By Matt Slovin, Daily Sports Editor
Published December 23, 2011
Just over one year since the Michigan men’s soccer team climbed the ranks of college soccer to reach its first-ever College Cup, the program will experience another transition — one that nobody saw coming during the Wolverines’ monumental run in 2010.
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An Athletic Department release on Friday announced that Chaka Daley, head coach of Providence College’s team, has been named the second head coach in program history. He succeeds Steve Burns, who resigned Nov. 30.
Burns had brought soccer to prominence in Ann Arbor after nurturing the program from its days as a club sport. Men’s soccer obtained varsity status in 2000.
“We are excited about the leadership that Coach Daley will bring,” said Athletic Director Dave Brandon in the release. “(Daley) has a wealth of experience both as a coach and a player at a variety of levels.”
Daley’s coaching career matches the longevity of Burns. All 12 of his years coaching have been spent at Providence, where most recently he led the Friars to an NCAA Tournament berth — one of five during Daley’s stint there. In each of his final seven seasons at the helm at Providence, he led his alma mater to a winning record.
“I am extremely excited and honored,” said the Toronto native in the release about his new job.
Daley went on to refer to Michigan as “one of the great schools, not only in America, but in the world.”
He will attempt to regroup the Wolverines following a 2011 campaign that paled in comparison to the success of 2010. Michigan won just one Big Ten contest en route to a 5-14-1 overall record and a loss in the first round of the conference tournament.
Daley will enjoy a far more experienced roster than the one Burns had to work with in his final season. The 2011 team included 12 players seeing their first season of game action, and the Wolverines will lose just three seniors — midfielder Adam Shaw and defenders Jarrett Kerr and Eric Leifland.
One challenge facing Daley will be keeping professional-caliber talents in a Michigan uniform. After the 2010 trip to the national semifinals, forward Soony Saad left the program to play professionally after being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Daley’s professional playing career as a defender included a one-year stop in the MLS with the New England Revolution in 1999, before returning to help coach Providence.