Steve Armas Named Wake Forest Men's Soccer Assistant Coach
May 7, 2015
By Josh Gresh, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeMSoccer)
Armas joins Wake Forest after spending the last five seasons as head coach at Campbell University. He had spent the 2006-09 seasons as an assistant coach with the Camels before accepting the head coaching job in January 2010.
"We are very excited to attract and have a coach with so much experience like Steve join our staff," said Muuss. "It shows a lot that we can bring in a head coach who brings a wealth of knowledge as coach, player and recruiter that can help us to bring championships back to Winston-Salem. He is the perfect complement to the staff and I feel his knowledge and experience will have strong and positive impacts on our players."
Armas brings a wealth of experience to the Wake Forest coaching staff. Over the past nine seasons, Armas has helped guide the Camels to three conference trophies, the team's first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament, and a year-end national ranking at the Division I level. While he was at the helm, two of his players were selected in the MLS SuperDraft. Mitchell Cardenas was drafted by the Kansas City Wizards in 2013 and most recently Travis Golden was taken by D.C. United in 2014.
"I would like to thank Bobby Muuss and the Wake Forest Athletic department for the opportunity to join the men's soccer family," said Armas. "I am excited to be a part of a program that competes at the highest level in college soccer and look forward to working with the quality student-athletes of this prestigious university."
The former collegiate and professional standout explained his philosophy and coaching style which best fits what is the Wake Forest style of play. "I am committed to an organized team effort defensively, paired with a high tempo, attacking style of play," Armas explained. "That is why I believe that Wake Forest is the perfect place for me to continue my coaching career."
Overall, Armas wants to win. He wants to give his teams the best opportunity to win championships as part of the best collegiate soccer conference in the country, while striving to have Wake Forest continue to have the best student-athletes that work hard in the classroom. "The goal is be exceptional in all we attempt, and strive to compete and win," said Armas. "The driving force for my players is to seek excellence in all we do on the field, in the classroom, and in life. Each individual is encouraged to have a positive and passionate attitude towards the game and one another. Players are valued and respected, and are expected to conduct themselves as positive members of the community."
Prior to Campbell, Armas spent two years as an assistant coach for both Greensboro College and the Carolina Dynamo of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Developmental League (PDL). With the Carolina Dynamo, Armas has had the opportunity to coach some of the best Division I collegiate players in the country, including Wake Forest men's soccer alumni Sam Cronin, Justin Moose, Jamie Franks, Brian Edwards, Wells Thompson, and Michael Lahoud. All have gone on to have professional soccer careers.
Cronin, now a member of the Colorado Rapids, was pleased to hear of Wake Forest's new addition to its staff. "I had the unique privilege of playing with and for Steve Armas," said Cronin. "He brings enormous experience with him to Wake Forest both as a standout player and a collegiate head coach. Steve will serve as a strong mentor to the current student-athletes with his soccer mind, mentality and high character."
While he was at Greensboro College, Armas helped to guide the men's program to a 2005 USA South Conference tournament championship and a second round NCAA tournament appearance.
Armas played collegiately at the University of Maryland from 1995-98 and graduated in 2003 with a bachelor of arts in Spanish Language and Literature. He finished his career with 11 goals and 17 assists and ranks seventh among the school's career assists leaders. He helped lead Maryland to an ACC Tournament championship and captained the team to an NCAA College Cup appearance, where Armas was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
"He has used his playing experience as an ACC Champion, NCAA College Cup participant and tons of national team experience has to find a great balance of how to influence both young and college players to develop both on and off the field," added Muuss.
Drafted out of Maryland in 1999 by the New England Revolution of MLS, Armas played with the Columbus Crew and Tampa Bay Mutiny of the MLS as well as stints in the USL. Armas also had the privilege of playing in the U-17 World Cup in Japan and also participating at the U-18, U-20 and U-23 national team levels.
Armas joins a staff that also consists of Dane Brenner who is going into his fifth season and Eder Quintanilla who is finishing up his first year at Wake Forest. "Dane is one of the hardest working and best young coaches in college soccer," said Muuss. "Dane will take over as the recruiting coordinator and I feel extremely confident in the direction the program is going with the staff we have compiled.
Quintanilla has brought a wealth of experience working with one of the best club teams and best youth development programs in the world at Athletic Bilbao in Spain. "Since the day I've gotten here, I have been very impressed with his knowledge of the game and his ability to interact with the players here at Wake Forest," said Muuss.
Muuss has felt very privileged to have the support of the Wake Forest athletic department during his transition after becoming the fourth head coach in program history in January. "I would like to thank the athletic department for their support during this time of transition for me, my staff, and the men's soccer program," Muuss said. "Their support in our goals to bring championships back to Wake Forest has been beyond first-class."
Armas joins a strong Wake Forest team that earned a spot this season in the NCAA Championship for the 12th time in the last 13 years and the 18th time in school history. Wake Forest finished the 2014 season with a 10-7-2 record which included wins over ranked teams such as Louisville, Connecticut and national champion Virginia. The Deacons were led by first team All-ACC selection Michael Gamble, second team honoree Ian Harkes and freshman All-ACC selection Kris Reaves. In addition, Wake Forest's 2015 recruiting class has been ranked the ninth-best in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer and seventh by College Soccer News.
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