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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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. 

Five Teams With Double-Digit Wins In 2018 Who Have Unfinished Business To Attend To In 2019

These teams had successful seasons in 2018 but each fell just short of achieving a goal that was within their grasp.  Each returns a solid core of experienced and talented players. Look for each of them to be highly motivated and hungry teams in 2019. 

Wright State - Jake Slemker's first season as the head coach at Wright State was a productive one. The Raiders were 13-3-3 overall and won the Horizon League regular season title with a 6-1-1 mark in conference play. Wright State was one win away from a berth in the NCAA Tournament when they were topped by UIC 3-1 in the Horizon League Tournament Championship game. An at-large berth seemed a possibility with an RPI in the high thirty's but none was forthcoming.

The 2018 season was the fifth in a row that the Raivders have had double-digit win seasons. The 2019 season could be the one in which Wright State punches their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. However, in order to do that they will need to fill the rather large void that exists due to the graduation of center backs All-American Dan Bent who was the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year and Eric Hutton. Both were multi-year starters. In addition, the Raiders will have to find a way to dethrone the UIC Flames who have won the Horizon League Championship and the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament that goes with it for three seasons in a row. 

The good news is that nine starters are slated to return from the 2018 squad that found the back of the net a total of forty-four times while holding opponents to a total of twenty-one goals. Senior Joel Sundell, the Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year, returns to anchor the defense along with senior backs Sam Orisatoki and Austin Kinley. The offense should again pack plenty of punch in 2019 with senior forward Alec Philippe (11g, 6a) returning along with midfielders junior Jackson Dietrich (5g, 12a) and seniors Stefan Rokvic (10g, 2a) and Deri Corfe (10g, 8a). 

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley - Those footsteps that members of the Western Athletic Conference hear closing in on them belong to UTRGV. The Vaqueros turned heads in 2018 with a program best 14-6-0 overall record and impressive 8-3-0 mark in WAC play. A very significant accomplishment when you consider the fact that UTRGV began fielding a men's Division I soccer team in 2015 after an eighteen-year hiatus. Under the direction of Paul Leese, the 2018 WAC Coach of the Year, the confidence level and the consistency of play at UTRGV has steadily improved. The Vaqueros won five contests in 2015, six in 2016, seven in 2017 and then doubled to fourteen in 2018.

Second seeded UTRGV secured its first ever win in the WAC Tournament in 2018 when they topped UNLV 4-1 in the first round. Their season and hope of advancing to the championship match and earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament then came to an end when they were upset by six seeded San Jose State 1-0 in the tournament semifinals.

Leese has some gaps to plug on the defensive side of the ball in 2019 due to the graduation of several backs including All-WAC First Team selection Antone Jarvis. Regardless, Lesse will have plenty of returning talent to work with which bodes well for the chances of another step forward for UTRGV in 2019.

Senior goalkeeper Andy Rios and junior back Guillermo Martinez return to provide a solid necleus upon which to reload the defense. Senior forwards Kyle Edwards (14g, 5a) and Wiliam Akio (5g, 10a) along with midfielders senior Arthur Rogers (1g, 2a) and junior Bryce Box (4g, 2a) are among the components of what should be a balanced and productive offense. 

Fairfield University - The number one seeded Stags opened 2018 MAAC Tournament play by hosting a Rider team that they had defeated 3-2 during regular season play with a gutsy come from behind win in which they scored three unanswered goals in the final forty minutes of regulation. Despite the fact that Fairfield won the regular season MAAC title with an 8-0-2 mark in conference play they knew that achieving their goal of back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2018 was dependent on winning the conference tourney and the automatic berth that goes with it.

The disappointment and the feeling of what might have been was vividly reflected on the faces of a young Farifield team when their season and dream of another berth in the NCAA Tourney came to an abrupt end when they were upset by Rider 2-0 in the semifinals of the conference tournament. But the disappointment also created a deep desire among the returning players for a different ending in 2019.

A resilitent Rider team that had struggled during the early part of the season subsequently defeated number two seed Quinnipiac 1-0 in the tournament final to claim the MAAC Championship for the third time in the past four seasons. 

