By: Jill Wunrow (@JillWunrow)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Green Bay Director of Athletics Ken Bothof announced the hiring of Daniel Popik as the new men's soccer head coach on Monday. Popik joins the Phoenix from Furman University, becoming the ninth head coach in the history of Green Bay's program.
"We are excited to have Daniel on board to lead our men's soccer program and our student-athletes moving forward," said Bothof. "Daniel stood out from an exceptional pool of finalists as the right fit for Green Bay men's soccer, and his impressive background as both a player and a coach give him the experience to succeed in this role. We are extremely pleased to welcome him and his family to our Phoenix family."
Popik brings seven years of coaching experience on various levels in addition to six years of playing experience at the professional level. Rated among College Soccer News' Top-20 Assistant coaches in 2011, Popik spent the 2011 season as the associate head coach at Furman University. He helped lead the Paladins to a 14-4-4 record and the program's first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
"First and foremost I want to thank Ken Bothof and Dan McIver for their professionalism and hospitality throughout the whole process and their trust in me with the future of the program," said Popik. "I'm looking forward to heading back to Wisconsin, a state I had a lot of success in as a player. I'm looking forward to that same success in winning Horizon League championships at Green Bay."
While at Furman, Popik coached the Southern Conference Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and six all-conference selections while recruiting the No. 5 recruiting class by College Soccer News.
Prior to his tenure at Furman University, Popik served as the associate head coach (2008-10) at North Carolina State University, where he helped lead the Wolfpack to a 10-8-2 record in the 2010 season and No. 9 South Region ranking. In 2009, as a No. 15 seed NC State advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and ACC Tournament finalist.
Prior to being named Associate Head Coach at NC State, Popik fulfilled the role of assistant coach from 2005-08 and coached five players to All-ACC teams. In addition, five players were selected in the MLS Draft during his time at NC State.
As a USSF Development Academy Scout, Popik is responsible for scouting and evaluating games, selecting youth national teams, evaluating practice sessions and coaching training sessions.
Popik's six years playing at the professional level included stints with the Columbus Crew (2006), Los Angeles Galaxy (2004-05) and Milwaukee Rampage (2000-03). For his efforts in guiding his Milwaukee team to the USL A-League Championship in 2002, Popik earned team MVP honors.
A United States Soccer Federation National "A" License Coach and NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma recipient, Popik began his collegiate career at the University of North Carolina in 1997 before transferring to St. John's where he helped lead his squad to a Big East Championship in 1998. The Red Storm also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in both of his seasons at St. John's.
Popik earned a Bachelor of Science Sports Management degree and Masters of Science Parks, Recreation and Tourism from North Carolina State University. Popik's wife, Jodie hails from Menomonee Falls, Wis. and the couple has a four-year old son, Gavin.
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