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UMFK to begin search for new head men's soccer coach

February 25, 2005

NR05035

The University of Maine at Fort Kent will begin a search for a new head men's soccer coach in the coming weeks to appoint a successor to coach Melik Khoury, who has accepted a position as vice president for enrollment management at Paul Smith's College of Arts and Sciences in Paul Smiths, which is located near Plattsburg in upstate New York.

Khoury has enjoyed a successful five-year tenure leading the men's soccer program at UMFK.

This fall, Khoury led his team to their second consecutive conference title and an appearance at the 2004 NAIA Division II championships in Columbus, Ohio.

A former UMFK star soccer player himself, he logged an impressive record as a coach of 46 wins, 14 losses, and 4 ties.

UMFK Athletic Director John Murphy says the campus will initiate a search to replace Khoury as soon as possible. In the meantime, Murphy has asked Lucas Levesque, head women's soccer coach, to take on the responsibility for men's soccer in addition to his other duties in the immediate future.

Levesque will follow up on the coming year's recruiting and maintain the strong program that Khoury built over his time with the Bengals, working closely with veteram UMFK soccer players Donatas Sumyla and Nicholas Thibodeau, who have already been named co-captains of the squad for next fall.

"The great work Melik has put in over the past five years to build UMFK's men's soccer program into among the finest and most competitive small college programs in New England is certainly a wonderful legacy," said Murphy. "Lucas Levesque will help maintain the program until we can find the right person to assume the position. UMFK has earned a great reputation on the soccer field and as an institution we are committed to continuing this tradition."

Khoury, who also served as UMFK's director of admissions for five years until this past December when he was named the successful application to fill a business management faculty position at UMFK, will be assuming his new position at Paul Smith's in early March.

"This is an exciting career move for Melik," said President Richard Cost. "He will have much broader campus responsibilities including oversight of admissions, financial aid and the registrar's office, and will be responsible for creating enrollment management strategies for the institution. Melik has compiled an excellent record at UMFK and we wish him the very best as he takes this important step."

UMFK did initiate a national search for a director of admissions at the end of 2004. That search is ongoing and campus officials hope to name a successor by late spring.

In recent years the incoming class on the northernmost campus of the University of Maine System has grown by an impressive 60 percent. In 2000, the university's incoming class numbered 253, this past fall Khoury and his admissions team brought in 405 new students.

In that same period of time, UMFK also led the University of Maine System in overall enrollment growth, realizing a 22 percent increase in student population.

The number of states outside of Maine with students applying to UMFK this past fall was up 35 percent over 2000, and the number of states other than Maine represented in UMFK's student census in 2004 jumped 78 percent over 2000.