[AWARDS] Jeff Vennell, the athletics director at Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., won the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Honor Award at the awards banquet held Friday in conjunction with the 2008 NSCAA Convention in Baltimore.
Vennell, the 66th recipient of the NSCAA's highest award, is a former NSCAA president. He has held coaching and administrative positions at Columbia University, Williams College, Kenyon College and the University of Rochester as well as positions with various youth soccer associations.
Bill Jeffrey Award - John Rennie, Duke
At the end of the 2007 season, Rennie retired after 35 years as a college coach, compiling a record of 454-206-50. During the past 29 years, he built Duke into one of the most respected programs in the nation. Under his direction the Blue Devils made 20 NCAA Tournament appearances. Having reached the College Cup five times, his team advanced to the title game three times and won the national championship in 1986. It was the first team title won at Duke regardless of sport. Rennie is ranked fifth all-time in career victories and his 95 conference wins are the most in the ACC. His teams won six ACC regular-season titles and three league tournament championships. The National Coach of the Year in 1982, he is a five-time ACC Coach of the Year. Five of his players earned National Player of the Year honors and 29 were named All-America. The award is named for the late Penn State coach who led the United States to its most dramatic international victory, a 1-0 decision over England in the 1950 World Cup.
Robert W. Robinson Award - Rothwell "Rusty" Taylor, Bentley School
Taylor has been a fixture in West Coast high school soccer since 1972. He has coached at four different schools in the San Francisco area during that time, compiling a career record of 1139 wins against only 207 losses and 74 ties. He has surpassed the 500-win plateau as a boys coach and the 600-win mark coaching girls. He may be best known for his stint as the boys and girls coach at San Francisco University High School, where he won 766 games and won four national coach of the year awards. His NSCAA national recognition includes the Girls Large School Coach of the Year award in 1982, the Boys Private/Parochial Award in 1992 and the Girls Small School Award in 1999. He also has helped grow the NSCAA presence on the West Coast by serving at times on both its Coach of the Year and All-America committees. He currently coaches at the Bentley School, where he also is the athletics director. The award is named after Robert W. Robinson, a successful high school coach from the Philadelphia area who has served the NSCAA in a variety of capacities for more than 30 years.
Youth Long-Term Service Award - Efrain "Chico" Chacurian
Chacurian has a long and distinguished career as a player and coach, earning him entry into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as a player in 1996. He began coaching youth soccer in 1962, while still an active player. He and other coaches have conducted ODP recognition sessions at Rider College for 35 years, developing teams for the Region I National Youth Program. His professional playing career began in 1939, when he signed with the famed Racing club of Buenos Aires. He came to the United States in 1947, when he began playing for several clubs in the New York City area. He then moved to Connecticut, where he played for Bridgeport City, a team he later coached. A former member of the U.S. National Team, he also coached at Southern Connecticut State and Yale University. He still coaches, working with a U-9 girls team, and participates in the local "old-timers" match every Tuesday night.
Mike Berticelli Excellence in Coaching Education Award - Schellas Hyndman
Hyndman has been an influential part of the NSCAA Academy staff for a number of years. As a member of the Senior Academy Staff, he has shaped the instruction of NSCAA candidates and has taught NSCAA courses throughout the nation as well as in England and Brazil. The former NSCAA Vice President for Education and NSCAA president in 2005, he also is an NSCAA Director of Coaching Emeritus. He has a career record of 466-122-49 in 31 seasons as an NCAA Division I head coach. The award is named in memory of Mike Berticelli, the late University of Notre Dame men's coach who was serving as the NSCAA's Vice President for Education at the time of his passing in 2000.
NSCAA/adidas National Coaches of the Year
NCAA Division I Men - Jay Vidovich, Wake Forest
Vidovich led the Demon Deacons to their first NCAA men's soccer title, compiling a record of 22-2-2 in 2007. It marked the second consecutive trip to the College Cup for Wake Forest. In 14 seasons, Vidovich has a record of 187-81-27 and has never had a losing season as head coach.
NCAA Division I Women - Ali Khosroshahin, USC
In his first season as head coach, Khosroshahin led the Women of Troy to their first NCAA women's soccer national title and a record of 20-3-2. He is the first coach in NCAA history to win the national championship in his first season with a team. In seven seasons as a head coach, he has a record of 96-43-8.
