HEAD MEN'S SOCCER COACH
In his eight years at the helm of the Virginia Tech program, head coach Mike Brizendine has worked to return the Hokies to the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Last season, Brizendine’s squad made a triumphant return to the NCAA tournament, winning three games on the way to the Elite Eight.
The 2016 season marked a resurgence of the Tech soccer program, winning six straight games to open the season en route to a #15 ranking. After opening the nonconference portion of the season by upsetting #13 UC Santa Barbara, #18 Ohio State and #24 Georgetown, the Hokies would end the season 10-1-3 against non-league opponents. Rising to a #15 ranking during the regular season, the Hokies compiled their best ACC record in Brizendine’s tenure, finishing 3-4-1 to earn a nine seed in the ACC Tournament. Tech’s four losses all came against programs ranked in the top-10: tenth-ranked Syracuse, seventh-ranked Clemson, third-ranked UNC and top-ranked Notre Dame. The team picked up an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, the program’s first in a decade, opening with a 1-0 victory over East Tennessee State. The Hokies downed powerhouse programs #10 Charlotte and #7 Indiana on the road to advance to the Elite Eight, earning the team a final ranking of eighth.
Brizendine was named the 2016 Virginia SID Coach of the Year with junior Marcelo Acuna earning third-team All-America honors. Senior Juan Pablo Saavedra joined an elite group of former Hokies when he was drafted by FC Toronto in the 2016 MLS Draft.
Brizendine has coached 21 players that have gone on to play professional soccer, as well as six MLS draftees. After taking over a team facing significant recruiting restrictions and coming off a four-win season, his leadership has returned Virginia Tech to prominence, well on the way to the upper echelons of collegiate soccer.
After serving 10 years as a collegiate assistant coach, including five at Virginia Tech, Brizendine finally got his opportunity lead his own program when former AD Jim Weaver promoted him to the head coach on June 11, 2009.
During the 2015 season, Brizendine and his young squad won five games, including an upset against then-No. 10 Xavier. Sophomore Merlin Baus led the team, tallying 15 points. At the conclusion of the season, Ricardo John signed with the professional team Central F.C. in his native country of Trinidad and Tobago.
In 2014, Brizendine's young squad produced seven wins, including victories over Wake Forest, NC State, SIUE and UNCG. Freshman Ricardo John, who tallied 11 points, was named all-conference and all-region. Underclassmen scored all 19 goals and freshman keeper Ben Lundgaard recorded six shutouts in seeing nearly 75 percent of the minutes in goal.
The 2013 season saw a school-record three players either drafted into the MLS or sign professional contracts following the season. The Hokies also earned eight points in ACC play, the most since 2007, behind five ties and an upset victory over #17 Syracuse. Under Brizendine’s direction, the Hokie defense only allowed 23 goals all season, the lowest total allowed since 2005, as well as the second first-team All-ACC selection in school history.
Brizendine’s 2012 team earned the most wins in a season (seven) for the program since 2007. On Nov. 5, 2012, in College Park, Md., the Hokies scored three unanswered goals to top NC State in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, capturing only the second victory for the team in the tournament since the school joined the conference in 2004.
The 2011 side played five top-25 opponents during the season, and the year was highlighted by a 1-0 double-overtime win over 2011 NCAA champion North Carolina. The victory was the program's first over a No. 1 ranked opponent since 2004.
Under Brizendine's guidance, the Hokies have also had a great deal of success in the classroom. His teams earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award five times (2010-14, 16). The award honors teams with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
As an assistant under former coach Oliver Weiss, Brizendine played an integral role in helping the Hokies make it to the College Cup for the first time in the program’s history. For his contributions, he was recognized as the NSCAA's Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2007.
Brizendine joined the Hokie staff after a successful stint with Bridgewater (Va.) College, a Division III program that participates in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). After assisting both the men's and women's programs at Bridgewater in 2000, he became the head men's coach from 2001 to 2003, guiding the team from non-competitive status to a full-fledged Division III program. Brizendine led Bridgewater to its two best single-season records – 12-6 in 2003 and 11-7 in 2002 – for a 23-13 mark over two seasons and a .639 winning percentage. For this significant turn-around, his peers named him ODAC Coach of the Year in 2003.
Prior to his time at Bridgewater College, he was an assistant coach at Ferrum College for the men's soccer team in 1999. He has also been active guiding and encouraging kids in youth soccer programs throughout his coaching career.
Brizendine graduated from James Madison University in 1999 and earned his Master of Education from Virginia Tech in 2005.
As a player, he lettered four seasons at James Madison University from 1995-98 and ended his career sixth in all-time scoring for the Dukes. He earned all-conference and all-region recognition during his four-year career. He also played professionally with the Roanoke Wrath (1999) and the Northern Virginia Royals (2000 and 2001) of the Division 3 league.
Brizendine and wife Lucy, reside in Blacksburg, with their three daughters, Sloane, Reece and Millie.Read More
ASSISTANT MEN'S SOCCER COACH
Jeff Kinney is in his fifth season as a full-time assistant coach at Virginia Tech after serving as the volunteer assistant for the men’s soccer program for two seasons. Before coming to Blacksburg, Kinney spent seven years as an assistant coach at American University.
A 2003 graduate of American University, Kinney was known as one of the toughest players on the team, dominating play in the midfield. Kinney was involved with top-level youth soccer in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for nearly a decade. His club teams won numerous national tournaments and were consistently ranked in the top-10 in the country.
He has worked with the Olympic Development Program Region I staff as well as the D.C. United Youth Development Program. Kinney held the position of Director of Coaching for RFC, formerly known as the Reston Football Club, a nationally prominent club before coaching with D.C. United’s U18 Academy, leading the team to the USSF Academy championship game in his first year.Read More
ASSISTANT MEN'S SOCCER COACH
Patrick McSorley is in his eighth season as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech.
Prior to coming to Blacksburg, McSorley spent six years at his alma mater, James Madison University, where he was an assistant coach and associate head coach. Before JMU, McSorley spent four years as the top assistant coach at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.
While at JMU, McSorley recruited and coached four players who were later drafted by the MLS, two All-Americans and numerous All-Conference and All-Region players. He also helped lead the Dukes to a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005.
As a player at JMU, McSorley was a third-team All-American as a senior in 1995 and played on four NCAA Tournament teams (quarter-finalist in 1994 and 1995; first round in 1992 and 1993) and three Colonial Athletic Association champion teams (1992, 1993, 1994). In the 1994 NCAA Tournament, McSorley scored the game-winning goal against North Carolina in a 3-0 first round victory and assisted on the game-winner in a 2-1 second round victory over Duke.Read More
VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT MEN'S SOCCER COACH
Ryan Hulings is in his first season as the volunteer assistant coach with the Virginia Tech men’s soccer program. Hulings came to Tech after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh for two seasons.
During his time in Pittsburgh, Hulings also coached for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Development Academy as the Goalkeeper Director from 2013-15. While with the Development Academy, Hulings held administrative roles from February of 2013 to August of 2013 assisting the implementation procedures with the professional and youth camps, while also creating coaching plans.
Hulings made his managerial debut as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s teams at his alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University, during the 2013 season.
The Ohio native most recently played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ 2 of the NPSL after signing in April of this year. Hulings was a part of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds club team as a goalkeeper for the past three years. While with the USL team, Hulings was loaned to the club’s developmental team, Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23 of the Premier Developmental League, where he made 10 appearances. Hulings was brought back to the senior side from February to May of 2015 and appeared in two games.Read More