Rich Miranda begins his fourth year as the head coach of the Navy soccer program and is looking to rebound in 2008.
Last season was an up-and-down year for the Midshipmen, posting a 7-8-2 record. The Mids went 7-1-2 in non-conference play, including a 1-0 win over 20th-ranked West Virginia, the program's 600th all-time win (12th team in NCAA history to reach 600 wins) with a 2-1 victory over Longwood and the team's first overtime victory since 2002 in a 2-1 triumph over Iona.
Several players also received prestigious accolades, most notably 2008 grad Evan Barnes who was named the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Lowe's Senior CLASS award and was an academic All-American. Nine players in all were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.
Navy also performed well at the ticket gate, averaging 782 fans in eight games at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility to lead the league in attendance and rank in the top 40 nationally. A total of 6,257 fans flooded through the gates to help tthe program set school records in total fans and average attendance.
Six of the top 10 Glenn Warner Soccer Facility crowds have come during Miranda's tenure.
Two years ago, the Mids struggled with injuries en route to a 5-9-2 overall record. In all, 12 players missed at least two games with varying injuries, and the team played zero games with its full compliment of players. The Mids were competitive in almost every game, losing five of the games by one goal, including three in two overtimes.
However, the season did have its highlights. A pair of Mids, Addy Strasdas and McKenzie Plank, garnered first- and second-team All-Patriot League honors respectively in 2006 and the Mids recorded impressive wins over Gonzaga and Cal Poly.
In 2005, Miranda guided Navy to one of the top turnarounds in the country, improving 4.5 games from the 2004 season (3-10-4) and recording an 8-6-2 record. The improvement was the 15th-best improvement in NCAA soccer in 2005 and earned Miranda Navy's first Patriot League Coach of the Year accolade.
The Mids accomplished the turnaround with an explosive offense, scoring 27 goals for an average of 1.69 goals per game, Navy's highest per-game average since 2000 (1.81 goals per game). Navy had scored a combined 22 goals in the previous two seasons. The Mids scored four goals in a game three times in 2005. The last time Navy had scored four goals that many times in a season came in 1994.
In the Patriot League preseason poll released a few days before the 2005 season started, the Mids were picked eighth by a near-unanimous decision, despite returning 10 starters. Going into the final day of the season, the Mids were alive for one of the four Patriot League Tournament spots. The 2-2 tie with Bucknell on the final day of the season gave Navy its first winning season since 2001. Miranda took over the reigns after head coach Dr. Greg Myers stepped down in January of 2004. As a long-time assistant under Myers, Miranda learned from one of the best and was named the program's fourth head coach in its 86-year history.
Miranda's most recent position was that of assistant men's soccer coach at Navy. Under the direction of Greg Myers, Miranda held that position for 14 years. He helped coach the Mids to a 113-106-24 record during that span, including the 1991 Patriot League regular-season title. During that timeframe, Navy advanced to seven Patriot League Tournaments with three appearances in the finals. Since 1991, Navy has had 42 players earn All-Patriot League honors, including five players that won either Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year or Rookie of the Year accolades.
In the summer of 2005, Miranda, along with assistant coach Patrick Kennedy, guided the Maryland State Olympic Development Program (U-16 Team) to it first regional Championship at the U.S. Youth Soccer Regional Championships held at Rider University in June. The team won the championship in double overtime on penalty kicks over the New York East State Team.
Miranda earned his bachelor's degree in business management from William & Mary in 1985 and his master's degree in sports management from Richmond in 1990. Miranda spent a year as an assistant soccer coach at William & Mary and two seasons as an assistant at Richmond during the 1986 and 1987 seasons. He has been an active participant in the Olympic Development Program for youth soccer in the local area since 1989.
During his collegiate career at William & Mary, Miranda was a four-year letterwinner for the Tribe. He earned first team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and first team All-South Region honors, as well as the Tribe's Rookie of the Year during his freshman campaign. Miranda also competed on the international level, including England's Tottenham Hotspurs, Canada's Under-18 National Team and the Toronto Blizzard Reserves from the North American Soccer League (NASL).
# GO NAVY #