ANDERSON, S.C. – Anderson University Director of Athletics Nancy Simpson announced on Friday that Michael Zion, a Trojan assistant for the past three season, has been promoted as the men’s soccer head coach, replacing John Murphy, who accepted the Associate Head Coaching position at Division I’s Boston College.
Zion will be the third coach of the men’s soccer program in the last five years as he takes over a team that finished 12-7-3 a year ago and advanced to its fourth straight Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship match. Despite falling in the title match to conference newcomer, Queens, Anderson advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 when it dropped to eventual national runner-up Carson-Newman in the opening round.
“I am thrilled that Michael Zion will be taking the reins for our men’s soccer program,” Simpson said. “Michael is a talented and passionate coach, and I look forward to the future continued success of the program under his leadership. As an alumnus and former assistant coach, Michael is tremendously loyal to Anderson University and the soccer program, and has earned a great deal of respect from his student-athletes.”
The Spartanburg, S.C. native has been a part of four Trojans squads that have combined for 50 wins, including 23 in the SAC regular season and 11 SAC Tournament victories. Zion has also coached 16 players over his four seasons that have been named to postseason SAC honors, including two-time SAC Player of the Year, Lasse Sohrweide.
Away from the competition, Zion has organized youth camps throughout his tenure at AU. He has been a part of the annual Murphy Law Goalkeeper Summit along with other camps held on campus to help grow youth soccer throughout the Upstate.
“I would like to thank AU president Dr. Whitaker, Director of Athletics Nancy Simpson, and the entire search committee for presenting me with this opportunity,” Zion said. “This program has been rich with success in recent years and I am very thankful to have been a part of the process as a player and as a coach. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity and I am committed to continue building a program on and off the field that will make the University, alumni, and community proud. I want to give a special thanks to former AU head coach John Murphy for his mentorship over the last two years.”
Prior to coaching, Zion graduated from Anderson in 2006 with a degree in kinesiology. During his playing career, Zion scored nearly two dozen goals, including four game-winners and recorded 21 assists, while leading the Trojans to 27 wins in his final three seasons. After his graduation, Zion played for multiple semi-professional clubs throughout the Southeast, as well as internationally.
|2010||Anderson||Assistant Coach||15-6-2 (6-3 SAC)||SAC Tournament Champions, Sweet 16 Appearance|
|2011||Anderson||Assistant Coach||17-4 (9-0 SAC)||SAC Regular Season Champions, SAC Tournament Champions, NCAA Southeast Regional|
|2012||Anderson||Assistant Coach||6-10-4 (4-4-1 SAC)||SAC Tournament Champions|
|2013||Anderson||Assistant Coach||12-7-3 (4-5-2 SAC)||SAC Tournament Runner-Up, NCAA Southeast Regional|