Stunned. Just stunned.
TAMPA, NOV. 22, 2016 – USF men’s head soccer coach George Kiefer is departing Tampa to take a similar position at North Carolina State University. He informed his team of his decision Tuesday morning.
“George has been a tremendous asset to USF Athletics for the past 15 years,” USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said. “We thank him for his service to our university and our student-athletes and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We will begin a national search immediately to identify a new leader for our men’s soccer program.”
Kiefer led the USF men’s soccer program for 15 seasons, guiding the program to nine NCAA tournament appearances and three conference championships, including the 2016 American Athletic Conference regular season title.
There’s three head coaches I figured would retire at USF: Kiefer, Ken Eriksen, and Jose Fernandez. But you can’t ever blame a guy for wanting to be happy, or for getting paid a lot more cash. Whatever his motivation was, we’re happy for him.
A huge thanks to George for his 15 years of service to USF. Three conference championships (and a PK shootout from a fourth last week), two Elite Eights, an enthusiastic and engaged fan base, a great facility of which he had a big part of designing, and a program with a winning tradition that will hopefully live on after he decamps for North Carolina is a terrific legacy.
George was also incredibly kind and easy to work with as both a fellow employee and a media member. He’s a coach that will need to get USF Hall of Fame consideration whenever they decide to fire up that committee again.
But for now, replacing him will be a tough effort, and these are big shoes to fill. We’re unsure if Kiefer’s lead assistant Fred Dikranian is under consideration for the job at this time.