Appalachian State University

Appalachian State Men's Soccer
Box 32024 Boone, NC 28608
Division 1 North Carolina Southeast
Public Large National competitor

Coaches

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Jason O'Keefe

Jason O’Keefe enters his third year at the helm of the Appalachian State University men’s soccer program.


During his first year leading the Mountaineers, O’Keefe led the Mountaineers at one point to six-straight unbeaten in a tough stretch of matches that included draws with No. 8 Charlotte and No. 23 Hartwick on the road. During the 2016 season, O’Keefe coached two-time, first team all-Sun Belt Stephen Chapman who, along with eight goals on the season, was named CoSIDA Academic All-America and NSCAA All-Region. The team was also honored with the NSCAA Academic Award for their efforts in the classroom.


During the 2017 campaign, the Mountaineers played well with a daunting schedule that featured seven eventual NCAA opponents with three wins coming against those foes. Appalachian's RPI also increased by 39 points from 160 to 121 in his second year. Thanks to the formidable slate last season, the Apps' strength of schedule jumped up all the way to 67th in the country after a ranking of 166 in his first year.


The defense was one of the best in the Sun Belt in 2017, as the six shutouts doubled the amount of shutouts in 2016 and was tied for second in the conference. Appalachian's save percentage of .765 was the second highest in the league with the 1.21 goals allowed per game also being the second best in the conference. The Mountaineers' 1.12 goals against averaged proved to be the second lowest as well. Under O'Keefe and the staff, Jake Chasteen finished second in goals against averaged at 1.083 and second with four blank sheets.


His first recruiting class made some noise with Juan Hernandez posting a team-high two goals, while seven of the Mountaineers that scored a goal were freshmen. In addition, first-year Mountaineer Reed Hunnicutt led the team and was fifth in the league with three assists. Hernandez' two goals against Central Arkansas was tied for the second most in a match in the league, which led to a Sun Belt Player of the Week honor. Off the field, the team was recognized the NSCAA Academic Award for a second-straight season under O'Keefe and 10th overall.


A 17-year veteran, O’Keefe’s coaching experience includes stints with some of the nation’s most successful men’s soccer programs, including North Carolina, Saint Louis and Wake Forest.


O’Keefe spent the past two seasons (2014-15) at North Carolina, where he helped the Tar Heels to a pair of top-10 finishes (No. 5 and No. 9 in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America polls in 2014 and 2015, respectively). UNC earned NCAA Tournament berths both seasons that O’Keefe was on the Heels’ coaching staff and fell just one win short of advancing to the 2014 College Cup, falling to No. 2 seed UCLA on penalty kicks in the national quarterfinals.


As North Carolina’s recruiting coordinator, O’Keefe helped the Tar Heels land back-to-back top-10 signing classes, including what is currently ranked as the nation’s No. 1 class for 2016, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.


Prior to his two seasons at UNC, O’Keefe was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Saint Louis for four seasons (2010-13). With O’Keefe on staff, SLU won two Atlantic 10 Conference championships (2012 tournament, 2013 regular season), earned a No. 8 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and were ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region in both 2012 and 2013.


For his efforts at Saint Louis, O’Keefe was named the NSCAA’s Mid-Atlantic Assistant Coach of the Year in 2012 and, in 2013, he was tabbed as one of the nation’s top 15 assistant coaches by CollegeSoccerNews.com.


O’Keefe’s successful time at SLU was preceded by three seasons (2007-09) at Elon, where he coached in the same conference (Southern) as Appalachian State. He was an assistant coach for his first two seasons at Elon before being promoted to associate head coach for his final campaign with the Phoenix. His promotion to associate head coach came after he helped lead Elon to the first regular-season SoCon championship in school history in 2008.


During his three years at Elon, O’Keefe recruited and/or coached four SoCon Players of the Year, including 2009 SoCon Freshman of the Year and 2010 and 2012 SoCon Player of the Year Chris Thomas.


