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Khoury named head UMFK men's soccer coach

February 9, 2002

NR02144

 

Melik Khoury, a star goalie for the University of Maine at Fort Kent men's soccer team in the late 1990's, who was twice recognized as an All-American, will take over the reigns of the Bengal soccer program this fall.

 

UMFK athletic director Jim Graffam announced today that Khoury will assume the head coaching duties of the men's team this fall, replacing retiring soccer coach Larry Murphy.

According to Graffam, Khoury who had co-coached the team with Murphy last season will provide the program continuity and strong leadership.

"I am thrilled about this appointment. Melik has the dynamics and enthusiasm to be an outstanding college coach. It's great that we can promote one of our own," said Graffam.

Khoury's affiliation with the UMFK campus dates back to the fall of 1995, when the native of Gambia, Africa joined the freshmen class and soccer squad on the St. John Valley campus.

Prior to coming to the United States, he played division soccer in Gambia.

During his tenure on the UMFK team he was twice named an All-American, twice named outstanding scholar athlete, received the most valuable player award, led the conference in saves during his freshmen year, set a new player record, served as team captain for three years, and led the Bengals to the New England Championship in 1997-98.

In the fall of 2000, Khoury returned to his alma mater as assistant director of admissions and assistant coach of the women's soccer team. During that season, the women won their first-ever game in the Maine Athletic Conference and made their first appearance in the MAC playoffs.

Last fall, Khoury moved over to the men's team, working side-by-side with veteran coach Larry Murphy. The team finished third in MAC and fifth in region ten of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics with a record of 9-7-1, winning six of seven contests at home.

This summer, Khoury coached an undefeated team to first place in summer league play.

Aside from his coaching duties, he was named UMFK's director of admissions earlier this year.

The newly appointed head coach is looking forward to leading the Bengals in their first year in the new Sunrise Conference, which will mean new teams, more competition, and more home games.

The Bengals could potentially have their strongest team ever with 27 students expected to try out for the squad, marking the first year UMFK men's soccer will have tryouts during pre-season.

"I believe I am very fortunate to take over the reigns from former head coach Larry Murphy, who set the foundation for the team. It is with his guidance and support that I've gained the composure that I need to succeed," said Khoury.

In addition to the large number of players trying out, Khoury anticipates his team members will come from even more diverse backgrounds than last year's squad, which included players representing Morocco, Lithuania, Norway, Bosnia, and Argentina. Added to the home country list this year will be players from Uruguay, Liberia, and Portugal.

The Bengal men's soccer team, under Khoury's leadership, will travel to Southern Maine Technical College for a scrimmage on August 31. Their first home game will be the Potato Barrel Classic against County rival University of Maine at Presque Isle on September 21.