Proven Coach Brings Impressive Resume Back into Division II
SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy has announced that Keith Fulk, a championship-winning player and coach, is the newest member of the Lions' coaching family as he has been selected to lead the Saint Leo men's soccer program beginning in 2011.
"We are very excited to have a coach who is a proven winner in the Sunshine State Conference and with Division II NCAA Championship title on his resume," Reidy said when announcing his newest head coaching addition.
Returning to the NCAA Division II ranks after spending the last eight years outside of collegiate soccer, Fulk comes to Saint Leo after a year-long stint serving as head coach at the prestigious IMG Academy in Sarasota, Fla. His rise to head coach at IMG came after working for United States Soccer, specifically as an assistant coach for the Under-17 men's national team, a position he held since August 2003. He joined US Soccer after a coaching stint at West Virginia University.
"I am thankful for the opportunity that Saint Leo University and Fran Reidy have offered my family and I," Fulk said. "We are extremely excited to return to college soccer and the Sunshine State Conference. We look forward to our future challenges and the next phase of our lives."
It was during his time at the University of Tampa, his alma mater, that Fulk solidified his resume and made his mark. As the head coach at the fellow conference school for six years, Fulk guided the Spartans to an 81-24-7 record, three SSC Championships and three NCAA Division II Tournament appearances in 1996, 1997 and 2001.
In 2001, he led Tampa to a 19-0-2 record, a No. 1 ranking during the season, and to the Division II National Championship. In response to the team's accomplishments, Fulk was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Coach of the Year.
Fulk also served as the top assistant head coach at Tampa, where he helped guide the team to the 1994 Division II National Championship and two conference championships in 1994 and 1995. It was also during his years as a Spartan that he was mentored by SSC Hall of Fame legends Tom Fitzgerald and Jay Miller, helping him to develop his playing and coaching abilities more extensively.
Reidy continued, "We had many very experienced and talented coaches involved in this search, but Keith's success, contacts within US soccer and name recognition in Tampa Bay as well as Florida, brought him to the top of the list."
"Our goal for all of our programs is to be competitive in the league every year, and qualify for NCAA post-season play. Keith Fulk has done this multiple times as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He knows the path and formula to achieve this type of success and we are thrilled to have him on our staff."
Holding his 'A' license from the United States Soccer Federation, the native of Myerstown, Pa. has an extensive playing career as well. Claiming a national championship in 1981 while playing for Tampa, Fulk was a four-year student-athlete for the Spartans until graduation in 1985. After his collegiate career concluded, he then advanced to play professional indoor soccer until 1992. Also during that time, he was a participant in the World University Games in 1985.
As a player, Fulk was a Parade All-American at Elco High School and at Tampa he was a four-time All-Conference and All-South Region member.
He was also inducted into the SSC Hall of Fame in 2008.
Fulk will begin his preparations for the 2011 Saint Leo Men's Soccer season immediately.