United Soccer Coaches announced on Friday, Dec. 6 the 2019 Regional Staff of the Year winners for NCAA Divisions I, II, and III men's and women's soccer.
Each of the 48 (24 men's and 24 women's) staffs receiving Regional Staff of the Year honors will be recognized at the College Coaches Awards Reception on Thursday Jan. 16, 2020 at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore.
In addition, the Regional Staff of the Year recipients will be placed on the ballot for United Soccer Coaches National Staff of the Year consideration within their respective NCAA division. The ballot will also include the addition of coaching staffs from any schools which advance to the semifinals of their NCAA Championship.
The Luther College coaching staff was named the North Region Coaching Staff of the Year. This is the second consecutive year they have been so honored.
During the 2019 campaign, Head Coach Chris Garcia-Prats and his staff led the Norse to a second consecutive appearance in the Elite 8 of the NCAA III National Tournament. The Norse finished the year with a record of 17-5-3. During his 12 years at the helm of the program, his career record is now 154-71-26.
The Norse qualified for the national tournament after capturing the title of the American Rivers Conference tournament. The Norse entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed of the six-team tournament and proceeded to defeat the No. 4 seed University of Dubuque 3-2 in overtime, the No. 1 seed Central College 3-0, and the No. 2 seed Loras College 2-1. The tournament title was the ninth in school history and third in the past four years.
Making their 10th appearance in school history in the national tournament, the Norse advanced to the Elite 8 after defeating Principia College 5-1, UW-Superior 1-1 in double overtime - advancing on penalty kicks 4-1, and Ohio Wesleyan 0-0 in double overtime - advancing on penalty kicks 7-6. In the quarterfinals, the Norse were defeated by Calvin College 3-0. Luther’s Elite 8 appearance was the fourth in school history (1996, 2001, 2018, 2019).