LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates College Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh today announced a reorganization of the Bobcat men's and women's soccer programs.
"George Purgavie has been appointed to the position of Senior Coach of Soccer Programs. In this newly expanded role, George will be responsible for coordinating the operational aspects of both the men's and women's soccer programs, as well as for providing coaching and mentoring assistance to both teams," said McHugh. "The tutelage he will provide to the coaches and the players will be invaluable."
Stewart Flaherty, Purgavie's assistant coach for the past two seasons, will assume head coach responsibilities for the men's team. Kelsy Ross remains head coach of the women's soccer team, fresh off her inaugural season at the team's helm.
"I am excited to take on this challenge," said Purgavie. "It will give me the opportunity to broaden my horizons, and I think there's a lot I can do in terms of expanding the programs, such as incorporating more service-learning opportunities."
The Bates men's head coach since 1983, Purgavie has the longest tenure of any head coach at Bates and has led the program for the majority of its 50-year existence. Purgavie led the Bobcats to four appearances in the ECAC Championship (prior to the advent of the postseason NESCAC Championship in 2001). In the past 11 years, he led the Bobcats to six postseason appearances in the NESCAC Championship, including a three-year span from 2004 to 2006 that included an appearance in the tournament semifinals and a 27-14-5 record. Over 29 years, his Bobcats won 175 games, lost 196 and tied 43 times. A multitude of Purgavie's players have achieved NESCAC All-Conference and All-New England awards of the years, including First Team All-America selection Andy Apstein '99 in 2000.
"I'm excited about supporting and working with the two young head coaches, who have shown a lot of energy with their teams not only on and off the field, but also in the recruiting network," said Purgavie, who also remains an associate professor at Bates, teaching Human Rights and Ethics in Sport and a service-learning course in coaching methodology.
A 2004 graduate of Loughborough University in England with a master's degree in sport psychology, Flaherty has accumulated extensive experience with player development and recruitment in the U.S. In addition to his coaching at Bates, for the past two years he has served as goalkeeper coach with the Portland Phoenix senior team in the PDL, the third level of soccer in the U.S. under MLS and the USL. With the Phoenix, Flaherty also coached the Phoenix U15 and U16 Academy teams alongside Phoenix head coach (and Bates women's assistant coach) Paul Baber. The U15 Phoenix won the State Cup and represented Maine at the Region I Finals last summer; the U16 team finished as runners-up in the State Cup Final, but won the New England Premiership B Flight with an undefeated record.