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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Soccer Log

Daley show will go on
Men’s soccer inks skipper for additional five seasons

Think everyone’s gotten the toe-curling 0-16 run in 2004 out of their systems by now? All succeeding circumstances –namely a franchise-best three consecutive ventures into the NCAA tournament- should say so.

And now, as of Friday, the PC men’s soccer team has earmarked its north-tilting noses by handing ninth-year coach Chaka Daley a box fresh five seasons to work with, extending his tenure through at least the 2013 season.

Friday’s extension was the second Daley has received in the last two-and-a-half years. He had agreed to a previous deal in February of 2006 that promised to keep him around Glay Field through this coming autumn. That deal was arranged roughly three months after the Friars spiked out of the winless doldrums of 2004 and hustled into the second round of the 2005 NCAA tournament (final overall record: 7-4-9). The subsequent season, Daley’s pupils garnered 13 total wins, their first double-digit W column in recent memory.

With the revised agreement, Daley’s protracted run with the Friars will amount to 22 uninterrupted years in the program –four as a player, four as a sidekick skipper, and 14 as the foreman.

Athletic director Bob Driscoll, who this month has already exercised his curious fixation with the year 2013 by signing men’s hockey coach Tim Army and women’s hockey skipper Bob Deraney to hang about through the same year, offered the plainest comments in a friars.com statement once the pact was completed: “The program has experienced a tremendous amount of success as evidenced by three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and we are excited about the future of the program.”

From Driscoll’s angle, especially when peeking back behind from both farsighted and nearsighted senses, little else need be said. The constructive consistency in Daley’s millennium-long run is easily at its firmest.

Daley’s first two years in the head coaching position saw a beginner’s aggregate five wins and a 0-10 Big East transcript in 2001 (1-14-2). The other statistically parched season in 2004 fell only after the Friars had resurged to hover around the .500 mark for two years, splash a four-year-old playoff drought, and reach the Big East semifinals in 2003.

Prior to Daley’s assumption of the whistle, PC had only one national tournament credit to speak of, dating back to when they lost to Connecticut in the second round, 2-0, in 1983. That date is virtually a dead median between Daley’s 1974 birth in Toronto and his arrival at Providence as a student-athlete in 1992. To make the plainest possible assessment, Daley has just quadrupled the Friars’ string of NCAA bids in the shortest timeframe conceivable. And he only needed eight years and two validated mulligans to sculpt it.

With all prior mysteries of coaching maturity all but annihilated, the next item on the checklist would involve rinsing the vinegar that came with last year’s defeat in the Friars’ home turf Big East playoff game –a 2-0 falter at the hands of Cincinnati which zapped their hopes of a third consecutive appearance in the conference semifinals (fourth in five years) and may have docked their chance at a more favorable NCAA seed.

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