The men?s soccer team will have a new leader next year. Last Thursday, Director of Athletics and Recreation George VanderZwaag appointed Chris Apple to be the 10th coach to lead the Yellowjackets.
Apple brings a plet-hora of experiences to UR. He was a former player and student, as well as a coach for the University of Notre Dame, Harvard University and North Caro-lina?s Wesleyan College.
?I am pleased to have Chris Apple joining our department,? Vander-Zwaag said. ?In addition to having had a very successful playing career at Rochester, he brings a wealth of other soccer experiences and will add exciting new dimensions to our program.?
Apple?s track record is a good indication of his multidimensional outlook. During his sophomore and senior years at UR, the midfielder was the tenth university player to earn All-American honors.
He also earned a Scholar-Athlete Award from the National Soccer Collegiate Athletic Association in 1989. From 1989 to 1991, he was an All-University Athletic Association choice in midfield and was named the UAA?s Player of the Year in 1990.
Outside of UR, as interim head coach at Notre Dame, he helped the Fighting Irish acheive a 7-8-1 record, with 4-7 in the Big East Conference.
Apple was also an assistant coach at Harvard University in 1993, and from 1994 to 1996, he was the head coach at Wesleyan College. He guided the Battling Bishops to a third place finish in the Dixie Conference in 1995.
Aside from his talent on the field, Apple also has an eye for scouting new talent. He recruited some of Notre Dame?s top players, including the 1999 Big East Rookie of the Year.
The Millersville, Penn. native graduated cum laude from UR in 1992 with a double degree in German and History. Apple has noticed some changes for the better and cited his excitement in returning to his alma mater.
?I am absolutely thrilled to return to the University of Rochester,? Apple said. ?I am honored to return to a community that did so much to shape my life.?
?My enthusiasm for this position has been enhanced by the recent improvements in the university?s athletic facilities and by the commitment that the university is making towards athletics,? he continued.
Apple takes over the helm from Mike Pilger, who recently resigned to accept a head coaching position with the Cleveland Crunch of the National Professional Soccer League.
?We are all excited that Mike Pilger has this sort of opportunity,? Vander-Zwaag said. ?Men?s soccer at Rochester has enjoyed a tradition of strong coaches.?
Last season, Pilger guided the Yellowjackets to a of 14-3-1 overall finish and 5-2 in the UAA.
UR went on to win Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference?s Upstate New York Regional Championship in 2000.
Pilger, who has led the squad for nine seasons and finished with a record of 84-19-51, the most wins as coach in men?s soccer here at UR.
The Yellowjackets will open their 2001 season Sept. 1 at Nazareth College.