MILLEDGEVILLE — It has been a long, grueling process to build a program virtually from scratch in the last four years, taking teams that struggled to win ball games to making appearances in the semi-final matches at the conference tournament last fall.
Georgia Military College head soccer coach Kerem Daser was recognized for his efforts by winning South Region Coach of the Year honors for junior colleges in January at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America annual convention held in Philadelphia, Pa.
Daser started four years ago with a thin roster, but recent success for both the men and women has generated much interest from coaches and players around the country.
“When I first got here, I’ll never forget during the pre-season we really didn’t have enough players,” he said. “I actually called Georgia Perimeter College and they had a tryout, and sent Rene [Enang] over here.
“It’s a funny story, because he was the captain his second year and had the game-winning goal to beat Georgia Perimeter his sophomore year — the first time we’d beaten them and they were a top-five team in the country,” Daser added. “So, I really didn’t have enough kids my first year, but I recently did an ID camp and had about 20 kids show up. I think it’s taken four years to really get over that hump.”
With almost 20 years of coaching experience at a variety of levels, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I ranks, Daser believes the coaching award reflects the players and people who have mentored him throughout the years.
“It’s a player’s game, so I’d really like to respect the players,” the nationally recognized coach said. “When you win an award like that, it’s also the coaching staff too — you know, Courtney Morgan is my assistant for men and women. She’s a tireless team player, hard worker, and a super administrator. I think the award really goes back to my assistant.