Soccer coach search nears end

USF assistant soccer coaches Jim Felix and Mike Duncan are among the finalists for the Bulls’ vacancy. USF Senior Associate Athletic Director Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy said that both had interviewed for the job and were among the three or four finalists for the position. Sparks-McGlinchy identified UConn assistant George Kiefer as a third candidate. Kiefer is scheduled to be interviewed this week.

The position became open April 24 when coach John Hackworth resigned to take a full-time position with the Under-17 U.S. National Team. Hackworth, who led the Bulls to a 15-7 finish and a triple overtime loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, went to Brazil and France with the National Team this spring.

“This is a most attractive job,” Felix said. “John has done a phenomenal job bringing this program to national recognition, that’s for sure.”

Felix has an extensive collegiate background. After graduating from SUNY-Cortland in 1981, Felix became an assistant at Cornell in 1986. He was the head coach at Stony Brook from 1987-1991, then became an assistant at Harvard from 1991-94. He went cross-town to Boston University for the 1994 and ’95 seasons. Felix’s playing career also included two seasons at USF. Felix served under Hackworth for the last two seasons.

“I wouldn’t change too much since things are going along so well,” Felix said. “Plus, we have a very veteran team.”

Duncan established himself as a player at Lynn University where he went to the NAIA National Championship game four straight years. From there, Duncan has participated in the Olympic Development Program the past four seasons. Having spent the past two seasons under Hackworth, Duncan’s primary duties revolved around recruiting.

Kiefer has spent the last five seasons as an assistant at Connecticut.

UConn head coach Ray Reid had high praise for Kiefer.

“(George) is one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country,” Reid said. “His eye for talent is a strength and is part of the reason that he is such a great recruiter. His organization, knowledge and enthusiasm are all important qualities that make him the coach that he is.”

Those three were selected from a field of 89 resumes, Sparks-McGlinchy said. Hackworth’s successor should be in place by the second week of July, according to Sparks-McGlinchy.

Recruits recognized

When the postseason honors were handed out in baseball and softball last week, numerous USF recruits were among the selections for the 2002 Florida All-State Teams.

USF softball coach Ken Eriksen snagged a pair of first teamers in Class 5A. Local products Kattrina Dowd and Krista Holle were named to the first team in Class 5A by the Florida Sports Writers Association.

Dowd, an infielder with Countryside High School in Clearwater, was a member of a state title team with the Cougars. Countryside finished its season 33-1 and was named as national champions by two national polls. On the season, Dowd batted .598 with 70 hits.

Holle was made the first team as an outfielder. For Chamberlain, Holle batted .492 as senior and drove in 13 runs. The Chiefs made it to the regional quarterfinals and completed their 2002 season 23-7.

USF baseball coach Eddie Cardieri hopes to welcome three all-state honorees next spring. In Class 6A, pitchers Devin Anderson and Chris Kemper both gained notoriety. Anderson, a 28th-round pick of the Atlanta Braves Wednesday in the Major League Baseball Draft, was named third team. The 6-foot-5 left hander opened the season with a 55-inning scoreless streak for Orlando’s West Orange High School.

Kemper was an integral part of a Bloomingdale pitching staff that guided the Bulls to a state semifinal appearance. The FSWA tabbed Kemper as an honorable mention.

USF signee Jeremy Bellotti landed on the Class 4A second team. The Dunedin outfielder was one of a host of Falcons to land on the three all-state teams. Baseball America had Dunedin ranked No. 2 in the nation before the Falcons fell in the state semifinals to Ridgewood. Prior to the state tournament, Bellotti was batting .374 with 17 RBI.

National team again calls Eriksen

USF softball coach Ken Eriksen will again join the coaching staff for the USA National team in 2002. University of Arizona coach Mike Candrea was announced as the head coach for the national team this summer, as well as the skipper for the 2004 USA Olympic team. Eriksen will assist Candrea as the team hopes for a fifth consecutive ISF World Championship.

Eriksen, the head coach at USF since 1997, has compiled a 259-153 record with the Bulls. Eriksen has taken his team to three NCAA Regional Tournaments where the Bulls have twice ended their season only a day away from the Women’s College World Series.

He will accompany the World Championship team to the ISF World Championship Tournament in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, July 26 – Aug. 4. Team USA is 44-1 in World Championship play.

As an assistant at the national level for the second straight year, Eriksen could be in line for an assistant post under Candrea in 2004 at the Olympics in Athens, Greece.