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2003 Top Assistant Coaches – A Salute To Some Of The Best

There are a lot of very good assistant soccer coaches in the college ranks throughout the United States who have a tremendous impact on college soccer.  Successful head coaches are quick to point this out as they seek to surround themselves with assistants who can help a team achieve its full potential.  Successful head coaches throughout the nation would be the first to tell you that any success that they enjoy is due in large part to the effectiveness of those who assit them.

College Soccer News annually recognizes assistant coaches throughout the country who are excelling at their work.  Our selections for 2003 include some who have been recognized in the past as well as some never previously recognized.  In doing so we state up-front that we know we are going to leave off some very deserving coaches as is always the case when individuals are singled out for recognition.  However, we believe that those who are identified are definitely worthy of recognition. 

The really effective assistant coaches approach their responsibilities with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm.  The very best are effective communicators, teaches, and motivators. They relate well to the players but also have their respect.  Assistant coaches have to juggle several different responsibilities and their role may vary somewhat from team to team and from season to season.  Regardless, the very best clearly understand their role and effectively align their efforts with the direction of the head coach.

In many cases college soccer assistants seek to advance to a head coaching position.  However, some don’t seek to become head coaches instead their sole goal is to make a contribution to the success of the program.

Mike Freitag – Indiana University – Freitag joined the Indiana coaching staff in 1993 and has served for eleven seasons as an assistant coach under head coach Jerry Yeagley.  During that period of time the Hoosiers have made six College Cup appearances.  Indiana Director of Athletics Terry Clapacs recently announced that Freitag will succeed his mentor, Jerry Yeagley, who announced last year that he would step down at the end of the 2003 season after thrity-one years at the helm of the Indiana program.  Clapacs stated, “As a former player and veteran assistant coach, Mike Freitag has deep roots in the IU soccer program.  This hire makes sense from every angle.”  Yeagley stated, “Mike was one of my favorite players over the years.  He was a fierce competitor.  He was honest and hard working, the total team player.”  Yeagley added, “Mike is the best person for the job, without question.”  Freitag played at Indiana from 1976 to 1979 and was an All-American selection his senior season.  He holds a USSF A license and is a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Coaching Committee.  He has held a number of key posts in youth soccer in the United States.

Robert McCourt – Virginia Commonwealth University – The 2003 season was McCourt’s second at VCU under head coach Tim O’Sullivan.  Prior to that McCourt was the head coach of the New Jersey Stallions of the USL Division 3 professional soccer league.  He was named the Division 3 League National Coach of the Year in 2000 when his team finished with a a 17-5-1 record, won the regular-season title and advanced to the national finals.  McCourt has been involved with the US ODP program since 1997 serving as head coach of the Region I ODP U-16 team since 1999.  He has a USSF A license and has coached in international matches in a variety of countries.  He served as an assistant coach at Seton Hall during the 1998 season and at New Jersey University in 2001.  McCourt was a four-year letter-winner at Adelphi and later played professional soccer with the Albany Capitals and the New Jersey Stallions.

Stan Anderson – Wisconsin-Milwaukee – Anderson became the associate head coach at UWM in 2003 under head coach Louis Bennett after serving the prior seven years as UWM’s first assistant men’s soccer coach.  Anderson’s ties to Bennett go back to 1989 when the two played club soccer and coached soccer camps together.  A former All-American goalkeeper at UW-Parkside, part of Anderson’s duties include training and coaching the Panther netminders.  Off the field, his duties include recruiting, travel, and community relations.  Anderson has been active in youth soccer and is presently an ODP head coach for the ‘85 Wisconsin state team.  Anderson’s hard work and dedication to the UWM program have helped Bennett take the program to a higher level.

Bobby Muuss – Wake Forest – The 2003 season was Muuss’ third as an assistant at Wake Forest under head coach Jay Vidovich.  He serves as the recruiting coordinator for the Demon Deacons and on the field his focus is primarily on the goalkeepers.  Muuss came to Wake Forest after serving as a volunteer assistant coach at Connecticut for four seasons.  Vidovich states, “Bobby brings a lot to the table.  He’s won a national championship as a player and as an assistant coach.  He comes from a tremendous lineage and the energy, enthusiasm and the commitment he brings will help push our players to the next level.”  Credit Muuss with helping Vidovich take the Wake Forest program to a higher level.  As a player at Southern Connecticut State Muuss was a member of the 1995 Division II National Championship team.

