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Wells and Yelton Receive NSCAA Honors

January 19, 2012
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Release courtesy of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ray Wells, men's soccer head coach at Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), and Matt Yelton, women's soccer head coach at Lee (Tenn.), both earned NSCAA National Coach of the Year honors at the annual National Soccer Coaches Association of America Awards Banquet on Jan. 13. The event was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Wells picks up his fourth award after leading his team to an undefeated season and the program's ninth NAIA national championship. Yelton, who guided Lee to a fourth-straight national title, received the honor for the third time. Three other coaches earned their third award: Paul Ratcliffe (Stanford University/NCAA Division I women), Dr. Jay Martin (Ohio Wesleyan Unviersity/NCAA Division III men) and Scott Frey (Messiah College/NCAA Division III women).

The awards were presented for both genders of play at the NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA and junior college collegiate levels, as well as three different divisions of interscholastic play. A Youth National Coach of the Year also was announced, as were Assistant Coaches of the Year at the senior college, junior college and high school levels. A complete list of winners, with brief biographies, follows.

Senior College National Coaches of the Year

NAIA Men – Ray Wells, Lindsey Wilson College In 2011 Wells and his Blue Raiders were undefeated in 23 games and claimed their ninth NAIA national championship. This is the fourth time Wells has earned NSCAA National Coach of the Year honors, a record for NAIA men’s play. He started the Lindsey Wilson program in 1990 and has a career coaching record of 496-103-32 in 28 seasons, including a 435-79-25 record in 23 years of coaching at a four-year institution.

NAIA Women – Matt Yelton, Lee University Yelton led his Lady Flames to an unprecedented fourth consecutive NAIA women’s national championship. He receives his third NSCAA National Coach of the Year award in four years, ranking him behind the four awards won by Westmont’s Mike Giuliano. In the past four seasons, Yelton’s teams have posted a record of 90-7-3. He has a record of 202-33-6 in 11 seasons at Lee and 256-73-11 overall.

NCAA Division I Men – Jeremy Gunn, Charlotte Gunn led Charlotte’s 49ers to their first championship game in school history, falling to North Carolina in the NCAA title match. His team concluded the season with a 16-5-4 record, boosting his career mark to 64-26-14 in five seasons at Charlotte and 187-61-31 in 13 seasons as a head coach. This is Gunn’s second National Coach of the Year award, having earned the honor in 2005 after leading Fort Lewis College to the Division II national title.

NCAA Division I Women – Paul Ratcliffe, Stanford Ratcliffe becomes the first Division I coach to win the national award three times in a four-year span after leading the Cardinal to its first NCAA title. During that span, Stanford has posted a record of 95-4-4, made four College Cup appearances and reached the national championship game each of the last three years. Ratcliffe received his prior awards in 2008 and 2009.

NCAA Division II Men – Oige Kennedy, Fort Lewis College Kennedy receives his first national award after leading his team to its second national championship in his three-year tenure. His team suffered only one loss in 25 games while outscoring its opponents by a 61-11 margin. As an interim coach in 2009 he became the first to win an NCAA men’s soccer title in his first year as a collegiate coach. He is 58-6-4 in three seasons at Fort Lewis.

NCAA Division II Women – Laurie Darling Gutheil, College of Saint Rose Gutheil claims her second National Coach of the Year award in the past three seasons, having won the honor in 2009. In 2011 she led the Golden Knights to the NCAA championship with a record of 24-1-1. She now has a career record of 237-79-18 in 16 seasons at Saint Rose.

NCAA Division III Men – Dr. Jay Martin, Ohio Wesleyan University Martin’s third National Coach of the Year award caps a fairy-tale ending to the 2011 season. Not only did his Bishops win their second NCAA national title, but with the victory in the championship game gave Martin his 608th career win. That broke the record for career wins by an NCAA men’s coach, previously held by Joe Bean of Wheaton College. Martin is now 608-115-49 in 35 seasons, all as coach at Ohio Wesleyan.

NCAA Division III Women – Scott Frey, Messiah College Frey receives his third National Coach of the Year award after being recognized in 2005 and 2009. This year his team claimed its fourth NCAA championship in the last six years, including three of the last four. Messiah had a 23-0-1 record and this year’s senior class suffered only one loss in the past four seasons, in the 2010 NCAA championship game. Frey has a career record of 252-13-12 in 12 seasons at Messiah.

NCCAA Division I Men – Ryan A. Jorden, California Baptist University In their inaugural season in the PacWest Conference and the NCCAA, Jorden’s Lancers won their first championships in both organizations. Their 17-5-1 record was the best ever by the program, improving Jorden’s career record to 44-25-8 in four seasons at the helm. Three of his players were named NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Americas.

NCCAA Division I Women – Kristen St. Clair, California Baptist University St. Clair led her Lancers to a record of 18-2-1, the best season in the program’s history, and its first NCCAA national championship. They also won the PacWest championship in their first season in the conference, and three players earned NSCAA/Continental Tire All-America honors. St. Clair has a record of 79-23-7 in five seasons at the helm of the Lancers program.

NCCAA Division II Men – Joe Harding, Moody Bible Institute Harding guided his team to a record of 17-2-1 and the NCCAA Division II national championship this season. He now has a career record of 280-220-30 in 29 seasons at three different schools. The award is his fifth NCCAA national honor, adding to his collection of 18 NCCAA or NAIA district or national honors.

NCCAA Division II Women – Ken Craul, Lancaster Bible College Craul’s team rewrote the school record book, outscoring their opponents 73-16 and posting an 18-2-1 record. They claimed the North Eastern Athletic Conference championship and won the NCCAA East Region title for the first time, and also qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament. Craul has a record of 35-24-3 in three seasons at Lancaster Bible.

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