LeBlanc, Smith Garner National Honors

West Virginia men's soccer coach Marlon LeBlanc was named the 2006 Soccer America Coach of the Year, while senior forward was named one of the publication's 11 college MVP's.

LeBlanc is the first coach in Mountaineer soccer history to earn a national coach of the year honor. The MVP honor for Smith comes after being named to the NSCAA/Adidas and CollegeSoccerNews.com All-America teams already this postseason. After taking over the Mountaineer soccer program on the first day of the preseason, LeBlanc guided the team to its most successful season in school history. West Virginia posted a 15-3-3 overall record and 9-0-1 conference clip that included a Big East regular season championship and a runner-up finish in the conference tournament. For his efforts he was named the Big East Coach of the Year on Nov. 2.

"It's a great honor," says LeBlanc. "I am certainly grateful to my assistants, Bryan Green and Keith Wiggans, for everything they have done this season. This is a great award for them as well as the entire university."

WVU defeated four ranked opponents during the 2006 season and ranked as high as third nationally. In all, LeBlanc's Mountaineers spent eight weeks ranked in the top 10 and five in the top five. He helped guide Smith and Nick Noble to All-America honors, marking the first players in school history to do so since 1981. LeBlanc was named the NSCAA/Adidas Northeast regional coach of the year on Dec. 7, and is now one of eight finalists for the NSCAA national coach of the year that is awarded later this month.

Smith, a native of Havelock North, New Zealand, scored 14 goals in 15 matches this season to go along with four assists. The senior forward set the Big East single season conference goals record in 2006 with 12 and the single season conference point record with 28. Smith netted 32 goals in four seasons for WVU, tied for fifth all-time in school history. He is tied for third in school history in career matches played with 74.


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