Matt Stimson – Stanford – Stimson is in his third season as a Cardinal assistant under head coach Bret Simon.  He came to Stanford in 2001 along with Simon.  Prior to that he was an assistant under Simon at Creighton.  The highly successful Simon states, “There isn’t a better assistant soccer coach in the country than Matt Stimson.  He’s involved in all aspects of our program – recruiting, training, administration.  His work ethic and enthusiasm are two big parts of the engine that keep us going.”  Stimson is also the head coach of the Palto Alto Crew U-17 boy’s team and has served on the Region IV ODP staff.  While at Creighton, Stimson served as head coach of the Nebraska State ODP men’s open U-23 team for two years.  He holds a USSF A license and an NSCAA Premier Diploma.  He played at Springfield College from 1989 to 1992 and was a team captain. 

Todd Dufresne – Central Connecticut State University – Dufresne entered his seventh year as an assistant coach at CCSU in 2003.  A member of the Blue Devil family he played there in 1996 and 1997 helping to lead them to two conference championships as a player.  The scope of his responsibilities as an assistant coach under head coach Shaun Green includes recruitment, player development, conducting practice sessions, and scouting programs.  Green stated, “Todd has played a vital role in developing our NCAA Division I program.”  Dufresne’s knowledge, passion for the game, and experience are a big plus for CSSU.

John Deeley – Connecticut – The 2003  was Deeley’s seventh at Connecticut and second as the associate head coach.  Prior to that he spent eight seasons with current Connecticut head coach Ray Reid at Southern Connecticut University.  Deeley played collegiate soccer as a midfielder at Southern from 1977 through 1980 helping them earn four trips to the NCAA Tourney during his tenure there.  Reed has stated, “Coach Deeley’s ability to analyze and break down the game is second to none.  Over the years his tactical guidance has been a major reason for our success.”

Mike Jacobs – Duke University – The 2003 season is Jacob’s second as an assistant at Duke University under Blue Devil head coach John Rennie.  Jacobs has coached at the collegiate or professional level for the past nine years.  Prior to coming to Duke he was the full-time assistant at Evanville for two years.  Prior to tht he was the head coach at Iona for four seasons guiding the Gaels to their best three-year record in school history from 1996 through 1999.  He was named the 1997 Metro Athletic Association Conference Coach of the Year.  Jacobs holds a USSF A license as well as a NSCAA Advanced National diploma.  He also is a member of the USSF National Goalkeeping staff and has been active in the ODP. 

Carlos Somoano – University of North Carolina – A native of Seabrook, Texas, Somoano is in his second season as the top assistant coach at North Carolina under head coach Elmar Bolowich.  Somoano is involved in all aspects of the program including practice and conditioning, recruiting, fund raising, game operations and management.  He came to North Carolina after serving as an assistant coach at VCU for six years under head coach Tim O’Sullivan.  He has also been actively involved with the ODP in the past.  As a player, Somoano was a four-year letterwinner and two year captain at Eckerd College.  He holds a USSF A license. 

Kevin Doyle – Creighton – A native of Katy, Texas and a member of the Creighton family, Doyle joined the Creighton program as an assistant coach in 2001 and is in his third season under the direction of head coach Bob Warming.  Prior to that he served as an assistant coach at Penn State for two seasons and at William and Mary for two seasons.  Regarding Doyle, Warming stated, “He has proven himself as one of the great assistants in the country over the past few years and his dedication and excellence is a great asset to our program.”  Doyle was a starting keeper under Warming from 1990 through 1993 during which time he was a two-time All-MVC selection.

Brent Erwin – SMU – The 2003 season is Erwin’s fourth as an assistant and goalkeeper coach at SMU under highly successful head coach Schellas Hyndman.  Erwin came to SMU from the IMG Bollettieri Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Florida where he served as an assistant coach for each of the Academy’s six teams.  Erwin is a staff coach with the Texas Olympic Development Program and coaches a team with Dallas Inter Soccer Club.  Hyndman states, “Brent has been outstanding as an assistant coach the past three years at SMU.  He possesses tremendous knowledge of the game and his ability to connect with people is invaluable to our program.”  As a player he has trained with Leeds United of the English Premier League and the Dallas Burn of MLS.  He holds a USSF A license.

Brad Agoos – University of California – Agoos has been an assistant coach under head coach Kevin Grimes at California for four seasons since joining the program in 2000.  Prior to that he gained coaching experience at San Francisco and at Charlotte in 1996 when the 49ers advanced to the College Cup.  Agoos has a history as a winner as a player and a coach.  As a midfielder at the University of Virginia from 1989 to 1993 he helped the Cavaliers capture three national championships.  Agoos’ credentials include a US Soccer Federation A badge.  The Golden Bears have steadily improved during the time that Agoos has served as an assistant under Grimes.  They will be seeking their third straight NCAA Tourney berth in 2003.

