Jan. 13, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - For the second time in three years, UC Santa Barbara head coach Tim Vom Steeg earned the most prestigious honor a Division I coach can receive when he was named the National Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Friday evening. Vom Steeg brings home the honor after guiding the UCSB men's soccer team to the program's first NCAA National Championship.
In his eight seasons at the helm of UCSB, Vom Steeg has transformed a program that went 2-17-2 overall in the year prior to his arrival, to a Division I power and reigning national champions. In the first 33 years of the program's existence, Santa Barbara had never reached the NCAA Tournament, but has now made five straight postseason appearances under Vom Steeg's guidance, including two trips to the College Cup. A former player at UCSB, Vom Steeg owns a 13-3 overall record in the NCAA Tourney.
Vom Steeg earned the award in 2004 after his Gauchos led the nation and set a school record with a 21-2-2 overall record. After spending seven weeks with a No. 1 national ranking, UCSB received a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced all the way to the College Cup for the first time in program history. The Gauchos then dismantled Duke 5-0 in the semifinals to reach the championship match, where they tied Indiana 1-1 before falling in heart-breaking fashion, 3-2 in a penalty kick shoot-out.
Just two years later, Vom Steeg's Gauchos finished with a 17-7-1 overall record and returned to college soccer's final weekend unseeded in the tournament, completing a miraculous title run with a 2-1 win over UCLA in the finals December 3. The victory over the Bruins came less than 24 hours after Santa Barbara advanced past No. 2 seed Wake Forest, this time coming out on top in a penalty kick shoot-out, 4-3, in the semifinals. In what became very well documented during UCSB's postseason run, the Gauchos stood at just 7-6 on after a 1-0 loss at UC Riverside October 11. Vom Steeg got his team to respond and Santa Barbara proceeded to win 10 of its final 12 matches and claim the school's second national title -- the first since the men's water polo team won the championship in 1979.
Since the Big West Conference reinstated men's soccer in 2000, Vom Steeg has steered the Gauchos to four conference championships, including this season after finishing 7-3-0 in league play. Over the course of the past six season's Vom Steeg has produced four conference offensive players of the year, three defensive players of the year, three goalkeepers of the year, and three freshman of the year. Vom Steeg was named the Big West Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
The winningiest coach in program history with a career-record of 117-45-11 (.708) at UCSB, Vom Steeg has helped 10 Gauchos receive All-American honors in the last five years has coached over a dozen players that are currently playing professionally. He will return for his ninth season in 2007.