KANSAS CITY, MO – The Columbus State women's soccer program and Young Harris men's program were both recognized as the Region Coaching Staff of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches.
This is the first such honor for CSU Coach Jay Entlich and his staff and it comes on the cusp of a dominating 18-1-2 season topped off with a Southeast Region Championship. Coach Entlich has created a powerhouse team in the Lady Cougars, which continues to prove itself year in and year out. He has won five-straight 'Coach of the Year' honors in the Peach Belt Conference while guiding his squad to 13-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
"This is a tremendous honor to receive for our staff and I can't thank the United Soccer Coaches organization enough", said Entlich. "But all credit goes towards my incredible staff. They have developed our players to great heights this past season and are the real reason behind our continued success."
Columbus State finished as the third highest scoring team in the nation this year, averaging 3.62 goals per match. They roll out a fast-paced but team oriented style of play on the pitch, which led to five selections on the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region teams this season.
Assistant Coach Nick Zimmerman is in his fourth season and has been given the keys to the offense for the Lady Cougars. Columbus State has seen a high rise in goals per match since Zimmerman came to town. This past season was no exception as CSU had 15 different goal scorers, led by Olivia Jarrell and Riley Clark with 17 and 16 goals, respectively.
New to the program this past season was Graduate Assistant Thomas Osborne. He's put in work with the goalkeepers all year and played an integral role in developing Bria Riancho who was one of the five selections to the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region teams.
Alexis Harpel entered her first season as a student assistant this year. A former player on the team last year, Harpel helped in numerous facets both on and off the field for the Lady Cougars.
Athletic trainer Tanika Colvin rounds out the staff for the Lady Cougars as she played a pivotal role in the health and rehab of the players on the team this season.
The Mountain Lions were also honored in 2014 and 2017.
The Mountain Lions, who are under the direction of head coach Mark McKeever and assistants Dean Grey and Jordan Bell went 17-1-1 and finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches Division II Coaches Poll,
Young Harris captured its fourth Peach Belt Conference regular-season and tournament titles as they earned the No. 1 seed from the Southeast region in NCAA Division II Tournament in 2018. In just its fifth season as an active NCAA Division II institution, it was the fourth trip for Young Harris to the NCAA Tournament.
Each of the eight coaching staffs receiving Regional Staff of the Year recognition will be honored at the College Coaches Awards Reception on January 11, 2018 at the Marriott Marquis Great Lakes Ballroom in Chicago in conjunction with the 72nd annual United Soccer Coaches Convention.
In addition, the Regional Staff of the Year recipients will be placed on the United Soccer Coaches ballot for National Staff of the Year consideration. The ballot will also include the addition of coaching staffs from any schools which advance to the semifinals of their NCAA Championship. United Soccer Coaches will announce the Men's and Women's National Staff of the Year for all NCAA divisions on December 14.