A determined Fairfield team will enter the 2019 season under the guidance of veteran head coach Carl Rees with almost everyone back and the added plus of having a lot of young players who now have a year of experience under their belts. Fairfield will be a difficult team to handle in 2019 if the sophomores get the normal bump in performance that comes after a year of play and the upperclassmen set the pace. 

Junior Gordon Botterill, the MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year and junior back Jonas Vergin, the 2018 MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, return to anchor a defense that allowed a total of nineteen goals last year. Junior Matt Mclinchey (0g, 6a), senior Joseph Meyer (3g, 1a) and sophomore Santiago Gonzalez (3g, 0a) provide a solid necleus in the midfield. Junior Don-Junior Bobe (0g, 1a) and sophomores Jonathan Filipe (4g, 0a) and Jack Weiss (3g, 2a) return up-top to add a little shake and bake to the attack.  

Mercer University - The Bears were 12-4-2 overall in 2018 and won the Southern Conference regular season title with a 5-1-0 mark in league play.  Mercer's chances of becoming the first Southern Conference team since 2008 to conclude regular season league play without a loss looked promising heading down the home stretch but dissolved when they were defeated 2-1 at home by nemesis ETSU in their final regular season contest.  The ETSU win halted an eight game Mercer win streak.  

Regardless the number one seeded Bears entered the Southern Conference Tournament focused on  winning the tournament title and punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the third season in a row.  But Mercer's season came to an unexpected end when they were upset by UNCG 1-0 in the semifinals of the conference tournament.  The contest was only the second time during the 2018 campaign that Mercer was held scoreless. The Bears had recently topped UNCG 3-0 in regular season play. 

Furman subsequently defeated UNCG 3-0 in the tournament final to win the Southern Conference Tournament for the first time since 2015. Ironically Furman lost to UNCG 1-0 during the regular season. 

Mercer head coach Brad Ruzzo will enter the 2019 season with voids to fill in the midfield due to the graduation of Kobe Perez (4g, 4a) and Jake Mezei (2g, 5a) and in the back due to the  graduation of Ramario Thompson (5g, 1a). The good news is that Ruzzo will have plenty of experienced talent to work with that will be highly motivated to write a new ending to their season in 2019.  

Southern Conference Player of the Year sophomore Trevor Martineau (9g, 7a) and All-Southern Conference First Team member redshirt junior Leo Toledo Jr. (6g, 8a) return to power the attack up-top.  Senior Roberto Arteaga (4g, 8a) and junior Josh Harrison (1g, 2a) provide a solid nucleus upon which to reload the midfield.  RS Junior JR DeRose returns to anchor the defense in goal along with backs junior Kareve Richards and sophomore Jason Nduese-Udom.   

UC Davis -  Just one win away. The Aggies hopes of securing the program's first ever Big West Conference Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament were dashed for the second year in a row in the tourney final in heartbreaking fashion when they came out on the losing end of a penalty kick shootout.  In 2017 they fell at home to Cal State Fullerton 4-3 (a team they topped 2-1 during regular season play) in a shootout after the contest was scoreless at the end of regulation and extra time.  In 2018 the Aggies were topped 4-2 by UC Riverside ( a team they defeated 3-0 during regular season play) after the contest was scoreless at the conclusion of 110 minutes of play. 

UC Davis completed the 2018 season with an 11-4-5 overall record that included a 3-3-1 mark in conference play.  In 2017 the Aggies were 11-7-3 overall with a 7-2-1 mark in conference play. UC Davis had back-to-back double digit seasons for the first time since 2007 and 2008. The Aggies hoped that an eleven win season and an RPI in the high thirties would yield an at-large berth in the NCAA Tourney but the selection committee felt otherwise.  

UC Davis head coach Dwayne Shaffer will enter the 2019 team without the services of Two-Time Big West Defensive Player of the Year Roy Boateng and Justin Wright (4g, 4a). Their departure creates a challenge for an Aggie defense that allowed a total of only seventeen goals last year. On the plus side of the ledger, the return of RS senior goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley and backs junior Jake Haupt and redshirt sophomore Kaleb Schirmacher provides a solid foundation for continued success on the defensive side of the ball. Redshirt senior Adam Mickelson (4g, 6a) returns to add firepower to the attack up-top and the midfield should be deep with redshirt sophomore Andy Velasquez (3g, 0a), senior Marte Formico (2g, 1a), and redshirt junior Nabi Kibunguchy (0g, 1a) among those slated to return.  