Prior to his three seasons at Elon, O’Keefe helped lead Cincinnati to the first Big East Conference championship in school history and an NCAA Tournament berth in his lone season with the Bearcats in 2006. During his time, he also coached the the 2006 Big East Offensive Player of the Year.


O’Keefe’s first opportunity as a Division I coach came at Wake Forest, where he helped lead the Demon Deacons to three NCAA Tournament appearances in three seasons (2003-05). WFU won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship and earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2004. All three of O’Keefe’s Demon Deacon squads won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the third round in both 2004 and 2005.


At Wake Forest, O’Keefe coached the ACC’s 2003 and 2004 Offensive Players of the Year and the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year.


O’Keefe’s began his coaching career with three seasons (2000-02) at his alma mater, Greensboro College. During his three-season coaching stint at Greensboro, the Pride won three-consecutive Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships.


As a student-athlete at Greensboro, he helped the Pride to three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances, the 1996 South Region championship and the 1994 Dixie Conference title.


In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, O’Keefe has also served as a scout for the US Soccer Development Academy (2012-16), a head coach in the North Carolina Olympic Development program (2007-10), director of coaching for the Burlington Soccer Club in Burlington, N.C. (2007-10) and assistant director of coaching for the Twin City Soccer Association in Winston-Salem (2003-06).


A Dean’s List student, O’Keefe graduated from Greensboro College in 1997 with a B.A. in history. He holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) “A” license and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) advanced national diploma.


O'Keefe and his wife, Julie Isley O'Keefe, have one son Jonah Craig O'Keefe.


“I am humbled and honored to become the next head coach of the App State men’s soccer program,” O’Keefe said. “I am grateful to Dr. Sheri N. Everts and Doug Gillin for giving me this tremendous opportunity. I can’t wait to get started with the staff and team. We will work extremely hard every day to make everyone involved with App State — alumni, students, faculty, staff, community members and fans — proud of our program and our student-athletes on and off the field.”

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Matty Evans

Appalachian State University men's head coach Jason O'Keefe is excited to announce the addition of assistant coach Matthew Evans to the coaching staff on March 8, 2019.


"We are very excited to add Matty to our staff," O'Keefe stated. "Matty has worked some of our camps in the past and will be a fantastic addition to our program. He has hit the ground running and already helped the program in many ways. He brings international experience to the staff coming from England, where he grew up playing and then came over to the US to play and get his degree. He has worked with two of the top Division II programs over the past couple of years, so he knows what it takes to win a championship. He brings a great wealth of knowledge and background of successfully training goalkeepers to develop and exceed their potential."


Evans joins a program that was the top defensive team in the Sun Belt in 2018 with seven shutouts, while the Mountaineers had their highest finish in the Sun Belt since joining the conference and posted an 8-5-3 record. It was Appalachian's first winning mark in the O'Keefe era and the first winning season since 2012. The Mountaineers will bring back 25 of the 28 players from last season's team but will need to replace graduate, Jake Chasteen. Chasteen was the top goalkeeper in the league. He earned a plethora of awards including Sun Belt's Co-Player of the Year and was named an Academic All-American.


Evans will be responsible for the development of the goalkeepers and looking for more talent to join the High Country.


The newly-hired assistant is no stranger to success, as both of his stints at West Chester and most recently, Lander, combined for a 30-5-5 mark and deep runs in the postseason. In his one-year stint at Lander, he helped the Bearcats boast a 16-2-3 record and a 6-1 Peach Belt Conference record. Lander finished as a regular season and tournament runner-up while earning a Southeast Regional championship and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance. Lander finished the season ranked fifth in the nation. The Bearcats allowed just 12 goals during the season thanks in large part to a stellar 16 shutouts and a Lander record of 942 minutes without suffering a score. Lander saw six players earn all-conference recognition, five all-region selections and one All-American in Jordan Skelton. Among Lander's all-region selections was its goalkeeper, Jacob Withers, who was first in the nation for save percentage, had a 0.38 GAA and posted 13 clean sheets out of the 16 opponents he faced.


