UU coaches named region staff of the year

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Urbana University men’s soccer coaching staff has been selected the 2016 NSCAA Atlantic Region Staff of the Year, as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced on Monday this year’s winners for NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III men’s soccer programs.

Each of the 24 staffs receiving NSCAA Regional Staff of the Year recognition will be honored at the College Coaches Awards Reception, presented by Surf Cup Sports, on Jan. 12, 2017, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles in conjunction with the 2017 NSCAA Convention.

NSCAA Regional Staff of the Year recipients will be placed on the ballot for National Staff of the Year consideration within their respective NCAA Division, along with the coaching staffs from all schools which compete in the semifinals of their NCAA Championship.

UU head coach Nick Roberts, who finished his ninth season guiding the Blue Knights and was recently named Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year, and top assistant Ian Richardson have built an impressive program in Urbana. In 2016, the Blue Knights tied the school record for most wins after finishing 14-5-1 and made the team’s second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where they advanced to the round of 16.

UU spent the majority of the season ranked in the national polls and received the program’s highest ranking ever at No. 12 earlier in the year. The Blue Knights outscored opponents 48-17 this season, averaging nearly three goals per game.

In addition, several Blue Knights thrived under the UU coaching staff in 2016. Eight total student-athletes were voted all-conference performers, including the league’s Defensive Player of the Year Nathan Jones and Freshman of the Year Raphael Northoff. Jones, Lars Blenckers, Lewis Dunne and Tom Walbeoff were also voted all-region performers.

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