Wed, Mar. 7, 2012 - [Men's Soccer]
By Jim Naprstek for duhawks.com
Amassing over 424 wins over a 14 year career is no small achievement. For the Duhawk Men's and Women's Soccer program, Dan Rothert has taken them to the higher rankings of Division III Soccer, claiming regional and national attention. In addition to the 13 conference championships, Rothert has taken squads to multiple levels of the NCAA Tournament, including two back-to-back runs to the Final Four in 2007 and 2008 with the Loras men's soccer team.
One organization that has taken notice of Rothert's continued dedication to his student-athletes is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Two years ago, Rothert was named to the National Men's Soccer Committee, overseeing the Midwest Region. The Committee's largest responsibility comes with the NCAA Tournament, including the selection of both teams and hosts for the separate rounds.
In early February, Dan Rothert was selected as the next Chairman of the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Committee, a position which he will officially assume on September 1, 2012.
Loras College Sports Information Director Jon Denham is extremely happy for his former coach.
"This is a tremendous honor for Coach Rothert. His peers and the committee clearly view him as a leader. As someone who has seen him coach and lead for over a decade, I think they've made a great choice."
Rothert is not the only "Duhawk" to serve on a National Committee. He is joined by Denise Udelhofen (Chair of the NCAA Division III National Men's Golf Committee), Bob Quinn (Member of the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee), and junior Travis Misner (Member of the NCAA National Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
"At any point in time, when Loras College is represented on the NCAA national stage, it helps Duhawk programs. The level of respect for Loras College athletics based on the leadership role our staff and students take is continuing to elevate," said Loras Athletic Director Bob Quinn, "This national representation and service will continue to provide exposure and opportunities for all Loras College Duhawks."
This can certainly be a daunting task for someone like Rothert who not only coaches the Men's Soccer team, but also the Women's.
"I talked with my assistants, Coach Pucci and Coach Dodds because I knew that this might be a possibility," said Rothert, "But with their dedication to our student-athletes and the program, I know everything will be okay."
Assistant Women's Soccer Coach Danielle Dodds is nothing but excited for Coach Rothert and the opportunity that he has.
"He has worked very hard to earn this appointment and the respect of his coaching peers…Although there may be moments that his responsibility to the NCAA comes into play, we as a staff and the NCAA committee members, know that our Loras soccer teams come first."
An obstacle that the committee often runs into is the reaction received from players, coaches, and fans when their team is not selected for the NCAA Tournament. Rothert says that ‘education' plays a huge role in the sharing of those decisions, and hopes that he can continue to educate those individuals throughout the course of his term.
Assistant Men's Soccer Coach Matt Pucci feels that having a member of the national committee will greatly help the soccer program in preparation for the NCAA Division III Championships.
"Knowing how NCAA Tournament selection criteria works and that process is a huge advantage when preparing regular season game schedules as well. Having Dan (Rothert) lead this committee can only help spread the ever growing respect of Loras College in both the soccer and NCAA world."
"I'm not trying to create a legacy for myself, but my number one goal is for the student-athletes who participate in the NCAA Tournament can say that it was one of the best opportunities that they had," Rothert said after his appointment.