The 2019 season could be the one in which the Aggies join the NCAA Tournament field. 

Final CSN 2019 MLS SuperDraft Mock Draft

The twentieth MLS SuperDraft will take place in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, January 11, 2019.  College Soccer News' updated projections are provided below. 

1. FC Cincy - Frankie Amaya** (UCLA) - Cincy picks Amaya, a U.S youth international, who despite not playing in the combine, remains one of the players with the highest upside in this draft class.

2. San Jose - Tajon Buchanan** (Syracuse) - If San Jose keeps their pick, Buchanan, a pacey winger and GA player is the best available.

3. Orlando City - Andre Shinyashiki (Denver) - Orlando City could go many directions with this pick, but they go with Shinyashiki, a natural goalscorer and creator, who could be productive, if used correctly.

4. FC Dallas - Callum Montgomery (Charlotte) - Dallas goes with the most MLS ready defender in the draft, Mongomery, a steady CB, who showed MLS scouts his 1 v 1 defending and ability to play out of the back.

5. Chicago Fire - John Nelson** (UNC) - With the retirement of Brandon Vincent, Chicago pick the best LB available and member of the GA class, John Nelson.

6. Toronto FC - Dayne St. Clair** (Maryland) - Toronto goes with Canadian GK they’re familiar with, St. Clair, who’s the GK with the brightest future.

7. Minnesota - Siad Haji** (VCU) - Once considered a potential number one pick, Haji, falls to Minnesota, a team that will be glad to get the U.S. YNT playmaker.

8. Houston - JJ Williams** (Kentucky) - Houston goes with the strong forward, J.J Williams, who despite having an average combine, showed enough this year at Kentucky to earn a top 10 selection.

9. New England - Griffin Dorsey** (Indiana) - With the ninth pick, Friedel selects a U.S. youth international he’s familiar with in Dorsey, capable of playing centrally or on the wing.

10. FC Dallas - Santiago Patino (FIU) - Dallas select Patino, a strong and creative forward, who showed well at the MLS Combine.

11. New England - Tommy McCabe (Notre Dame) - New England nab McCabe a former U.S residency midfielder, who’s fluid in possession and could be a good fit, if used correctly.

12. LA Galaxy - Camden Riley (Pacific) - Galaxy go with a local product they’re familiar with in Riley, a technical midfielder.

13. Philadelphia Union - Logan Gdula (Wake Forest) - The Union choose athletic right back Gdula, who may end up being the top outside back in this draft class.

14. DC United - Andrew Samuels (Maryland) - DC United go with Samuels, a versatile player, capable of playing right back or as a defensive midfielder.

15. Colorado - DeJuan Jones (Michigan State) - The Rapids pick Jones, a pacey athlete, who will likely be used as a winger or outside back.

16. FC Cincy - Akeem Ward (Creighton) - FC Cincy pick Ward, a smart outside back, who should add depth for the expansion side.

17. Real Salt Lake - Sergio Rivas (Seattle) - RSL go with creative midfielder Rivas, who RSL will be glad drops to them this late in the first round.

18. Columbus - Brad Dunwell (Wake Forest) - Columbus pick Dunwell, a midfielder who’s simple in possession and was once thought of as a consensus top ten pick.

19. NYCFC - Rashid Nuhu (Fordham) - NYCFC select the best GK available with the athletic Rashid Nuhu out of Fordham.

20. Seattle Sounders - Tucker Bone (Air Force) - The Sounders take a waiver on Tucker Bone, who impressed with his vision and passing ability at the combine.

21. Sporting KC - Amir Bashti (Stanford) - Sporting KC pick one of the top wingers in the draft with Bashti, a former San Jose Earthquakes product.

22. New York Red Bulls - Prosper Figbe (Virginia) - The Red Bulls pick Figbe, a strong CB, who could develop into an MLS player if he improves his passing.

23. Portland Timbers - Abdi Mohamed (Akron) - Portland pick Mohamed, a smart midfielder, converted to right back.

24. Atlanta Utd - Anderson Asiedu (UCLA) - Atlanta pick Asiedu, a ball-winning defensive midfielder, who improved his stock with a great combine performance.

**Generation Adidas signings