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McMahon Named NAIA Coach of the Year

February 11, 2013 (Jackson) - Brian McMahon, Head Coach of Belhaven Men’s Soccer, was named the 2012 Field Turf National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NAIA National Coach of the Year following a memorable 2012 season.

McMahon just completed his first season with Belhaven and under his leadership the Men’s Soccer team took home the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship title. It was the second national title in the program’s history and just the third national title of any sport in Belhaven’s history. This significant milestone also took place during the 20th anniversary season of the last national championship team, won in 1992 by the men’s soccer team. Before the big game, McMahon had shirts made for his team that simply said "92" to remind his players of the opportunity in their midst.

McMahon came to Belhaven after spending the past 11 seasons as the head coach at Greenville College in Illinois. While at Greenville, McMahon helped build successful programs for both men and women’s soccer.

The most challenging part for McMahon was laying the foundational blocks of his program. “Coming in to the first year the hope was just to develop a culture of success on and off the field, with how we carried ourselves. Our goal on the field was to play to a standard regardless of who we played and I felt the guys did a great job at that,” adds McMahon.

Scott Little, Vice President for Athletics & Student Affairs, said, “Coach McMahon demands team play and backs it up by giving lots of guys playing time throughout the year, so we were ready for the national championship, stayed true to that philosophy, and the end result was a 2-0 win.”

The Blazers faced some of the toughest competition in all of the NAIA throughout the course of the season and beat six of the top ten teams in the final NAIA Top 25 Poll throughout the course of the season. They then battled their way through the competition with five straight victories in the national tournament and ended the season with an overall 19-4-1 record.

Coach McMahon said, “We played 16 teams in the top 25 throughout the season, so our guys were definitely battled tested and we saw and were exposed to a lot of very good teams through the year. I think that showed when we got to the national tournament.”

Belhaven will now spend the off season preparing for a title defense in 2013. The Blazers’ goals for this year in soccer are set high and McMahon believes the team has a long way to go to reach those goals. “We want Belhaven to be the best place in the country to play soccer in the NAIA and we need to continue building the foundational blocks to make that happen.”

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Belhaven University stands among select Christian colleges and universities and has been repeatedly named one of “America’s 100 Best College Buys." The University offers 30 academic majors across a full spectrum of disciplines as well as a variety of graduate programs. In addition, Belhaven has achieved the distinction of being among only 30 universities nationally accredited in each of the major arts – music, theatre, visual art and dance. All programs are taught from a Christian worldview perspective and are guided by the mission to prepare students academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Belhaven University serves over 3,700 students offering undergraduate and graduate degrees on its residential campus, an online degree program, and graduate and adult degree programs in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, and Atlanta.

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