While at West Chester, he contributed to the Golden Rams' 14-3-2 season and an unblemished 11-0 record in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, capturing a conference championship. West Chester advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 for the first time in over 50 years. Five players earned all-conference honors with four being named all-region. The Golden Rams finished 17th in the country in the final rankings.


Evans played semi-professionally in the USL league 2 in 2016 for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.


As a player at Seton Hill, Evans was a successful goalkeeper, starting in 36 career matches and totaling over 3,000 minutes of playing time between the posts. He helped the team to a school record 12 wins in 2015, while his eight shutouts were the fourth most in conference history. He totaled 131 saves in two seasons with a career save percentage of .744.


"I want to give a big thank you to coach O'Keefe and Doug Gillin for the opportunity to coach in an extremely successful athletics department," coach Evans said. "I am excited to be able to work with Jason & Brad (Franks) in continuing to transform Appalachian State men's soccer into a championship-winning program. I have been able to get to know Jason over the past few months and our philosophies, coaching style, and beliefs are very similar. His love for the game is contagious and I am excited to be apart of his coaching staff. I want to say thank you to Lee Squires at Lander University for being an incredible mentor as I continued to make the transition from being a player to a coach. I wish Lee and the program all the best for the future"


Evans graduated from Seton Hill University with a bachelor's of science degree in sports management. He will be joined in Boone by his wife, Rachel.

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Bradley Franks

Appalachian State University men's soccer head coach Jason O'Keefe announced the addition of assistant soccer coach Brad Franks to the staff on April 18, 2018.


"I am very excited for Brad to join our staff here at App State," coach O'Keefe said. "I would like to thank Shaun Utterson for his time as he helped our program grow tremendously while he was here. I have known Brad and his family for about 12 years. I coached his brother Jamie at Wake Forest and then coached Brad at Elon. Brad will help our program continue to strive for excellence every day and help us achieve all our goals in the future. Brad is a tremendous young coach who has an excellent eye for the game. Brad accomplished many things at Elon (as a player and asst. coach) that we want for our players here at App State. He will be a huge support for them as we continue in the process we are in. He will be instrumental in our players' development as young men and athletes."


The newly-hired assistant coach has been successful at all of his stops before arriving to the High Country, where High Point (2011-13) and Elon (2014-17) were a combined 66-46-24 and 31-17-15 in conference action.


In his most recent stint of four seasons at Elon, The Phoenix amassed a solid 37-23-15 overall mark and a 16-8-8 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. In 2015, Franks contributed to 14 wins en route to a share of the CAA regular-season title while also seeing Elon achieve the program's highest national ranking ever at No. 8 in the country. Franks and the Phoenix returned to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence and recorded the program's first-ever victory in the national tournament after a 3-0 win over Winthrop.


In 2014, Franks helped the Phoenix to nine victories during its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association. Franks was also critical in the development of Miguel Salazar becoming first team All-CAA while helping five other members to All-CAA accolades.


As a volunteer assistant at High Point, Franks' role included taking care of the Panthers' day-to-day operations, the planning and execution of practices and all video analysis. High Point won 21 games and achieved its first NSCAA national ranking during Franks' first tenure with the squad.


A four-year starter under Powell at Elon from 2007-10, Franks appeared in 77 matches for the Phoenix and tallied 22 points on five goals and 12 assists throughout his career. He earned first-team All-Southern Conference as a senior and second team accolades as a junior.


"A sincere thank you to Jason (O'Keefe), Doug Gillin and Appalachian State for this tremendous opportunity," Franks mentioned. "I am incredibly excited to get the chance to work with Jason and help continue to transform the App State Men's Soccer program. Through my time as a player at Elon, I watched Jason help turn Elon into a top program through the culture and accountability on and off the field. Jason shares my belief in developing these young men in all aspects of their lives. I wish my alma mater nothing but the best and want to say thank you to Dave Blank and Marc Reeves Reeves for the unbelievable working environment during my time at Elon.


Franks earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Elon in sport and event management in 2011. He also holds a National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

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