Campbell tabs Armas as new head coach

From our friend Stan Cole…

BUIES CREEK – Steve Armas, who has helped build the Campbell University men’s soccer program into a regional and national contender, was named head coach of the Fighting Camels on Friday.

ArmasA former collegiate and professional standout who has spent the last four years as an assistant coach at Campbell, Armas replaces Doug Hess, who resigned earlier this month to accept the head coaching job at Drexel University.

“Steve has been an integral part of our men’s soccer program’s success over these last four years and we are proud that Steve will now take over this program as Campbell’s head coach,” said Director of Athletics Stan Williamson. “Steve has had some great experiences as a player and as a coach that have prepared him to assume this responsibility. We expect great things from our men’s soccer team under Steve’s leadership.”

Over the past four seasons, Armas has helped guide the Camels to three Atlantic Sun Conference trophies, the team’s first-ever berth in the NCAA College Cup and a year-end national ranking at the Division I level.

“First, I must thank (University President) Dr. (Jerry) Wallace, Stan Williamson, (Vice President for Student Life) Dr. (Dennis) Bazemore and the rest of Campbell administration and staff for believing in my abilities and entrusting me with the leadership of the men’s soccer program,” said Armas, who played in Major League Soccer after a standout career at Maryland. “I am proud of what we were able to accomplish during my time as an assistant coach here in Buies Creek. Even more so, my wife, Sarah and I are excited about what lies ahead in working with the student-athletes, administration, alumni, and the community to build upon years of men’s soccer tradition in the future as the head coach.”

During that span, Campbell won the 2008 and 2009 A-Sun regular season championships, while garnering the 2007 A-Sun tournament crown. Since Armas’ arrival in 2006, the Fighting Camels have compiled a 45-29-6 overall record (.600), including a 25-4-5 mark (.809) in the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season. The Camels finished ranked among the top-10 in the final South Region poll in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and earned the school’s first year-end national ranking (No. 25) in 2008 at the Division I level.

In Armas’ stint at CU, he has mentored seven Campbell players who have been named to the All-South teams as well as 24 who have been named to the Atlantic Sun all-conference teams. In addition, 43 Campbell players have earned a place on the A-Sun All-Academic Teams.

Armas has helped develop the last two A-Sun players of the year (Vince Petrasso and Richard Jata), the 2007 Atlantic Sun freshman of the year (Josue Soto) and the ‘07 A-Sun tournament MVP (Petrasso). His players have gained All-America (Jata), freshman All-America (Soto) and Academic All-America (Devin Sheppard) notice as well.

Last fall, Petrasso was selected as A-Sun Player of the Year and first-team all-conference after the Camels captured their second-straight league regular season title and third in the last five campaigns. Senior Justin Madrid, junior Khalil Johnson and freshman Mitchell Cardenas were named to the all-conference second team. Cardenas was joined on the all-freshman squad by teammates Justin Smith and Keegan Terry.

The Camels suffered only one regular season conference loss (16-1-1) over the past two campaigns, compiling a 7-1-1 league record and 8-10-1 overall mark last fall when freshmen made 50 starts for the eventual A-Sun regular season champs.

In 2008, the Camels won the A-Sun regular season crown with a perfect 9-0-0 mark, finished 14-6-0 overall, defeated 7th-ranked North Carolina for the third-straight year, and was rated third in the final South Region poll. CU finished the year as the third-highest scoring team in the nation (2.2) and set a school record with 12-consecutive victories.

The 2007 squad finished 13-6-3 overall, won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament championship, and made the program’s first appearance in the NCAA College Cup. CU knocked off ACC member North Carolina for the second-straight year and finished seventh in the final South Region ranking.

Before arriving at Buies Creek in July 2006, Armas spent the previous two years as an assistant coach for both Greensboro College and the Carolina Dynamo of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Developmental League (PDL).

While at Greensboro College, Armas helped to guide the men’s program to a 2005 USA South Conference tournament championship and a second round NCAA tournament appearance. With the Carolina Dynamo, Armas has had the opportunity to coach some of the best Division I collegiate players in the country.

Two players from the 2005 Dynamo team have played in Major League Soccer — Justin Moose of D.C. United and Floyd Franks of the Chicago Fire. The 2006 Dynamo squad included three Hermann trophy candidates.

A native of Germantown, Md., Armas played collegiately at the University of Maryland from 1995-98 and graduated in 2003 with a bachelor of arts in Spanish Language and Literature. He finished his career with 11 goals and 17 assists and ranks seventh among the school’s career assists leaders. He helped lead Maryland to an ACC Tournament championship and captained the team to an NCAA College Cup appearance, where Armas was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament team.

Armas had an impressive professional playing career which included stints with various clubs competing in Major League Soccer as well as the United Soccer League First and Second divisions. Armas played with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL2, where he helped the team capture the Atlantic Division and regular season championship. Armas spent the 2003 season with the Carolina Dynamo (USL2) where he played 17 games (1498 minutes), scored 5 goals and had 16 assists (2nd in the League) to help the Dynamo capture the regular season championship.

Drafted out of the University of Maryland in 1999 by the New England Revolution of MLS, Armas played with the Columbus Crew and Tampa Bay Mutiny of MLS as well as stints with USL First division clubs Atlanta Silverbacks, Minnesota Thunder and Cincinnati Riverhawks. He played in the U-17 World Cup in Japan, and also participated at the U-18, U-20 and U-23 national team levels. Armas currently holds a USSF “B” Coaching License.

Armas has also been especially active with the youth club community. He is head coach of the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) ’92 Elite boy’s team, which reached the semifinals of the Greensboro Score Showcase and the final of the Disney Soccer Showcase.

He coached the 92 Navy Boy’s team with the Triangle Futbol Club for two years (2007, 2008), guiding the group to two final four appearances and one championship in the NCYSA state cup, two championships at the Jefferson Cup in Richmond, Virginia and another appearance in the finals at the esteemed Disney Showcase in Orlando, Florida.

Additionally, Armas spent three years as head and assistant coach with the North Carolina Olympic Development Program ’93 Boys State Team.

He and his wife, Sarah, reside in Buies Creek with their golden retrievers, Amos and Wrigley.


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