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Former Assistant Coach Named Men's Soccer Head Coach

By Martin Kessler, Crimson Staff Writer

After waiting through a national coaching search that spanned more than three weeks, members of the Harvard men’s soccer team were happy to learn that their new head coach would be someone they were all familiar with—their former assistant coach Carl Junot.

Harvard athletics director Bob Scalise announced Thursday afternoon that Junot, who served for two seasons as an assistant under former head coach Jamie Clark, would take over for Clark, who left in mid-June to take over the head coaching position at Creighton.

“All the players thought it would be a good idea to have someone who was close to the program and had an idea what the players were like,” said reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year Brian Rogers. “If anything, I was hoping for [Junot] and was pleasantly surprised.”

Choosing someone close to the Crimson soccer program is not surprising given the team’s success in recent years.

Under the leadership of Clark and Junot, Harvard posted a 26-10-1 record over two seasons, reached back-to-back NCAA tournaments, and captured the Ivy League championship in 2009.

Following the Crimson’s elimination from the 2009 NCAA tournament in the third round, Junot was rewarded for his time as an assistant with a head coaching offer from Tufts.

Junot took the offer and was announced as the head coach at Tufts on April 16.

But when Clark resigned to take the job at Creighton in mid-June, Junot was contacted by hiring director Nathan Fry and encouraged to apply for the opening in Cambridge. Despite having forged a strong relationship with his new players and bosses at Tufts, Junot knew it was the right move to throw his name into the hat.

“I am very grateful to [Tufts athletic director] Bill Gehling and his entire athletics department,” Junot said. “I was very fond of the players at Tufts—we had started to build expectations…That being said, the whole time I knew moving to Harvard was where my heart was and that it was the right move.”

And after a three-week search, Junot was selected as the one to guide the Crimson to another Ancient Eight championship.

“We looked nationally for our next head coach, but it soon became clear that the best candidate was right in our backyard,” said Scalise, according to “Carl knows Harvard, he knows the program, and he has a proven track record in recruiting student-athletes. He will continue the upward ascent of our men’s soccer program for years to come.”

But while Junot may know the program, that is not to say things will be run the same way from now on.

“He will be a little more confrontational than coach Clark was,” Rogers said. “Coach Clark left a lot of the motivation up to the players on the team. It was really up to us to get ourselves motivated and to get us working harder. I think coach Junot will be a little harder on us and more demanding.”

Rogers also admired the way Junot, who played college soccer at Furman and was invited to the MLS Combine in 2001, would stay after practice to work individually with players.

“He definitely has an enthusiasm about the game that’s contagious, that everyone seems to respond to really well,” Rogers said.

Now that the coaching search has concluded, both the players and the coaching

staff can go back to focusing on their primary goal—defending the Ivy League title.

“It would be rewarding to be the head coach at any program, but having had a hand in building the success at Harvard, there is an extra sense of gratification,” Junot said. “It’s equally rewarding to know that the players and staff were happy to have me back.”

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Men's Soccer