Virginia's Gelnovatch earns Coach of the Year award

George Gelnovatch, who led Virginia to a national championship 14 years after replacing Bruce Arena, is the 2009 Soccer America Men's Coach of the Year.

After the 1995 season, Gelnovatch replaced Bruce Arena, who had led Virginia to five NCAA titles. He took the Cavaliers to the 1997 final, where they lost to UCLA, and didn't make it back until 2009 when they beat unbeaten Akron in a shootout in the final.
 
"I knew was only a matter of time before we won another championship,

" said Gelnovatch. "In 1997, I thought we had a real good chance and lost in the finals. In 2006, we were in the College Cup and things didn't work out our way. I kept telling people, it was not a matter of if, it was a matter of when."

Virginia's sixth title puts the Cavs third in NCAA Division I men's history behind only Saint Louis with 10 titles and Indiana with seven.

This year's title was the most unexpected.

Chris Agorsor, who entered Virginia as the top recruit in the country in 2008, was lost for the season midway through the 2008 campaign and wasn't a factor during the Cavs' 2009 title run.

Virginia lost all three games during preseason play and wasn't ranked in the Soccer America Preseason Top 25 for the first time in more than a quarter century.

SOCCER AMERICA MEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR
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)

 

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