Franklin Pierce's Stewart Named 2011NSCAA East Region Coach of the Year
For Immediate Release
December 12, 2011
Courtesy of the Franklin Pierce Athletics Communications Staff
Rindge, N.H. - Franklin Pierce University men's soccer head coach Craig Stewart was recently named the 2011 NSCAA/Mondo East Region Coach of the Year after he guided the Ravens to one of the best single seasons in program history. It marked the second-consecutive year Stewart earned the award from the national coaches association.
Stewart guided the 2011 Ravens to an outstanding season as Franklin Pierce produced a 21-1-1 overall record and a trip the NCAA Division II Final Four. The 21 wins set a program record for the most victories in a single season.
The Ravens also advanced to the national semifinals for just the fourth time in program history, joining the 1991, 2005 and 2007 squads as the other teams to accomplish the feat.
Franklin Pierce also produced the first unbeaten regular season record in team history as the Ravens went 16-0-1. Franklin Pierce also claimed the Northeast-10 Conference regular season and tournament titles for the second-straight season.
Several student-athletes garnered impressive individual awards under Stewart's guidance throughout the season, including senior midfielder Diego Tabares, who was named the Player of the Year by both the NE-10 and Daktronics East Region. Senior back Tom Reilly was awarded with the NE-10 Defensive Player-of-the-Year accolade, and classmate Vinny Papageorgiou was named the conference's Goalkeeper of the Year. All three, along with senior forward Victor Goncalves, were named to the All-NE-10 First-Team.
Tabares and Reilly were also named first-team All-Americans, while Papageorgiou landed on the third-team.
Success wasn't just limited to the field, but also came in the classroom as Reilly and Goncalves were named to the 2011 CoSIDA Academic All-District I First-Team. Reilly was later named a First-Team Academic All-American by the organization. Franklin Pierce was also recognized with an NSCAA Academic Award for posting a team cumulative grade point average above a 3.0.
Stewart has had a phenomenal first three years as the men's soccer coach in Rindge, including producing a 51-8-6 record (83.1%), three NCAA Tournament appearances, two NE-10 regular season and tournament championships, two trips to the national quarterfinals and one trip to the Final Four.
He has coached four players who have combined to win six player-of-the-year awards from either the conference or regional committees.
Stewart has produced his outstanding head coaching resume on the Rindge campus where he played from 2003-04. He served as a co-captain of the 2004 Ravens squad which won the NCAA Division II Northeast Regional Championship and advanced to the national quarterfinals.
Following the season he was named the NE-10 Player of the Year and garnered All-America status.