EDWARDSVILLE — Kevin Kalish, who led the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's men's soccer to a 13-7 record this past season, has been named the NCAA Division I Midwest Region Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Kalish becomes one of eight head coaches in the country to be eligible for the National Coach of the Year Award. He will be honored at the 2013 NSCAA National Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Jan. 16-20 along with the top regional coaches from the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, North Atlantic, Far West, Northeast, South, and South Atlantic.
"I want to thank our staff, Scott Donnelly, Brian Jones, Jon Boyer, Meade Smith, Curt Lox, and James Mays and obviously the players themselves," said Kalish. "It is humbling to be selected by the other coaches in the region considering the quality of coaches that run first-class programs in the Midwest.
"This is a tremendous honor for our program, and it is directly attributed to the quality people we have working with our student-athletes on a daily basis. I also would like to thank Dr. Brad Hewitt and Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe for supporting our program and providing us the resources necessary to be successful. It is a great honor not only for our program but also for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville."
SIUE earned a berth in the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference for the second time in three seasons. The Cougars also regained their footing in the national conversation and were ranked nationally during the season in all of the major polls.
In his fifth season as head coach at SIUE and his 13th overall with the program, Kalish collected his highest win total since the Cougars rejoined the NCAA Division I level. His team finished the regular season with an RPI of 35, also the highest since Kalish took over as head coach.
Kalish led the MVC's Coaching Staff of the Year, and the Cougars led all league teams in honorees at the league's postseason banquet. Ten players were honored, including John Berner (St. Louis), the MVC Goalkeeper of the Year. Senior defenderBenny Jeffery(Florissant, Mo.), sophomore defenderMatt Polster(Las Vegas, Nev.), and sophomore forwardChristian Volesky(Henderson, Nev.) also were named to the first team. SIUE's second team honorees were senior midfielderRyan Bauer(O'Fallon, Mo.), senior midfielderBrian Groark(Florissant, Mo.), senior forwardPeter Kelly(St. Louis, Mo.), senior defenderAaron Lantz, and senior midfielderKevin Stoll(Florissant, Mo.). Cougar freshmanBrett Lane(Peoria) was named to the All-Freshman team.
Kalish's team not only played well on the field but also fared well in the classroom. Bauer was named by the MVC as its Elite 18 award winner given to the conference player with the highest grade point average.