UNC Charlotte Graduates Amongst 49ers Coaching Staff
This weekend (September 18 and 20), the Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team is hosting the four-team Charlotte Nike Invitational at Transamerica Field. The 49ers will face California State University-Bakersfield in their first Invitational game this Friday, September 18 at 7:30 pm. 49ers head men’s soccer coach Jeremy Gunn and assistant coach Kyle Gookins are both former soccer players as well as graduates of CSU-Bakersfield. This got me thinking about UNC Charlotte graduates that are currently coaches at Charlotte.
Head men’s basketball coach Bobby Lutz, who is entering his 12th season at Charlotte, is a 1980 UNC Charlotte graduate. Lutz, who tried out for the men’s basketball team as a student, is the program’s all-time winningest coach with 199 victories. Assistant men’s basketball coach Bobby Kummer (pictured), who is in his seventh season on the 49ers coaching staff, is a 1996 UNC Charlotte graduate. Kummer, was a two-time team captain, was named the Metro Conference Male Academic Student-Athlete of the Year in 1995. He helped the 49ers win the 1995 Metro Conference Championship to reach the NCAA Tournament. He also played on the 49ers 1994 NIT team.
The 49ers women’s soccer head coach John Cullen (pictured), who is in his first season at Charlotte, is a 1993 UNC Charlotte graduate. Cullen was a member of the 49ers men’s soccer team’s first NCAA Tournament team in 1991. He was a team captain on the 49ers 1992 NCAA Tournament team. Returning to the 49ers women’s soccer coaching staff this season is assistant coach Sarah Denton, who is a 2001 UNC Charlotte graduate. Denton earned second-team All-Conference USA honors as a senior in 2000. As a two-time team captain, Denton helped the 49ers capture the 1998 C-USA Tournament title and earn the program’s first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Cross country head coach and assistant track and field coach Ed Schlichter (pictured), is in his first season as a head coach at Charlotte, is a 2005 UNC Charlotte graduate. He had a standout career with the 49ers and ranks among the program’s all-time top 10 in several distance categories. He was a seven-time All-Conference selection, earning five awards in track and two in cross country. In 2004, he became the first runner in school history to be named Conference USA Male Athlete of the Year for cross country.
Several of the 49ers programs have assistant coaches that are UNC Charlotte graduates. Assistant women’s basketball coach Krystion Obie Nelson, who is in her third season on the 49ers coaching staff, is a 2005 UNC Charlotte graduate. Obie Nelson helped the 49ers win 81 games and claim two league titles and reach postseason play four times during her playing career at Charlotte earlier this decade. Women’s Basketball’s Director of Operations Sabrina Gregory, who is in her second season on the 49ers staff, is a 2008 UNC Charlotte graduate. She was a two-time All-Atlantic 10 selection who finished her career with 1,286 career points. Assistant baseball coach Kris Rochelle, who is in his first year as a member of the 49ers coaching staff, is a 2007 UNC Charlotte graduate. Rochelle became the seventh player in school history to hit over .400 for a season after leading the Atlantic 10 with the .404 average in 2007. Softball assistant coach Kristi Killough (pictured), who is in her second season as a member of the 49ers coaching staff, is a 2007 UNC Charlotte graduate. Killough was a first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection who finished her career as the 49ers all-time leader in home runs with 20 career round trippers. Assistant golf coach Andrew DiBitetto, who is in his first season as an assistant coach at Charlotte, is a 2008 UNC Charlotte graduate. DiBitetto, who earned all-conference honors three times, earned All-American honors as well as being named A-10 Golf Student-Athlete of the Year.