Freitag out as Indiana coach

Most schools would be ecstatic if their men's soccer program reached the third round of the NCAA Men's Tournament. But after a 12-10-1 season with the toughest schedule in the country and two wins in the NCAA Tournament, IU Athletics Director Fred Glass decided not to renew Coach Mike Freitag's contract.

Freitag was only the second coach in IU history. He replaced the legendary Jerry Yeagley in 2004 and led the Hoosiers to their seventh national title in his first year, becoming the only coach in more than 40 years to win a national championship in his first year as head coach. Freitag won back-to-back Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2006 and 2007.

Still, six years was all Freitag got, the last on a one-year contract.

"Mike is a great person who has contributed much to Indiana University," said Glass, a former Indianapolis attorney who was named IU AD a little more than a year ago. "Still, upon a careful and deliberate review of both objective and subjective information about the program, and after talking at length with Mike, I have become convinced that this hallowed program needs new leadership. I like Mike and wish him well."
 
The contracts of assistants Phil Presser and Aleksey Korol were also not renewed.

The 2009 season had been difficult for Freitag and IU.

The Hoosiers, who have never had a losing season in 37 seasons as a varsity sport, fell to .500 and dropped out of the Soccer America Men's Top 25 late in the season. Three consecutive losses -- all shutouts -- left Indiana at 7-7-1 and in danger of missing out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1986.

After a 4-0 loss to Louisville, Freitag said his team didn't show up. Not for the first time, he blasted his players' lackluster play. Ironically, the Hoosiers met Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and won, 2-0.

IU played eight games against seeded teams during the regular season and Big Ten Tournament, going 1-6-1. The Hoosiers lost to the No. 1 seed Akron, No. 3 Wake Forest and No. 4 Ohio State (twice), beat No. 7 Penn State, lost to No. 9 Northwestern, tied No. 13 St. John's and lost to No. 14 Michigan State.

It beat No. 12 seed Butler in the second round of the NCAA Tournament but fell at No. 5 North Carolina, 1-0, in Sunday's third round.

Clearly, Indiana is not the dominant team it once was. It has been overtaken by Akron as the top team in the Midwest. To make matters worse, the Zips have been winning with Midwest players, many of whom would have once gone to IU.

The architect of 22-0-0 Akron's rise to prominence? Caleb Porter, an Indiana alum and former recruiting coordinator under Yeagley and Freitag.

MEN'S DEPARTURES
Army Kurt Swanbeck
Detroit Morris Lupenec
Drexel Lew Meehl
Indiana Mike Freitag
Manhattan Michael Swanwick
Rutgers Bob Reasso
Syracuse
Dean Foti
VCU Tim O'Sullivan
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Jon Coleman
Xavier Dave Schureck


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