Allen Vital has been named the new men’s soccer coach at Tusculum College announced Frankie DeBusk, Tusculum College director of athletics on Tuesday. Coach Vital will be introduced officially at a press conference on Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Pioneer Perk, located in the Scott M. Niswonger Student Commons on the Greeneville campus.
Vital, a 1992 Tusculum graduate, returns to his alma mater after 14 seasons as the head coach at Carson-Newman College. While at the Jefferson City, Tenn. school, Vital amassed one of finest coaching careers in South Atlantic Conference and NCAA Division II history. In his 14 seasons, he led the Eagles to an impressive 165-85-19 worksheet, which is the best coaching record at Carson-Newman, making him the second winningest coach in league history. His 165 victories are ranked 28th amongst NCAA II active coaches, while his .649 winning percentage is 27th in the nation.
Vital led the Eagles to eight South Atlantic Conference championships (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010) and seven consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). He has been named SAC Coach of the Year five times (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009) and NCAA II Region Coach of the Year on two occasions (2003, 2005).
”This is an exciting and unique opportunity for me to do what so many in my profession dream of; coaching the team that you once played for,” said Vital. “It’s my hope that my tenure here at Tusculum will be used to advance the legacy of excellence that this men’s soccer program has long been associated with.”
In 2010, Vital guided C-N to a 12-5-1 record, including 8-1 in the league to capture the program’s third straight SAC championship and seventh in the last eight seasons. It was also C-N’s eighth consecutive winning season with Vital’s teams going 115-31-14 (.763), including 49-6-4 in South Atlantic Conference play (.864) during that eight-year span.
Vital led the Eagles to one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2003 as Carson-Newman went 14-6-3 and 6-1 in league action to win their second SAC title in four years. The Eagles advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they defeated two top 10 teams in UNC Pembroke and USC Spartanburg and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in school history. C-N lost a hard-fought match to eventual national champion Lynn University. The Eagles finished the season ranked 12th in the final D-II poll in 2003.
He followed that season with yet another successful campaign in 2004 as the Eagles won the SAC title again and was ranked as high as number one in the NSCAA Division II Pool during the season. Coach Vital was named SAC Coach of the Year and Tyler Baldock was selected the SAC Player of the Year as C-N went 17-2-1 for the program’s best winning percentage in school history (.875).
Vital and Baldock repeated those honors in 2005 as the Eagles went 18-2-2 for the most wins in school history as C-N finished the year ranked sixth in the nation. Carson-Newman captured the program’s third straight SAC Championship and its first Food Lion SAC Tournament title in school history. Vital and the Eagles followed with the first four-peat performance in SAC history as C-N posted a 14-2-2 worksheet in 2006 and finished the year ranked 15th in Division II.
C-N’s bid for a fifth straight league crown was halted in 2007, but the Eagles still finished the season ranked 13th in the country and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a fifth straight year.
Vital guided the Eagles to a share of the 2008 league regular season title with Tusculum and followed with the program’s sixth and seventh league crowns in 2009 and 2010.
“My decision to leave Carson-Newman was made a very difficult one, because so many good people there who have always embraced and loved us from the time Tina and I arrived in that community,” Vital added. “I will always remain grateful for the opportunity granted to me at Carson-Newman and thankful for the support that I have always received from the Lakeway soccer community.”
While at Carson-Newman, Vital mentored 57 All-Conference honorees, including 32 All-Region selections, three All-Americans (Tyler Baldock - three times, Thomas Ostvold, Dario Carrasco), two SAC Players of the Year (Tyler Baldock - twice, Dario Carrasco), one SAC Freshman of the Year (Omar Cooke) and one SAC Scholar Athlete of the Year (Arthur Garnes).
“Our men’s soccer program has a tremendous history of success, with excellence on and off the field and with a great reputation of being successful,” DeBusk added. Coach Vital has not only been part of that history, but will continue it with great pride.”
As a player, Vital garnered All-Conference honors as a freshman and sophomore at Lees-McRae as he led the Bobcats to a pair of NJCAA Region 10 Championships. He played the 1990 and 1991 campaigns at Tusculum, where he was selected to the NAIA All-District 24 both seasons. He led the Pioneers to a combined 26-16-2 record, while capturing the 1990 Tennessee Virginia Athletic Conference Championship and followed with the 1991 NAIA District title.
“It’s great to come back home,” Vital said. “Tina and I are so fortunate that at this time in our lives we get to return to Tusculum College where our story together started some years ago. We just can’t wait to be back visiting once again with our long time friends.
Vital spent three years as the Coordinator of Special Student Activities and Soccer Coach at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tennessee. He holds an Advance National license by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Vital has been very active in youth soccer development throughout the State of Tennessee. He served for several years on the coaching staff of the East Tennessee Soccer Federation and is currently on the coaching staff of the Olympic Development Program for the State of Tennessee. Vital is also the director of coaching and player development for the Lakeway Soccer Club as well as the Star Soccer Academy of Morristown, Tenn.
Vital not only has an outstanding soccer resume, he is also a scholar. Along with a Business Administration degree from Tusculum, he minored in French and Art. Vital is trilingual, speaking English, French and Haitian Creole.
Vital and his wife, Christina (who earned her Masters degree from Tusculum in 1994), are the proud parents of three boys Devin Alain, Jean-Pierre and Remi.