captain from 2001 through 2003 has a very successful track record as a player and a coach at Maryland.  Buete will begin his sixth season as an assistant coach at Maryland under the guidance of Sasho Cirovski in 2019.  He has played a key role in player development and mentoring and the success that the program has enjoyed. During his tenure on the coaching staff the Terps successfully transitioned to the Big Ten, secured several Big Ten regular season and tournament titles, earned an NCAA Tournament berth each season, and won the National Championship in 2018.   

Tommy McMenemy

Michigan

McMenemy is part of a program that continues to grow stronger. He will enter his eighth season as an assistant coach and second as the Associate Head Coach under the guidance of Michigan mentor Chaka Daley. McMenemy serves as the recruiting coordinator and is involved in all facets of coaching and team training sessions. He has had a hand in bringing on board several excellent recruiting classes and is a good teacher of the game which bodes well for the future of the program. Michigan was 12-5-4 in 2018 and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. The Wolverines secured back-to-back twelve-win season in 2017 and 2018 for the first time in program history. 

Jeff Negalha

Negalha begins his third season as the Associate Head Coach at N.C.State under the guidance of Wolfpack head coach George Kiefer. He has helped the Wolfpack strike gold on the recruiting trail. His resume includes some pretty impressive references. Kiefer stated, “It’s great to be back working with Jeff. He was my first hire at South Florida and helped me to get that program moving in the right direction. And now, when you look at his pedigree, with the coaches he’s worked with, the experience he has earned in the ACC, and his connections to the state of North Carolina, all of those things make him a perfect fit to be on the staff.” Negalha was an assistant coach under Kiefer at South Florida from 2003 through 2005. He also served as the top assistant coach at North Carolina for nine seasons and was on the staff at Pittsburgh and Boston College before rejoining Kiefer at North Carolina state. The Wolfpack earned back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and 2018 for the first time since the 1991 and 1992 seasons. 

Grant Porter

The former Tar Heel four-year starter and team captain begins his ninth season as an assistant coach in Chapel Hill in 2019 under Carlos Somoano who is the active leader in winning percentage among Division I head coaches. Porter knows the ins and outs of the program assisting in all aspects from handling travel plans to recruiting. North Carolina pretty much recruits itself these days but that represents a lot of years of labor on the part of guys like Porter who is a great ambassador for the program. During his tenure to date as an assistant coach at Carolina the Tar Heels are 107-26-21 and have been a consistent force in the ACC and on the national scene. Last year UNC earned the number five seed in the NCAA Tournament and had a 14-4-1 overall record with a 6-1-0 mark in ACC play. 

Chase Wileman

Kentucky

Wileman begins his sixth season in 2019 as a member of the Kentucky staff under the direction of head coach Johan Cedergreen. Wileman is actively involved in recruiting, training, and tactical development. The Wildcats have earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament four out of the past five seasons and are coming off an historic 2018 campaign in which they won both the CUSA regular season and tournament titles, advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament and were 19-2-1 overall. Prior to coming to Kentucky, Wileman served as an assistant coach at Dartmouth for three seasons working with Jeff Cook who is currently the head coach at Penn State and Cedergreen. Before that he was a youth coach in the Dallas area while earning his U.S. Soccer Federation “A” License.  Wileman played collegiate soccer for SMU where he was a team captain his senior season and a First-Team Conference USA selection.   

Michael Brady

Duke

Brady has served as the Associate Head Coach at Duke under John Kerr since the 2010 season.  He assists with all areas of the program helping to develop players on both sides of the ball. Duke was awarded the number six seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and 2018 completing the 2017 season with a 13-4-3 overall record and the 2018 campaign with an 11-7-3 overall record.  Prior to joining the staff at Duke, he served as the women’s soccer head coach at American University for eight seasons.  Brady played college soccer at American University where he was named the 1986 NCAA Men’s Player of the Year by Soccer America and was a three-time NCAA All-America selection.  

Oige Kennedy

Stanford

Kennedy enters his fourth season as a member of the Stanford staff and his second as the program’s associate head coach under head coach Jeremy Gunn. Kennedy, who works primarily with the Stanford netminders, brings a lot of coaching experience to the table.  If you are a Cardinal you understand the value of solid team defense. Prior to joining the staff at Stanford, Kennedy was the head coach at Fort Lewis from 2009 through 2015 where he compiled a 102-37-9 overall record and claimed two NSCAA Division II National Championships. His playing experience includes four seasons as a professional in Europe and several seasons for Ireland’s national youth teams where he served as a team captain. Stanford has won the NCAA Championship three out of the past four seasons and five consecutive Pac-12 titles. Last year the Cardinal had another banner season in which they were 12-4-5 and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.    

Jeff Rowland

Washington

Rowland adds a lot of value. He will begin his ninth season as an assistant coach on head coach Jamie Clark’s staff at Washington and his second as the Associate Head Coach. During his eight-year tenure to date at Washington he has been a part of six NCAA Tournament teams including the 2018 squad that was 12-7-1 overall.  Rowland also served as an assistant coach at Creighton and a volunteer assistant coach at Harvard before coming to Washington.  He played college soccer for New Mexico under head coach Jeremy Fishbein and Clark who was an assistant coach there at the time.  At New Mexico, Rowland was a prolific goal soccer and All-America selection in 2004 and 2005.  

Paul Souders

UCF

Souders is a teacher and motivator with a successful track record of player development. He will begin his third season as a member of the coaching staff at UCF in 2019 under head coach Scott Calabrese. Sounders was promoted to Associate Head Coach in 2018. The trend line is upward at UCF. The Knights had a banner season in 2018 during which they were 13-3-3 overall with a 5-1-1 mark in the American Athletic Conference. Prior to coming to UCF, Souders served as an assistant coach for nine years and Associate Head Coach for seven seasons at a very successful New Mexico program under the guidance of head coach Jeremy Fishbein. At New Mexico Sounders was responsible for recruiting, academics and coaching the offensive attack. He also served as an assistant coach at Dayton for three seasons. Sounders played at Clemson where he was part of two teams that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. 

Dane Brenner

Wake Forest 

Brenner enters his ninth season as a member of the coaching staff at Wake Forest under the guidance of head coach Bobby Muuss. Brenner was elevated to Associate Head Coach prior to the 2018 season. He works primarily with the team’s defensive unit and goalkeepers while also serving as the program’s recruiting coordinator. He has been a part of a Demon Deacon program that has won more games over the past four years than any other Division I men’s team. Brenner has had a hand in recruiting a ton of talent to Wake Forest and in developing a team-oriented Deacon defense that is always fundamentally sound and better than the sum of the individual parts. Before coming to Winston-Salem, Brenner served as an assistant coach at UConn for four seasons under the tutelage of Ray Reid.  He was a four-year starter in goal and three-time team captain and All-Conference USA selection as a player at South Florida.  

Mike Miller

Connecticut

Miller enters his fourth season as an associate head coach at UConn in 2019 under head coach Ray Reid. Miller has been actively involved in player development and recruiting.  He has a well-rounded and seasoned resume that includes serving as an assistant coach at Duke for two years, Syracuse for four seasons, and Evansville for four years. Reid, who ranks number two in the country in overall winning percentage among all NCAA active head coaches, stated, “Coach Miller has done a great job recruiting for us. His ability to identify some of the best talent in the country, both domestically and internationally has aided in the resurgence of the UConn men’s soccer program.”  The Huskies returned to the NCAA Tournament field in 2018 and completed the season with a 12-6-2 overall record.  Miller played collegiate soccer at Jacksonville University where he ranks fifth in program history in single-season shutouts in goal.