Dec. 13, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State head coach Damon Rensing was named the 2013 Great Lakes Regional Coach of the Year as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Rensing is the first member of the MSU soccer program to receive the coaching honor. In his fifth season at the helm, Rensing and the Spartans advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 1968.
“It’s a great honor,” said head coach Damon Rensing. “This is something that’s voted on by your peers, by other coaches, so I think that’s always a great honor when you get recognition from your fellow colleagues. It’s also obviously the work of my entire staff. I’m fortunate to coach a great group of players, so certainly soccer is a players game and their success is translated to some of the recognition that our coaching staff has gotten. Lastly, I don’t think you can receive a Regional Coach of the Year honor without the support from an Athletic Department, President Simon, Mark Hollis, Shelley Appelbaum and just the support we’ve gotten all year from everybody is also a reflection of the award.”
“Coach Rensing, his staff and team have been a point of tremendous pride for MSU Athletics," said Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis. "The men’s soccer program has a storied history and it is exciting and rewarding to see Damon put his own special touches on the program. The 2013 season was beyond memorable and we are grateful for Damon’s strong leadership, commitment to our student-athletes and the way in which we honor the game of soccer and everyone associated with it. We are incredibly proud of the Spartan Men’s Soccer Program and this award is a true compliment to Damon, his staff and players.”
Making his fourth NCAA appearance in five seasons, Rensing led the Spartans through a record-breaking 2013 campaign. Michigan State battled to 14 wins, the most ever in a single season in program history. Holding their opponents to just 17 goals on the season, the Spartan defense tied the MSU record with 13 shutouts.
Rensing and the Spartans played one of the most difficult schedules in the country and in some of the toughest environments in college soccer. MSU has posted a 6-1-2 record on the road this season, including 2-0-2 against ranked-opponents with their only road loss coming at Wisconsin went undefeated at home in 2013.
MSU was the last Big Ten representative in the NCAA Tournament and led the conference with 13 shutouts, fewest goals allowed (15), total saves (121) team goals against average (0.64), total assists (42) and assists per game (1.91).
Though Rensing is in his fifth year as head coach, he concluded his 15th season on the Spartan sideline after a standout career for the Spartans (1993-96). Rensing is 57-39-12 (.583) in his five seasons as head coach, but MSU boasts a 136-79-24 (.619) overall record with Rensing on the sidelines, including 11 or more wins in 10 seasons.