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Kremser is stepping down as FIU men's coach
by Paul Kennedy, May 11th, 2007 7:45PM

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TAGS:  college men, mls

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Karl Kremser is retiring after 27 years as the men's head coach at Florida International University, which he helped build into a national power.

He guided the Golden Panthers to NCAA Division II championships in 1982 and 1984, and three other FIU teams reached the national finals, including his 1996 team that played for the NCAA Division I crown against St. John's. FIU has competed in the NCAA Division I Tournament four of the last six years and eight times since beginning competition in DI soccer in 1987.

Kremser retires from FIU with a 337-210-41 career record. He posted a 324-171-41 mark at FIU and guided the Golden Panthers to 24 winning seasons. He also coached three years at Davidson.

At FIU, Kremser coached a number of future MLS stars. Robin Fraser, the 1996 MLS Rookie of the Year, Steve Ralston, Greg Vanney, Jeff Cassar and Bobby Boswell all became U.S. internationals. Tyrone Marshall has played for Jamaica.

Since the three major Florida schools -- Florida, Florida State and Miami -- have never had men's soccer programs, FIU was able to become a college soccer institution in Florida. But FIU in recent years caught the football bug, and the addition of a D1 football program put pressure on the soccer program. In early 2003, FIU announced plans to drop men's soccer only to rescind that decision because of the public outcry the next day.

''I think we could have done even more with the program with the support of the school,'' Kremser told the Miami Herald. "We could have turned this into an unbelievable beacon for soccer.''

Still, FIU soccer has been an important part of the Miami community, offering college opportunities to immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America.

The German-born Kremser was a three-sport star in college. He helped Army reach the NCAA final four soccer tournament and also was a high jumper at West Point.

He then transferred to Tennessee, where he was a soccer-style placekicker. The highlight of his collegiate football career came with a 54-yard field goal (an SEC record at the time) that helped the Vols defeat Alabama, 10-9, in 1968. He later kicked for the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

Long-time assistant Munga Eketebi, a former FIU star, is expected to replace Kremser. FIU athletic director Pete Garcia told the Miami Herald that Eketebi would be a "serious candidate.''

 



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