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Coaching Jan 17, 2020

Boston University hires Kevin Nylen as men’s soccer head coach

BOSTON – After participating in a combined seven NCAA tournaments as a player and coach, Kevin Nylen has been named the new head coach of the Boston University men’s soccer team, director of athletics Drew Marrochello announced Thursday.

A native of Ipswich, Massachusetts, Nylen will return to the Commonwealth following a three-year head-coaching stint at Florida International in which he led the Panthers to a pair of top-35 RPI finishes, highlighted by an unbeaten 11-0-4 regular season record in 2017. He becomes just the sixth BU men’s soccer head coach in the storied history of the 70-year old program after the retirement of Neil Roberts (1985-2019).

“After a thorough search, we could not be more pleased to introduce Kevin Nylen as the next head coach of our men’s soccer program,” said Marrochello. “He has demonstrated a strong passion and ability to build successful teams both on and off the field over the past decade, and it became evident that he was the ideal candidate as we start a new era of Terrier soccer. We are thrilled to welcome Kevin and his family into our family here at BU.”

While in Miami, the 2017 Conference USA Coach of the Year led FIU to an overall record of 29-15-9 (.632). This past season, the Panthers were one of the last teams left out of the NCAA tournament with an RPI ranking of 35 and a 10-3-5 record. Andrew Booth was tabbed the 2019 C-USA Midfielder of the Year, while Nick O’Callaghan was named the conference’s Co-Defensive MVP. Earlier in January, goalkeeper Daniel Gagliardi became the third FIU player in as many years to be selected in the top two rounds of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

“I am honored to be named the men’s soccer coach at Boston University,” said Nylen. “BU is a prestigious academic institution that has a rich soccer history established by Neil Roberts over the last 40 years. I would like to thank director of athletics Drew Marrochello for the opportunity and support to lead the program as well as Brendan Sullivan, Brittany Kane, Kristie Bowers and the rest of the search committee. I look forward to continue elevating the program moving forward.

“I want to thank FIU, the players, alumni and all staff within the department for the past seven years,” he added. “It was a great ride, and FIU will always be special to my family.”

Nylen was named to the FIU post in December of 2016 after spending the previous year as the chief scout and U16 head coach with the Orlando City SC (Major League Soccer) Development Academy. In his first season on the sideline as head coach at FIU, Nylen guided the Panthers to one of the best seasons in the program’s history, recording a 12-2-4 record and a 6-0-2 mark in Conference USA, and the team’s first-ever C-USA regular season title. Ranked as high as No. 8 nationally, FIU was also one of only two teams in Division I men’s soccer to claim an unbeaten regular season record, joining Indiana, and later advanced to the second round of the NCAAs.

During the 2017 campaign, the Panthers garnered four NSCAA All-Southeast Region honors after Santiago Patino was named Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and the C-USA Golden Boot Recipient. Patino was also named a First Team All-American and a semifinalist for the prestigious Hermann Trophy. Paul Marie was named a Third Team All-American before becoming the first-round pick of the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.

While with Orlando City, in addition to on-the-field coaching, Nylen identified and oversaw all player recruitment into the MLS academy. He moved to Orlando following a four-year stint as an assistant at FIU in which he helped build the Panthers into one of the top teams in C-USA and the nation. During the 2015 season, FIU posted a 12-7-1 record, won its first-ever C-USA tournament championship and returned to the NCAAs for the first time since the 2004 campaign. In addition, the Panthers finished the season ranked No. 16 in the final NSCAA Top 25 poll.

As recruiting coordinator for FIU, Nylen secured the program’s first Top 20 recruiting class in 11 years when the Panthers’ class was ranked as high as No. 14 by the NSCAA. Nylen was recognized for his efforts at the end of the 2015 season by being named the NSCAA Southeast Region’s Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Assistant Coach of the Year.

After starting his coaching career at Amherst College in a 2009 run to the second round of the Division III NCAA tournament, Nylen spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Boston College, where he helped guide the Eagles to a combined 24-11-6 record from 2010-11 with two more NCAA appearances. The 2010 team advanced to the ACC semifinals and followed that up with an appearance in the 2011 ACC title game.

A four-year varsity standout at Ipswich H.S., where he took home Cape Ann League Player of the Year honors before graduating in 1999, Nylen went on to have a successful collegiate career at Saint Anselm. He received the school’s 2003 Male Athlete of the Year honor, awarded annually to one student-athlete who best exemplifies the Saint Anselm spirit in leadership, scholarship and athletic achievements. After helping the Hawks reach the NCAAs in both 2000 and 2001, he garnered 2002 NSCAA All-America and Northeast 10 Defensive Player of the Year accolades as team captain.

Nylen spent six years competing in the professional ranks. He first played with the Wilmington Hammerheads of the United Soccer League Second Division (2003-06) before joining the Charleston Battery of the USL First Division for three seasons.

He and his wife Michelle have a daughter, Pearl, and son, Teddy.


“In Kevin Nylen, BU has hired a coach of exceptional character and integrity. Kevin’s passion, work ethic and deep understanding of the game will help to elevate BU quickly. More importantly though, the student- athletes under his care will grow and develop in the environment and culture of excellence that Kevin creates. I am so excited for Kevin to return to coach in his hometown of Boston with his family and friends and look forward to watching the program reach new heights in the years to come! GO TERRIERS!”

Scott Calabrese
UCF head coach, 2017-pres.
FIU head coach, 2014-2016

“I’m very excited for BU. They’ve hired one of the sharpest young coaching minds in college soccer. If you look at what Kevin has done over the years that he’s been the head coach at FIU, it’s remarkable. He’s a very good recruiter who favors an attacking style of play that will excite both fans and recruits alike because there will be plenty of goals scored. I’m just really happy for Kevin and his family that he’s been able to move closer to home and to a program that’s had a lot of success in the past.”

Johan Cedergren
Kentucky head coach, 2012-pres.
Dartmouth associate head coach, 2010-2011
Dartmouth assistant coach, 2007-2009

“Kevin Nylen is one of the best young coaches in collegiate soccer. He has a tremendous work ethic and a real dedication for developing student-athletes. I think Boston University has made an outstanding hire.”

Kenny Arena
Los Angeles FC (MLS) assistant coach, 2018-pres.
FIU head coach, 2012-13

“Kevin is one of the best young coaches in college soccer. It’s been amazing to see how far he’s come over the past ten years, and I’m confident that his best days are still ahead of him. Boston has always been home for Kevin and for him to lead one of the most accomplished programs in New England is a perfect fit. I’m so happy for him, his family and the BU community.”

Justin Serpone
Amherst head coach, 2007-pres.

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