Brent Erwin brought a singular goal with him when he was hired as the Golden Knights' head coach on May 1, 2005 - a focus on bringing the UCF men's soccer program to national prominence. In just his first year at the helm, he has taken some of the necessary steps to achieve that goal.
During their second season in Conference USA, the Golden Knights went 6-9-2 overall and 3-3-2 in league play, earning victories over Florida International and No. 17 Memphis as well as a tie with No. 1 SMU. They entered the C-USA Championship as the No. 6 seed before losing to No. 3 seed and tournament host Tulsa in the quarterfinal.
Thanks to the squad's performance, three UCF players were selected for all-conference honors. Forward Zak Boggs was named to the second team, while midfielder Cam Jordan and defender Akin Akinrinade landed on the freshman team. Boggs also found a spot on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-South Region third team.
After posting a 7-8-1 overall record that included wins against NCAA Tournament participants Lafayette, Stetson and USF, the Golden Knights narrowly missed the C-USA Championship in 2005, but several players were recognized for their efforts both on and off the field. Forward Billy Judino was selected to the All C-USA second team, while Mike Mattson earned a spot on the conference all-freshman team. Another forward, Jon Imran, received ESPN the Magazine All-District III Academic Team honors. In addition, goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh signed a professional development contract with Major League Soccer's DC United and goalkeeper Marcus Rein was invited to play for the Under-20 U.S. National Team.
Erwin, his staff and players continued to work hard during the off-season and saw their efforts rewarded. During the spring, the Golden Knights earned ties in exhibition matches against the Chicago Fire of the MLS and 2005 NCAA College Cup Finalist New Mexico. UCF also signed an impressive recruiting class that was ranked in the top 30 nationally by College Soccer News and first in the South Region by StudentSports.com.
Erwin came to Orlando after five years as Schellas Hyndman's top assistant at SMU, where the Mustangs compiled an 86-19-17 mark and earned six NCAA Tournament berths during his tenure. After advancing to the NCAA Final Four in 2000, the team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for 14 consecutive weeks and went as far as the Elite Eight in 2001. During his final season in 2004, SMU posted a 16-4-1 record and made the Sweet Sixteen.
Fostering relationships with his colleagues at clubs and programs around the country, Erwin was able to bring some top players to SMU. His recruiting classes were consistently ranked among the top in the nation. His influence didn't end there as he aided in the development of seven All-Americans and 20 all-conference honorees as well as 2001 Hermann Award Winner Luchi Gonzalez. Eleven of the players he worked with were drafted by MLS franchises.
His players' pursuit of excellence continued off the field as the SMU men's soccer program boasted a perfect academic progress rate (APR) of 1000.
His accomplishments at SMU garnered Erwin recognition as one of the top assistant coaches in the nation by College Soccer News in his final three years.
Erwin's reputation for excellence has invited opportunities at the regional, national and international levels. He has served as part of the coaching staff for the North Texas Olympic Development Program since 1998, worked as a staff instructor for the U.S. Soccer National Coaching Schools for the past two years and was a member of the 2004 Region III ODP staff. He also worked with the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team based in Bradenton, Fla.
During the summer of 2001, Erwin was also invited to Sao Paulo, Brazil by the Santos Futebol Club, Pele's club and a two-time World Club Champion. At Santos, he worked with all of the teams from Under-12 through Under-23 and observed the training of the professional squad.
Prior to his coaching career, Erwin was a three-year starter at TCU, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in general studies. After exhausting his final year of eligibility, he spent the summer of 1997 training with Leeds United of the English Premier League then trained with the Dallas Burn organization, playing with their minor league team the Texas Toros for two seasons.
Erwin holds a U.S. Soccer Federation "A" Coaching License. He and his wife, Angie, live in Winter Park with their two-year-old son, Ben.