Alex Passucci – Fairleigh Dickinson – The Scotch Plains, New Jersey native entered his tenth season as an assistant at FDU in 2003 and his seventh year working for head coach Seth Roland.  Prior to that he served as an assistant coach under coach Tom Lang for three years.  A member of the FDU family, Passucci was a three year starter for the Knights from 1989 through 1991 and was an All-NEC First Team selection his senior campaign.  Under the direction of coach Roland, Passucci continues to contribute to the program.  His knowledge and commitment to FDU have helped to take the program to a higher level.  Regarding his long time assistant Roland stated, “Alex has a clear picture of the game and how it should be played.  He has played a major role in our success.”

Andy Fleming – Boston University – The 2003 season will be Fleming’s sixth year on head coach Neil Roberts’ coaching staff at Boston University.  Fleming coordinates recruiting and assists Roberts in the day-to-day operations of the Terrier program.  Fleming has an outstanding track record as a recruiter and his knowledge of the game adds value to the Terriers match preparation.  Fleming holds a USSF B license and an NCAA Advanced Diploma.  Fleming was a four year letterman and a two year team captain at Marist.  He has been actively involved in youth soccer serving as an assessor for the Region I Olympic Development Program and serves as a national scout for the Adidas Elite Soccer Program. Fleming coached the South Shore United Blazers to six state titles.

Anthony Adams – UMBC – A solid member of the UMBC family.  Adams earned four letters at UMBC from 1992 through 1995 and was a starter in the back for three seasons before joining head coach Pete Caringi’s staff as an assistant coach.  The 2003 season is Adams’ seventh season as an assistant coach at UMBC.  Caringi has stated, “Anthony has contributed so much to the program.  I’ve really enjoyed working with him both as a player and as a coach.  He is one of the great up-and-coming coaches in the country.”  Adams has a very successful track record as a coach at the club level.  As the coach of the Soccer club of Baltimore, he has coached four different teams to a total of six state cups and one regional title.  Adams holds a USSF A license and is a U-23 ODP staff coach.

Brad Ruzzo – Bradley – The 2003 season was Ruzzo’s fourth as the top assistant on the Bradley coaching staff under head coach Jim DeRose.  Ruzzo is involved in al aspects of the program at Bradley including coaching field and goalkeeping training sessions, player evaluation and recruiting, scouting and game preparation, and fund-raising.  Ruzzo served as an assistant coach at Xavier in 1999.  As a player, he was a four-year letterman at Cincinnati starting seventy-seven games for the Bearcats from 1995 to 1998.  During his senior season he served as a team captain and was named team MVP.  He has been actively involved with youth soccer and holds a USSF A license.

Eric Yamamoto – Santa Clara – Yamamoto has been involved with coaching both the men’s and women’s soccer programs at Santa Clara dating back to his playing days as a Bronco in 1986.  A former All-America selection and four year starter, Yamamoto knows what it takes physically and mentally to play at the highest level.  As an assistant under head coach Cameron Rast, Yamamoto continues to add value to the Bronco soccer program and youth soccer in general.  He is a member of the US National Team coaching staff working with both men and women goalkeepers. Yamamto is described as adding organization, dedication, and commitment to the Santa Clara program.

Jay Primiano – Rhode Island – Primiano entered his tenth season as an assistant coach at Rhode Island in 2003 under the direction of Ram head coach Ed Bradley.  Primiano had a successful tenure as the head coach at North Kingston High before joining the Rhode Island staff.  Primiano’s knowledge and dedication to the game make him a value member of the Rhode island staff.  He also serves as the team’s top recruiter.  Primiano played as a forward for Rhode Island College and was a member of the Anchormen’s 1982 ECAS playoff team.  He has been actively involved in youth soccer and assists Bradley in conducting the Rhode Island State Coaching license program.

Jesse Cormier – Oregon State – The 2003 season is Cormier’s third year at Oregon State under head coach Dana Taylor.  Prior to joining Taylor at Oregon State he served as an assistant coach at West Virginia.  At Oregon State Cormier works primarily with the midfielders and strikers focusing on the Beaver attack.  He also serves as Oregon State’s recruiting coordinator.  Cormier also has served as an assistant coach at Bradley under head coach Jim DeRose.  He holds a USSF B license and has been actively involved as a youth soccer coach.  Cormier was a four year starter at the Univeristy of Vermont where he was a two-time All-East and All-Conference First Team selection.  Credit Cormier for the contribution he has made in raising the quality of play at Oregon State to a much higher level. 

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