If recent trends continue, don’t be surprised to see Marquette in Philadelphia next December for the 2013 NCAA Men’s College Cup. In each season under Louis Bennett’s leadership, the Golden Eagles have bested or tied both their previous campaign’s win total and final RPI. After a memorable 2011, in which Bennett’s Big East Coaching Staff of the Year guided the team to the school’s first ever regular season conference title, the Golden Eagles soared to even higher heights in 2012, equaling a school-record 16 wins en route to Marquette’s first NCAA appearance since 1997.
Likewise, Big East rival Georgetown parlayed steady improvement under a new coach into an historic 2012. Brian Wiese’s Hoyas recorded a school-record 19 wins and finished better than any Georgetown team ever and all but one rival 2012 program, falling to Indiana in the College Cup final. The Hoyas’ memorable 2012 is just the latest and biggest success in a line of consistent development since going 7-11-1 (RPI 128) in Wiese’s first season at the helm in 2006.
Those two coaches have steadily turned their programs into legitimate powerhouses over seven years. A number of other coaches in men’s soccer are laying the foundation for similar success in their first two to four seasons.
1-15 in the season before Wilson took over, Cornell in just four years has already reclaimed the Ivy title, its first since 1995 and first outright since 1977.
After going 7-10-1 (RPI 100) in Hess’ first season, the Dragons finished the 2012 season with their first outright CAA regular season title and an NCAA appearance.
The second most improved team in the country, McGinty already has the Billikens back in the mix for the school’s first championship in 40 years.
The most improved team in the country, McIntyre’s Orange followed up a 3- 12-1 (RPI 179) campaign with a “Sweet Sixteen” run that earned the staff the Big East coaching award in a deep pool of deserving candidates.
Giffard’s Rams finished ranked in the final NSCAA poll for the first time since 2004 and recorded the school’s most wins since 2007.
Fleming presided over Xavier’s largest win total and first NCAA tournament victory in school history this season.
Taking over a squad that went 8-10-1 (RPI 154) in 2009, Armas has Campbell soccer back at a winning level.
Brooks’ Purple Eagles also flew to improbable, but not unexpected, heights, following a winning turnaround in Brooks’ first year with the school’s most ever wins, first MEAC title, and first NCAA appearance in 2012.
The following chart displays how many more wins (x-values) and how many RPI spots higher (y-values) each program finished at in its most recent campaign compared with its third-year coach’s first season (2010-2011).
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