[SOCCER AMERICA AWARDS] Carlos Somoano, Soccer America's 2011 Men's Coach of the Year, made the seamless transition from assistant coach to head coach, leading North Carolina to the 2011 NCAA Division I title. He became just the second head coach in NCAA Division I men's history to claim a national title in his first year.
Somoano was promoted, becoming only the fifth head coach in the UNC program's 65-year history. when long-time head coach Elmar Bolowich left for Creighton.
He had a major rebuilding job ahead of him, losing seven starters, including three who became starters in MLS, did not return.
But transfers Ben Speas (Akron) and Matt Hedges (Butler) stepped right in and filled key roles, while Billy Schuler came back from a shoulder injury to have a superb junior season.
Three freshmen -- Mikey Lopez, Jordan McCrary and Boyd Okwuonu -- stepped right into the starting lineup.
MEN'S COACHES OF THE YEAR
2011 -- Carlos Somoano (North Carolina)
2010 -- Ken Lolla (Louisville)
2009 -- George Gelnovatch (Virginia)
2008 -- Joe Baum (Michigan State)
2007 -- Jim DeRose (Bradley)
2006 -- Marlon LeBlanc (West Virginia)
2005 -- Ken Lolla (Akron)
2004 -- Jeremy Fishbein (New Mexico)
2003 -- Jerry Yeagley (Indiana)
2002 -- Ed Kelly (Boston College)
2001 -- Dave Masur (St. John's)