BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Thomas Rusling has been named the Lees-McRae men’s soccer interim coach, Vice President of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail announced Wednesday afternoon.
Lee Squires announced his resignation early Wednesday and a national search will commence immediately.
“Leaving LMC was never going to be an easy decision, as it’s been a huge part of my life for the past eight years. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to be a student-athlete, to earn my degree, and to lead the men’s soccer program as a coach,” praised Squires. “I am proud of what we have been able achieve and expect the program and the school to continue moving forwards. I leave behind a fantastic group of young men who I will miss, but who I also expect to stick together and help lead the program into its next era. There is no reason this team cannot win the conference next fall. I will always be an alumni and a supporter.”
As the LMC head coach, he posted an overall 40-29-7 record during his four seasons for a .572 winning percentage. The Bobcats were 13-5-2 this past season and reached the Conference Carolinas Tournament championship game. During the year, LMC upset nationally-ranked No. 12 Lander and No. 10 Limestone. His 2011 team reached the NCAA Division II national tournament.
“Squires has provided quality leadership and brought our program back to the tradition of excellence we are accustomed to. His maturity and growth from a player to coach has been rewarding for me,” praised McPhail. “This is a great opportunity for Lee and Sadie and we are thankful in knowing he got his start at Lees-McRae. We wish them the very best in this new endeavor.”
Rusling is no stranger to the Bobcat family and success while he was LMC’s goalkeeper from 2010-2013.
The Sheffield, England, native is third in LMC history in goals against average (1.06) and save percentage (.773), tied for third in shutouts (21) and fourth in wins (36).
“For us to be able to elevate Rusling into the interim position is a tribute to the quality of people we have in our men’s soccer program. As a player and coach tom has helped be a major reason to the rise of the Bobcats,” said McPhail. “I am looking forward to working with him as we make the transition. This is a great chance for him to get quality experience within a program he helped build.”
He won 12 matches in consecutive season (2010 & ’11).
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