Scott Calabrese, the man who started the men’s soccer program at East Tennessee State University in 2008, is leaving the school.
Calabrese has accepted a job as the head coach at Florida International University. His hiring was announced Tuesday night.
“I’m incredibly grateful to ETSU for giving me the opportunity to start the men’s program there,” Calabrese said Wednesday from Miami. “I owe a debt of gratitude to the ETSU administration. In particularly, I want to thank (former athletic director) Dave Mullins for choosing me to start the men’s program at ETSU.
“I’d also really like to thank my staff Ian Luya and David Lilly, and most importantly, the players who showed a complete commitment the the program during my six years there.”
Calabrese will replace Kenny Arena, who left to become an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy under his father, Bruce Arena.
“Scott Calabrese brings a championship pedigree to FIU,” FIU Athletic Director Pete Garcia said in a statement. “The success he has had at East Tennessee State both on the field and in the classroom, along with the coaching experience he possesses, are what will guide our men’s program to new heights. We are thrilled to have him as our head coach and expect great things for the future of FIU men’s soccer.”
Calabrese was 57-44-16 with ETSU and took two teams to the NCAA tournament.
“It was an incredible time for me and I’m gonna miss it,” he said. “I made a lot of friends and I will aways have a major place in my heart for ETSU.”
The Bucs won their second Atlantic Sun Conference championship last season with a 3-1 victory over North Florida in the title game. They fell to Coastal Carolina in the first round of the NCAAs in what turned out to be Calabrese’s final game at ETSU.
“We want to wish Coach Calabrese and his family all the best as they begin a new chapter in his coaching career, and we want to thank him for his contributions to East Tennessee State University,” ETSU Athletic Director Richard Sander said. “Coach Calabrese has done an excellent job with our team, not only in launching the program back in 2008, but also in making our program nationally recognized with multiple conference championships, NCAA tournament appearances, and impressive national rankings over the last six seasons.
“We will now begin the process of launching a national search to find our next men’s soccer coach. Our goal will be to identify successful coaches that can continue to build upon the winning tradition we have established for men’s soccer here at ETSU, with an emphasis on recruiting quality student-athletes who can contribute to the overall success of our institution.”
Florida International won two NCAA Division II national championships and has made the Final Four once since joining Division I, losing to St. John’s in the 1996 national championship game.
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