Allen Vital begins his sixth season as head men's soccer coach at Tusculum College in the fall of 2016.
Vital, a 1992 Tusculum graduate, returned to his alma mater in December, 2010 after 14 seasons as the head coach at Carson-Newman University. While at the Jefferson City, Tenn. school, Vital amassed one of finest coaching careers in South Atlantic Conference and NCAA Division II history. In his 14 seasons, he led the Eagles to an impressive 165-85-19 worksheet, which is the best coaching record at Carson-Newman, making him the second winningest coach in league history.
In his first year at Tusculum, Vital earned SAC Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time in his career after directing a youthful Pioneer squad to a second-place finish in the conference with a 6-1-2 record. It was the ninth time that a Vital-led team has finished either first or second in the SAC.
In 2014, Vital guided the Pioneers to their first SAC Tournament Championship since 2009, winning three games away from home after entering the tournament as the sixth seed. During the tournament, the Pioneers won a quarterfinal game at Carson-Newman on a goal in the 88th minute, beat Mars Hill in the semifinals on penalty kicks, then defeated Wingate in double overtime on a goal from Mark Patterson after tying the game with two minutes remaining in regulation.
With a career record of 206-114-30, Vital ranks in the top 30 among active NCAA Division II coaches in both wins and winning percentage (.634). Vital has had 16 All-South Atlantic Conference selections during his five years at Tusculum, along with a pair of NSCAA All-Region selections in defenders Matias Rubio (2011) and Guillermo Lazcano (2015). Vital recorded his 200th career victory on September 16, 2015 as the Pioneers defeated Queens University of Charlotte 2-0 on the road.
Vital led the Eagles to eight South Atlantic Conference championships (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010) and seven consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). He has been named SAC Coach of the Year six times (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011) and NCAA II Region Coach of the Year on two occasions (2003, 2005).
In 2010, Vital guided C-N to a 12-5-1 record, including 8-1 in the league to capture the program’s third straight SAC championship and seventh in the last eight seasons. It was also C-N’s eighth consecutive winning season with Vital’s teams going 115-31-14 (.763), including 49-6-4 in South Atlantic Conference play (.864) during that eight-year span.
Vital led the Eagles to one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2003 as Carson-Newman went 14-6-3 and 6-1 in league action to win their second SAC title in four years. The Eagles advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they defeated two top 10 teams in UNC Pembroke and USC Spartanburg and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in school history. C-N lost a hard-fought match to eventual national champion Lynn University. The Eagles finished the season ranked 12th in the final D-II poll in 2003.
He followed that season with yet another successful campaign in 2004 as the Eagles won the SAC title again and was ranked as high as number one in the NSCAA Division II Pool during the season. Coach Vital was named SAC Coach of the Year and Tyler Baldock was selected the SAC Player of the Year as C-N went 17-2-1 for the program’s best winning percentage in school history (.875).
Vital and Baldock repeated those honors in 2005 as the Eagles went 18-2-2 for the most wins in school history as C-N finished the year ranked sixth in the nation. Carson-Newman captured the program’s third straight SAC Championship and its first Food Lion SAC Tournament title in school history. Vital and the Eagles followed with the first four-peat performance in SAC history as C-N posted a 14-2-2 worksheet in 2006 and finished the year ranked 15th in Division II.
C-N’s bid for a fifth straight league crown was halted in 2007, but the Eagles still finished the season ranked 13th in the country and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a fifth straight year.