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Sources: Popik steps down as UW-Green Bay men's coach

08/04/2014, 11:45am CDT
Dan Popik

Less than two weeks before practice starts for the 2014 season, UW-Green Bay once again is in need of a new men's soccer coach.

Dan Popik stepped down late last week after two seasons as Phoenix coach, according to several sources familiar with the situation. The school has not made an official announcement about Popik's departure, which means the program will play under its fourth coach in five seasons this fall.

The 35-year-old Popik was hired as the ninth coach in program history on June 18, 2012, and led Green Bay to a 9-17-7 overall record and a 2-8-4 mark in Horizon League play. He succeeded Kris Kelderman (Neenah), who left the Phoenix after one season to take over at conference rival UW-Milwaukee.

Green Bay went 7-7-3 overall and 2-4-1 in the league last fall, including a 3-3 non-conference tie with No. 9 Marquette on Sept. 1 and a 2-1 double-overtime victory over No. 24 UW-Milwaukee on Oct. 8 that gave the Phoenix possession of the Chancellor's Cup for the first time since 2010.

Popik served as an assistant and later the associate head coach at North Carolina State from 2005 to '10, and spent the 2011 season as an assistant at Furman before taking over the Phoenix. He also was the goalkeeper coach for the Carolina RailHawks of the USSF Division 2 Pro League in 2010.

A former keeper, Popik played professionally with the USL A-League's Milwaukee Rampage (2000 to '03) and the Los Angeles Galaxy (2004 and '05) and the Columbus Crew (2006) in Major League Soccer. Popik, a New York native who played collegiately at North Carolina and St. John's, was named the Rampage's team MVP in 2002 as the team won the A-League championship.

The first date for NCAA Division I men's teams to practice is Aug. 12, and Green Bay is scheduled to play host to Division III St. Thomas (Minn.) in an exhibition match Aug. 20. The Phoenix open the regular season Aug. 29 at home against Grand Canyon.

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