NCAA Division II Men - Marco Koolman, Franklin Pierce
Koolman led Franklin Pierce to a 17-2-4 record and its first NCAA Division II championship. In eight years, his Ravens have a record of 112-37-19 and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of the last five seasons. In 14 years as a head coach, Koolman has a record of 186-66-25. He also earned National Coach of the Year honors in 1993 while coaching at Gannon.
NCAA Division II Women - Chuck Sekyra, Seattle Pacific
Sekyra's team went on a string of 23 consecutive wins in 2007, carrying them to the NCAA Division II semifinals for the second time in three years. Concluding the season at No. 4 in the NSCAA/adidas national rankings with a record of 23-1, Sekyra improved his career record for 96-10-8 in only four years.
NCAA Division III Men - David Saward, Middlebury
Saward brought Middlebury its first NCAA championship with an 18-2-2 record. In 23 seasons as the Panther coach, he has taken his team to the postseason 20 times. A five-time regional coach of the year, he has a career record of 251-83-36.
NCAA Division III Women - Pete Felske, Wheaton (Ill.)
Felske's Thunder won its third NCAA title in four years by posting a 27-0 mark and extending its string of victories to 45. With 13 CCIW and five regional titles to his credit, Felske earns his third NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year award. He has a record of 306-83-18 in 20 seasons at Wheaton.
NAIA Men - Phil Wolf, Azusa Pacific
Under Wolf's direction, Azusa Pacific won its first NAIA national championship on its third trip to the title game. Posting a record of 20-1-1, Wolf now has a record of 107-25-15 in seven seasons at APU. He also was the NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year in 2005.
NAIA Women - Gerry Cleary, Martin Methodist
Cleary's RedHawks won their second national championship in three years with a record of 19-4-1, in the process reeling off victories in their final 16 matches. During his five seasons at Martin Methodist he has a career record of 88-19-5. He also was the NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year in 2005.
NCCAA Division I Men - Jim Rickard, The Master's
Rickard won his third NCCAA, the team's fifth overall, with a record of 12-6-3. His squad defeated both top seeds during its run through the NCCAA tournament. It capped a remarkable comeback from the first back-to-back losing season's in Rickard's 17-year stint at the school, where he has a 210-129-26 record.
NCCAA Division I Women - Dr. John Bratcher, Indiana Wesleyan
Bratcher guided his Wildcats to a 21-2-1 record and the national title in 2007. IWU was undefeated in conference play while claiming the Mid-Central College Conference regular-season and tournament championships. Bratcher earned NCCAA national coach of the year honors in 1983 and 1985 while coaching at Grand Rapids Baptist, now Cornerstone University.
NCCAA Division II Men - Dr. Rick Wright, Manhattan
Wright's Crusader squad won its second NCCAA Division II national championship in three years with a record of 23-3. In his 16th season as the coach at Manhattan Christian, Wright has a career record of 282-63-8 and 16 conference titles. He also earned NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year honors in 2004.
NCCAA Division II Women - David Loesser, Philadelphia Biblical
Loesser led Philadelphia Biblical to a record of 12-9-2 in his first season. That included a 7-2 record in the North Eastern Athletic Conference, good for a third-place regular-season finish. His team scored 62 goals while allowing only 28. Four of his players earned NCCAA All-America recognition.
Junior College Division I Men - Michael Pantalione, Yavapai
The only head coach in the program's history, Pantalione led Yavapai to its sixth NJCAA title. The 24 wins in 2007 were a school record and improved Pantalione's career mark to 417-29-13. It is the fourth time he has been named NSCAA National Coach of the Year (1990, 1997, 2002), the most among coaches at the junior college level.
Junior College Division I Women - James Haislip, CCBC-Catonsville
Haislip blended a balanced mixture of freshmen and sophomores around the versatile Shaneka Gordon to propel Catonsville to the NJCAA Division I national title. Their 21-1-0 record earned them the No. 1 spot in the final NSCAA/adidas Division I junior college ranking.
