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FGCU Coaches Named Southeast Staff of Year

Published: November 30, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The postseason accolades for the FGCU men’s soccer team continue to pour in as the Eagles’ coaches have been selected as the NSCAA Southeast Region Staff of the Year, as announced by National Soccer Coaches Association of America officials.

Led by head coach Bob Butehorn, the staff of 3rd-year assistant coach Joe Dincecco, 1st-year assistant coach Henry Apaloo and 2nd-year volunteer assistant coach Eduardo Villarreal guided the Eagles to a program single-season record 14 wins, a fourth ASUN Championship title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament Second Round for the first time.

The FGCU staff will be honored at the College Coaches Awards Reception on Jan. 12 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles in conjunction with the 2017 NSCAA Convention. The staff will also be placed on the ballot for National Staff of the Year consideration. Voting for National Staff of the Year will begin on Dec. 6 and end on Dec. 13, with the winner announced on Dec. 20.

In addition to Butehorn, Dincecco, Apaloo and Villarreal’s coaching guidance, the support staff of athletic trainer Erika Rodriguez and yoga instructor Gary Granza played a vital role in the Eagles’ record-setting season.

“This award and honor is all about the coaches and staff I have around me, and I’m extremely grateful and appreciative of all their work and contributions to our program,” stated Butehorn, who is the only coach in the program’s 10-year history. “Their dedication and commitment to making our players better on and off the field every day is truly admirable, and I could not be more proud to share this honor with them.”

The Eagles captured the nation’s attention this year by implementing an uncommon collegiate 3-1-4-2 formation, leading to the most prolific offensive attack in the country. FGCU led (still leads) the nation in goals (62; next closest: 53), points (179; next closest: 160), goals per game (2.95; next closest: 2.52) and points per game (8.52; next closest: 7.62). All the offensive marks shattered the previous program single-season records.

The offensive attack propelled the Eagles a 14-4-3 overall record, a Division I-best 10-game winning streak in the middle of the season and a national ranking for the final eight weeks of the year, including a program-best #11 showing in the NSCAA Poll on Oct. 18.

FGCU won the ASUN Championship crown for the fourth time in six seasons of D-I postseason eligibility and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where it broke through to the Second Round after defeating rival USF in penalty kicks. The Eagles eventually fell just short in double overtime against a North Carolina team which is now one win shy of a berth in the College Cup.

The Eagles’ staff coached nine ASUN All-Conference players this year, led by ASUN Player of the Year Albert Ruiz, who on Tuesday was named as a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy – college soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. FGCU’s nine all-league selections – including four First Team picks, two Second Team members and three All-Freshman performers – were tied for the most in program history and most in the ASUN this season.

In a further testament to Butehorn and his staff recruiting and developing young talent, no other team in the ASUN has even produced two or more All-Freshman Team members each of the last two seasons, but the Eagles have done it for the last decade – every single year the program has existed.

Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/CE L’Hospitalet/UE Cornella) became the first player in the history of the ASUN – which dates back to 1979 – to be named a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist as the junior striker leads the nation in goals (22; next closest: 17) and points (49; next closest: 40). In his freshman year with the Eagles, Ruiz scored just one goal before netting seven and posting two assists for 16 points as a sophomore in advance of his record-setting season this year.

NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Regional Staffs of the Year


Head Coach



Christian Figueroa

UMass Lowell

Far West

Ryan Jorden


Great Lakes

Paul Snape



Sasho Cirovski



Tom Giovatto

St. Francis (Brooklyn)


Bobby Muuss

Wake Forest


Bob Butehorn



Jamie Franks


For up-to-the minute information and a behind-the-scenes look at the FGCU men’s soccer program, follow on Twitter @FGCU_MSoccer, Instagram @FGCU_MSoccer, Facebook /FGCUMSoccer and YouTube /FGCUAthletics.

FGCU is led by Bob Butehorn, who has coached six professional players and 63 ASUN All-Conference selections since FGCU started its program in 2007. In just six years of postseason eligibility, Butehorn has guided FGCU to four ASUN Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances – in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016 – and won an unprecedented six-straight ASUN regular-season championships from 2010-15. His teams have been ranked nationally on several occasions by multiple media outlets, including a program-record #11 NSCAA ranking in 2016. Having just completed his 14th season as a head coach, Butehorn has a 129-94-28 (.570) overall record, 95-63-24 (.588) mark in his 10 seasons at FGCU and a 52-18-7 (.721) record in ASUN contests.

FGCU Athletics sponsors events throughout the year to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

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