Findley to Lead the Pack on the Pitch
Dec. 22, 2010
RALEIGH, N.C. - Kelly Findley, a three-time All-American, a former professional soccer player, and the all-time winningest coach at Butler University, has been named the head men's soccer coach at NC State, Director of Athletics Debbie Yow announced on Wednesday. Findley developed Butler soccer into an elite program nationally.
"I would like to thank Athletic Director Debbie Yow, David Horning and Chris Kingston, as well as the rest of the search committee for the opportunity to lead Wolfpack men's soccer," Findley said. "I was very impressed with the vision the athletics administration has for the men's soccer program and the entire athletics department. Their vision is focused on excellence and achievement, and I'm excited about the possibilities that come with this position. NC State soccer has a rich tradition of excellence on and off of the field, and I look forward to working with the great alumni, players, parents and fans that support our program."
He comes to NC State following his fourth straight winning season at Butler. More specifically, his 2010 Butler squad entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 5 nationally and was one of only two unbeaten teams in the nation. He led Butler to the national stage with top 25 rankings, league championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. His overall record as head coach at Butler was an impressive 59-25-15, and the club's 16 wins this season ranked among the best in team history.
After Butler repeated as league champions in 2010, Findley was named Horizon League coach of the year for the second straight season. He also mentored the league player of the year and Herman Trophy semifinalist Ben Sippola. Of note, Findley values the academic work of his athletes as demonstrated by a three-year team GPA of 3.25 and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) team academic award.
"Kelly Findley has great character, and is totally focused on winning championships and graduating his players," Yow said. "He is a rising star in NCAA soccer. He will revitalize Wolfpack men's soccer and will elevate our program to elite status in this sport. I want to thank Senior Associate Athletics Director Chris Kingston and his search committee for pursuing and successfully securing the services of Coach Findley at an important juncture in our soccer program."
Prior to coaching at Butler, Findley served at UNC Charlotte for three seasons as an assistant coach and for two seasons as associate head coach. During his tenure at Charlotte, the 49ers compiled a 42-40-14 record, including an 11-7-1 mark in 2004. In his third season at Charlotte, the 49ers reached the finals of the Conference USA Tournament for only the second time in school history, only to lose the championship game on penalty kicks.
Findley served as head coach at Mars Hill College for two seasons, 1999-2000. He also spent one season as an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) University, two seasons as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Eagles professional soccer team, and one season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Judson College of Elgin, Ill. During his tenure with the Charlotte Eagles, the professional club won two South Atlantic Division championships, made two playoff appearances and posted a national runner-up finish.
In a standout collegiate playing career as a midfielder at Judson College, Findley was a three-time NAIA All-American, a three-time National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) All-American, and a two-time NSCAA All-American. He was a four-time team MVP and was named the Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons. He was named Judson's Athlete of the Year in 1990. Findley helped Judson to its first NCCAA National Tournament championship in 1991, and he finished his collegiate career in fifth place on Judson's all-time career assist chart with 48. He was named to Judson's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
Following his collegiate career, Findley played professional soccer with the Charlotte Eagles for six seasons. He helped the Eagles to three South Atlantic Division championships, five divisional playoff appearances and two trips to the national finals.
Findley, a former North Carolina ODP State Team coach, holds a USSF "A" license and a NSCAA Premier Diploma. He and his wife, Joanne, have five children, Gabriel, Elysia, Corinne, Stephen and Keane.
What They are Saying About Coach Findley:
• Butler midfielder Ben Sippola - 2010 All-American, 2010 Academic All-American, and 2010 Horizon League Player of the Year:
"Coach Findley is truly devoted to what he does. He exudes passion, commitment, and character. His passion towards coaching translates directly to his players' work ethic on and off the field. Coach Findley took Butler University, a small school with limited soccer resources that was not even on the college soccer map, and within five years put Butler on the national stage. This past season we were ranked No. 5 in the final regular season national poll.
"There is no other coach that I would of wanted to play for. He has helped me develop not only into a better soccer player, but a better student and human being. Coach Findley not only develops the athlete, he takes a holistic approach to his player's lives on the field and off the field.
"I am excited for Coach Findley and his opportunity to coach at a school like NC State in the midst of college soccer's most competitive environment. He is a perfect fit for the job and I have no doubt that he will have success in the ACC environment. There is no doubt that he will be missed at Butler as he has left huge shoes to fill. I wish him the best and look forward to watching his successful future unfold."
• Rob Kehoe - College Programs Director, National Soccer Coaches Association of America:
"Kelly Findley has established himself as an outstanding Division I coach, and his teams have displayed performance excellence on the field and in the classroom, ascending to Top 10 national ranking levels in each category. Operating from a strong leadership foundation, Kelly has demonstrated the ability to build winning people, winning players, and winning teams, and has done so by teaching the valuable lessons for living that are to be learned through sports."