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University of NC - Asheville

UNC Asheville Athletics Department
Justice Center, CPO#2600 - One University Hts Asheville, NC 28804
Division 1 North Carolina Southeast
Public Small National competitor

Coaches

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Mick Giordano

Mick Giordano enters his second official season as UNC Asheville's Head Men's Soccer Coach in 2022 after serving in an Interim capacity in the 2020-21 academic year.


Giordano coached four players who earned postseason honors in 2022. Sam Pitts-Eckersall was named to the All-Big South Second Team and the All-Big South Freshman Team, while Sam Presser was named All-Big South Honorable Mention and also to the All-Big South Freshman Team. Brendan Herb earned All-Big South Honorable Mention, while Andrew Rossetti was named to the All-Academic Team.


Giordano, who officially became the leader of the Bulldogs on June 4, 2021, scored a thrilling season-opening win over Northern Kentucky to begin the 2021 campaign. For their performances in that match, Conor Behan and Jarron James both earned weekly awards from the Big South. Giordano helped coach Leon Musial to Big South All-Academic Team honors. On the pitch, Musial finished second in the conference in saves (62) and saves per game (4.13).


In his lone season as the Interim Head Coach, Giordano guided the Bulldogs to a 3-5-1 mark in a schedule made up entirely of Big South matches. Thanks to their 3-4-1 mark in the regular season, the Bulldogs appeared in the semifinals of the Big South Tournament for the first time since 2008 where they dropped a hard-fought 1-0 decision in overtime at High Point.


Individually, the Bulldogs had multiple players have standout spring seasons. Miles Peay led Asheville with seven assists and average 0.78 assists per game. His assist per game average ranked third in Division I men's soccer and his total assists ranked ninth. For his play, Peay was named to the United Soccer Coaches Men's Scholar All-Region Team. Furthermore, Taylor Durall earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors along with being named the Big South's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men's soccer. Rounding out the award winners was the duo of Conor Behan and Leon Musial who both landed spots on the All-Big South Freshman Team.


Prior to being elevated to interim head coach, Giordano spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs, while also serving as the team's recruiting coordinator. He helped the Bulldogs double their win total from 2018 to 2019, while increasing their Big South Conference victories by three in 2019.


The previous two seasons served as Giordano's second stint as an assistant coach for Asheville. After playing overseas in Germany during 2014, Giordano returned to his alma mater for his first collegiate coaching stop. The 2015 Bulldogs won seven games and earned a spot in the Big South tournament.


Giordano served as an assistant coach at Wake Forest during the 2016 season in which the Demon Deacons won 19 games, including the ACC Tournament Championship. The Deacons advanced all the way to the national championship game that year.


He spent the 2017 season as the associate head coach at Wofford, aiding the Terriers as they earned a trip to the Southern Conference tournament.


In addition to his work as a collegiate assistant coach, Giordano has also served as the Asheville City SC men's head coach since 2018. In his first two seasons, he led Asheville City to two playoff berths, two playoff victories and an appearance in the conference championship match.


As the team transitioned to the USL League Two, Asheville City president Ryan Kelley signed Giordano to a two-year extension as head coach and also named him sporting director with responsibility for all on-field activities in October of 2019.


Giordano, a 2013 graduate of UNC Asheville, started two seasons in the midfield as a student-athlete for the Bulldogs. He started in seven of his 11 appearances as a junior and started 17 matches as a senior. He finished third in minutes and recorded two assists in his final campaign, in which the Bulldogs secured eight victories.


Giordano played with the South Carolina United Bantams of the PDL between his junior and senior seasons. He was also a key fixture and captain of the Triangle FC U20 teams in the summers of 2010 and 2011, helping them reach nationals in each of their respective seasons. In 2011, he propelled TFC to a fourth-place finish at nationals.

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Kyle McCurley

Assistant Coach

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Ronnie Hreha

Hreha enters his third season as a member of the Bulldog coaching staff under Head Coach Mick Giordano.


Hreha is no stranger to Asheville having worked with Coach Giordano most recently at Asheville City SC during the 2019 season. He was instrumental in helping ACSC reach their first Conference Final while enjoying the best season to date. In addition to his work with the goalkeepers, Hreha worked as the Sports Performance Coach for the Men's First Team.


"I am unbelievably excited to be a part of a collegiate soccer program again," said Hreha. "Especially one that I grew up watching. It is unfortunate that we will not have any games this fall, but I look forward to working with a great staff to get the players ready for a successful spring season."


"I am beyond thrilled to be working with Ronnie again," Giordano said of Hreha. "He continues to demonstrate he is one of the best around in his field. The wealth of knowledge he brings from working with Coach O'Keefe at Appalachian State, his time spent with the US Youth National teams, and experiences from Asheville City SC will help our group continue to take steps forward. Our goalkeepers and defenders will be able to continue their growth with Ronnie on staff. Ronnie was instrumental to our success at Asheville City SC, and I have no doubt he will do the same here at UNC Asheville."

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Joe LaCasto

The UNC Asheville Men's soccer team and Head Coach Mick Giordano announced the hiring of former Bulldog Joe LaCasto as Assistant Coach on February 11, 2022.


Most recently, LaCasto was an assistant coach for the men's soccer team at Mars Hill University while also attaining his Master of Management degree. Over the past two years, he helped Mars Hill University go from last in their conference to playing in the SAC Conference final this past fall. In the 2 seasons that LaCasto coached at Mars Hill University they compiled an overall record of 14-9-5.


"I am extremely excited and happy to be able to have Joe rejoin us at UNC Asheville," Giordano said. "He has spent the last two years doing amazing work at Mars Hill University helping rebuild and elevate their program to a power in a tough Division II conference. Joe has also worked for one of the best coaches in our region, Gregg Munn, which has us excited for him to bring those experiences back to his alma mater."


A native of Huntington Beach, California, LaCasto competed for the Bulldogs from 2015-19, garnering Big South All-Academic status twice as one of the team's top midfielders. In his first two seasons as a Bulldog, LaCasto played 38 games and scored one goal, burying two in his junior season as he was named to the Big South All-Academic team. As a senior, LaCasto started all 17 games, scoring a goal and dishing out two assists, garnering All-Academic status once more. LaCasto was also a 3-year captain for the Bulldogs and was named UNCA Men's Soccer Player of the Year in both 2017 and 2018.


"Personally, I feel lucky to have a close friend and an unbelievable human come into the program again," said Giordano. "Joe brings energy, enthusiasm and a wonderful football background. To add a coach that has directly been involved in the program as a three-year captain and two-time (Bulldog) Player of the Year will bring immeasurable value to our group. The players will be able look directly to Joe for a positive influence as well as guidance. He is a young coach that will improve us immediately in all facets of our program. UNC Asheville Men's Soccer has certainly gotten better with the addition of Joe to our staff."


"I am very excited to be back at UNC Asheville and to be working with Coach Giordano again," LaCasto said. "Coach Giordano was influential in helping me start my coaching career and I am grateful to be working on his staff. I have learned a lot from my time at Mars Hill and hope my experiences can positively help the UNC Asheville men's soccer program. I look forward to being a part of the program and cannot wait to fully get going!"


LaCasto rejoined the Bulldog family at the beginning of the semester.

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