Bret Simon Named Stanford Head Men's Soccer Coach
Feb. 5, 2001
STANFORD, Calif. - Bret Simon, the head men's soccer coach at Creighton University the past six seasons, has been named the new head men's soccer coach at Stanford University. Simon will succeed former Cardinal head man Bobby Clark, who resigned his post on January 19, 2001 to take become the head coach at the University of Notre Dame.
A member of the Creighton University men's soccer staff for eight years, Simon finished his sixth season as the program's head coach in the 2000 College Cup national championship match. A four-time 'Coach of the Year' honoree, Simon put together a 96-26-9 (.767) overall record in his six seasons at the helm of the Creighton program while leading the Bluejays to four postseason Missouri Valley Conference tournament championships, a pair of MVC regular-season titles and six NCAA Tournament appearances. His 96 wins mark the most soccer victories ever by a Bluejay soccer head coach.
Last season, Simon led Creighton to its most successful season in history. The Bluejays (22-4-0) earned a trip to the College Cup for the second time in five years and ended their season with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the championship match. The team's appearance in the NCAA championship contests was the first by any CU athletic squad in school history. Creighton finished second in the MVC regular-season race and captured its fourth MVC Tournament Championship under Simon. The Bluejays also set the school's record for most wins in a season (22) with their 2-1 three-overtime victory over two-time defending champion Indian in the semifinal round of the College Cup.
After taking over the head coaching duties from Bob Warming on July 27, 1995, Simon guided the Bluejays to a 14-3-1 record a sweep of the Valley's regular-season and tournament titles. Simon followed up his first-season success by leading the 1996 Bluejays to a 17-5-2 record, the MVC regular-season championship and a trip to the NCAA College Cup. After the Bluejays swept through the Valley with a 5-0-0 record, Simon was voted the league's 1996 'Co-Coach of the Year.' In 1998, Simon's Bluejays produced a 16-4-2 record, reclaimed the MVC Tournament Championship and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, defeating rival Saint Louis and defending national champion UCLA all on the road. His 1999 squad recorded a 11-5-2 mark, finished second in the MVC and made its eighth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Senior defender David Wright was named the MVC's 'Player of the Year.'
Simon was an assistant with Creighton for two seasons before assuming the role of head coach.
'My family and I are incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity that Stanford has provided us,' Simon commented. 'For my wife, she has a tremendous professional opportunity. For myself, it is a challenge to step into the very large shoes of Bobby Clark. Bobby has built the program into one of the premier teams in the country, and I look forward to the challenge of continuing this success and working with the team, community, and Stanford alumni.
'I greatly appreciate the confidence that Ted Leland and (Stanford Associate Athletic Director) Earl Koberlein have shown by offering me this position and I look forward to working with a great staff and great student-athletes.'
'Stanford is very excited to have a coach of Bret Simon's ability join the Stanford soccer program,' Stanford Athletic Director Dr. Ted Leland said. 'His winning percentage and appearances in the College Cup while at Creighton are very impressive. Along with his successes on the field, his ability to build community support for the soccer program and develop outstanding young men is a credit to him as a coach and a person. We look forward to Bret continuing and improving upon the success that Bobby Clark brought to Stanford soccer and keeping the program amongst the nation's elite.'
Stanford again figures to be a national power in 2001, as the Cardinal return 12 letterwinners, including five starters, from a squad that finished 18-3-1 last season. Forwards Roger Levesque and Johanes Maliza, each sophomores in 2000, combined for 13 goals and eight assists in a reserve role last season. Junior midfielder Derek Shanahan exploded in the NCAA Tournament with two goals and four assists, while junior Mike Murphy returned from injury to score a postseason goal. Aaron Biddle, Todd Dunivant and two-time All-American Lee Morrison, all starters on the nation's best defense, will return to anchor the back line, while Abe Geiger, Taylor Graham, Travis James and Mike Wilson all appear ready to contribute. The Cardinal will also receive a boost from 2000's redshirt freshman class, including Robby Fulton, Clayton Peters, Matt Janusz, Todd Leber, Aaron Maines and Sean Whalen.