Junior College Division III Men - Alex Louis, Union
Louis led his team to a record-breaking season that featured both offense and defense. His team scored 128 goals and had the nation's top three goal-scorers while allowing a mere 0.696 goals-against average. With a record of 21-1-1, they finished No. 4 in the final NSCAA/adidas Division III junior college national ranking.
Junior College Division III Women - Bill Rich, Broome CC
A 20-1-0 record this season gave Rich's Broome Community College the No. 1 spot in the final NSCAA/adidas Division III junior college national ranking.
High School Boys Division I - John Conlon, East Kentwood (Mich.)
Conlon's team became the first school from the western half of the state to win the Michigan Division I boys state championship. They finished the season with a 25-1-1 record and earned the No. 11 spot in the final NSCAA/adidas boys fall national ranking.
High School Girls Division I - Julie Bergstrom, Waubonsie Valley (Ill.)
Bergstrom's team made history last season, giving the school its first state title and the No. 1 ranking in the final 2007 NSCAA/adidas spring national poll. Her squad matched the state record for wins in a season with a 30-0-1 record, becoming only the fourth Illinois girls soccer team to finish the season undefeated.
High School Boys Division II - Shelley Blumenthal, Blacksburg (Va.)
Blumenthal's Blacksburg side went undefeated last spring, logging a 23-0-1 record while claiming the state title. It was the eight Group AA crown Blumenthal's teams have and also the last, as Blumenthal has stepped down after 16 years as the Blacksburg coach.
High School Girls Division II - Judi Croutier, Rockville Centre South Side (N.Y.)
Croutier's 22-0-0 record included the school's fourth consecutive Class A state championship, its 14th overall. South Side ended the season as the No. 1 team in the final NSCAA/adidas girls fall national ranking. The team has won 28 consecutive postseason games and won 20 county titles in the past 22 years.
High School Boys Private/Parochial - Bill Vieth, Evansville Memorial (Ind.)
Vieth led his Tigers to their first sanctioned state championship and 11th overall state title. Memorial ended the season ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA/adidas fall boys national rankings. The team posted a 23-0-2 record, including Vieth's 350th career victory and the program's 500th win.
High School Girls Private/Parochial - Michele Nagamine, Kamehameha (Hawaii)
Despite graduating a dominating group of seniors, Nagamine was able to rebuild and claim her second consecutive state championship with an 11-0-2 record. It also was the fifth for the school since state championships were begun in Hawaii in 1982. Nagamine has been named the Hawaii Coach of the Year the past two seasons.
Youth Boys - Steve Nichols, Owings Mills, Md.
One of the nation's most successful youth coaches during the past five years, Nichols has led his Casa Mia Bays teams to 12 Maryland state cup titles, eight Region I championships and national crowns each of the last five years. Last season the Bays won three state championships (U-14, U-17 and U-19), two regional championships (U14 and U19) and one national championship (U14). He also earned 2007 NSCAA/adidas Regional Coach of the Year honors at McDonogh High School.
Youth Girls - Clyde Watson, Washington, D.C.
Watson's guided the McLean Freedom U-16 team to the 2007 USYS national championship. The club's technical director, he also is director for the Washington Freedom Player Development Academy. A Washington, D.C. native, Watson has been part of the area's soccer scene for nearly 25 years. He was named the 1998 Virginia Youth Soccer Association Boys Coach of the Year and also was an assistant coach for the Washington Freedom of the WUSA..
Glenn Myernick College Assistant Coach of the Year - Eric Yamamoto, Santa Clara
Yamamoto recently concluded his 17th season as an assistant coach at Santa Clara, where he helped the team to a 13-4-4 record and the No. 7 spot in the final NSCAA/adidas national poll. A former All-America goalkeeper, he has helped both the men's and women's teams establish formidable defensive reputations. He also is active with the U.S. National Team, having served as an assistant at last summer's Pan American Games.
High School Assistant Coach of the Year - Sheldon Cohn, Norfolk Acad. (Va.)
An orthopedic surgeon by trade, Cohn has lived his passion for soccer as the assistant coach at Norfolk Academy since 2001. His impact has been apparent, with the team winning 93 percent of its games since then, including five Virginia Prep League titles and the 2002 VISSA state championship. He also has been active in the youth game as a coach, referee and administrator at the local and state levels.