Feb. 22, 2018
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DENVER - The University of Denver men's soccer team has hired two assistant coaches, former volunteer assistant Masaki (Mac) Hemmi and former UNC Wilmington associate head coach Zach Haines, to complete its full time coaching staff, head coach Jamie Franks announced on Thursday.
Hemmi has been with the program for the last two seasons as Denver's volunteer assistant coach, including a run to the College Cup in 2016. In his time on the staff as a volunteer, Hemmi assisted in the tactical game plan and game film preparation for the 2016 National Coaching Staff of the Year. The Tokyo, Japan, native also has a six-year stint with the Real Colorado Developmental Academy on his coaching resume, working with teams from U-12 to U-19. Hemmi, who received his Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering, played his college soccer from 2005-09 at the Colorado School of Mines and the University of New Mexico. During his playing days, Hemmi was a two-time captain for the Colorado Rapids U-23s, and made a PDL Playoff appearance with the club. Hemmi has also played for the Portland Timbers U-23s (2009), in the MLS Reserve League for the Colorado Rapids (2010), for international professional clubs in Germany (2010) and Latvia (2011), in the USL for Sevilla FC Puerto Rico (2011) and the Rochester Rhinos (2012).
"We're really excited to add Masaki to the family," Franks said. "After knowing him for the past three years, his character and his integrity is at the center of everything he does. He is a great person. Our job as coaches is to lead by example and for my guys to have an example like Mac, who is honest, hard-working and self-aware will help model the way. I look forward to having Mac here full time and engaged in the program. I know the Pioneer community is going to benefit immensely from him being a part of it."
Haines comes to the Mile High City after a six-year stint under Aidan Heaney at UNC-Wilmington, including the final two as the program's associate head coach. The North Carolina alum helped lead the program to six-consecutive CAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the CAA Championship in 2017. The Seahawks put together a 12-8-0 season in 2017 to earn an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, a bid they took advantage of, earning their second-ever NCAA Tournament victory before falling 2-1 at No. 3 North Carolina. Haines came to UNC-Wilmington from a stint at Triangle Football Club, where he served as the Assistant Director of Youth Development, coaching the U20s to consecutive USL South Atlantic Division titles in 2010 and 2011 and a national semifinal appearance.
"Zach had a great tenure at UNC Wilmington, helping them become a top-25 program," Franks said. "I'm excited to bring him onto this staff with the type of values that he possesses. He always puts the student-athlete well-being first. He is an exceptional recruiter and developer of talent. Zach's ability to make the kids understand the work ethic and sacrifice that's involved with being a successful person is at the cornerstone of everything he does. We are fortunate to have someone of his skill set and experience join us here at the University of Denver."
Denver's 2018 spring schedule will be announced in the coming weeks as the program prepares for this fall with seven contests, including five at the University of Denver. Earlier this offseason, Franks announced his incoming recruiting class. View their profiles by clicking here.
Franks enters his fourth season as the head coach in 2018, and his seventh season with the program overall. In three seasons, the Wake Forest alum has put together a 46-8-8 record, including back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons in 2015 and 2016, the first program to do that since Clemson in 1977-78. The head man on Denver's 2016 National Coaching Staff of the Year not only picked up Denver's first NCAA Tournament victory since 1970 in his second year in charge, but he lead the program to its first College Cup in its history 23 months after being promoted from assistant coach in January of 2015.
In addition to producing the University of Denver's 52nd and 53rd CoSIDA Academic All-America selections across all sports in each of the last two years, Franks has exported three MLS First Round selections in Reagan Dunk, Sam Hamilton and Graham Smith, and a highly-touted MLS Homegrown signing in Kortne Ford.
Hemmi and Haines fill the vacancies left by the departures of Levi Rossi and Ryan Hopkins. Hopkins was announced as an assistant at Virginia last week.
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