University of SC Upstate

USC Upstate Athletics
800 University Way Spartanburg, SC 29303
Division 1 South Carolina Southeast
Public Medium National competitor

Coaches

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Scott Halkett

Scott Halkett is in his seventh season with the USC Upstate men’s soccer program and third as the head coach.


Halkett was announced as the fifth head coach in program history on July 20, 2017. Prior to being named head coach, he served as an assistant coach under former head coach Greg Hooks for four seasons.


He played an instrumental role in helping Upstate make its first-ever appearance in the ASUN Tournament championship game during the 2015 season. During his four seasons as an assistant coach, the Spartans had five ASUN All-Conference and four All-Freshman Team selections, as well as two ASUN Scholar-Athletes of the Year, two NSCAA All-Region and Academic All-Americans, and one ASUN Player and Freshman of the Year.


Halkett returned to the Spartans, his alma mater, 17 years after completing his playing career at Upstate, then-USC Spartanburg, in 1995. He had a tremendous collegiate playing career and was inducted into the Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.


He was one of the central figures in the soccer program as it made its mark in the early days of the university's membership in NCAA Division II. Halkett's stellar four-year career as the starting sweeper culminated with an appearance in the 1995 national title match played at old Rifle Field on campus. Despite not winning the national championship, Halkett and his teammates achieved tremendous success throughout the four years he was in the program. The 1995 team and its 1998 counterpart remain the only Peach Belt men's soccer teams to ever advance to play for a national title in the championship match.


Halkett was the leader on the team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times and tallied a 67-13-6 (.814) record during his time in the program (1992-95). His teams won two regular season Peach Belt Conference championships and four Peach Belt Conference Tournament titles. He helped lead the then-Rifles to four consecutive Top 10 final national rankings, including a program-high No. 2 final ranking in 1995.


He earned several individual accolades for his play on and off the field. He earned first team All-America honors in 1994 and 1995 and was a four-time All-Region and All-Conference selection. He also earned three Peach Belt All-Tournament honors. As a testament to his ability, he was chosen to play in the Umbro Select College All-Star Classic his senior year in 1995.


While Halkett was a standout on the playing field, he was also an outstanding student. He was awarded the Horace Mann Student-Athlete of the Year Award in 1995, an honor given out by the University's athletic department for excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship. He was a three-time member of the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Academic Honor Roll and a three-time member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll.


Halkett went on to play professionally with the Atlanta Ruckus in the A-League and the South Carolina Shamrocks of the United States Independent Soccer League (USISL).


In addition to his playing career, Halkett has had a successful career as a coach. He began his coaching career as the head coach of the Greenville Lions of the USISL, leading the team to an appearance in the 2001 national championship finals. He also served as the head coach at Eastside High School from 2009-12. While at the helm of the Eagles program, he led the team the 2011 3A state championship and a second-place finish in 2009. He led Eastside to two appearances in the 3A state championship match, two 3A Upper State titles and was named the 3A Coach of the Year in 2011.


Halkett graduated from USC Upstate in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (Corporate Fitness). He and his wife, Sandy, a former assistant women’s golf coach at Upstate, are the proud parents of two sons, Luke and Gabriel; and a daughter, Campbell. Halkett has stayed active in soccer, playing in a local men's league and also enjoys playing golf.

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Nico Luque

Nico Luque is in his third season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the USC Upstate men’s soccer program.


Luque joined Upstate in 2017 after serving as the assistant coach for Concordia University in Seward, Neb. for three seasons. He helped lead the Bulldogs to the 2015 Great Plains Athletic Conference championship, marking the first time in program history Concordia had won a conference title and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament. The Bulldogs appeared in another GPAC championship game in 2016.


He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Southern Wesleyan, in 2013 and won the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Region and National Championship. Luque also assisted with Coerver SC and CASA on the club level.


A native of Bogota, Colombia, Luque grew up playing soccer at the professional academy of Millonarios FC where he competed until appearing on the reserves team.


He moved to the United States to play soccer at Southern Wesleyan from 2009-13. He served as team captain his final three seasons and was a four-year starter. Luque earned Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) and NCCAA recognitions as a senior. He also played and coached for Upward Stars, a National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) team out of Spartanburg.


Since 2017, Luque has been the head coach of the U-12 and U-13 Carolina FC club teams. Luque was also the head coach for the U18 elite boys team that won the State Cup and Region Premier League Piedmont Conference Championship in 2018.


Luque received his Bachelor of Science in psychology from Southern Wesleyan with a minor in coaching. He later received his MBA with an emphasis in leadership from Concordia in 2016, as well as a Master of Science in athletic administration with an emphasis in collegiate athletics in 2017.


He has his USSF C License and NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.


Luque is married to his wife, Sierra..

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