Ashton Bennett becomes the fifth Chanticleer to receive an invitation to the prestigious event.
2012 Men's Soccer vs Florida Atlantic (Sept. 7, 2012)
Kyle Russell was promoted to his current position of assistant coach on Shaun Docking's staff prior to the 2010 season after serving as a student volunteer assistant in 2009.
Russell's primary responsibilities on the staff include recruiting, scouting, game-day preparation, video analysis and the coordination of the Chanticleers' defensive unit.
During Russell's time at Coastal Carolina, the Chants have posted an overall record of 50-15-4 (.754), including a 24-2-1 (.907) mark in league play, while also securing three Big South titles - two regular season (2011, 2012) and one tournament (2010) - and as many trips to the NCAA Tournament.
The 2012 season equaled the greatest in Coastal Carolina history as the Chanticleers finished with a 20-3-2 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16. The team rose as high as eighth in the national polls before finishing the season ranked 11th in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll. In addition, Coastal defeated two nationally-ranked opponents in the NCAA Tournament, downing No. 16 Elon in the first round and No. 14 Wake Forest in the second round.
Coastal's defensive unit was one of the best in the country in 2012, holding opponents to only 22 goals in 25 games while posting 12 shutouts. Moreover, the Chats surrendered only two goals in conference play on its way to posting a Big South-record 10-0-0 mark. The Chants finished the season ranked 10th in the NCAA with a 0.48 shutout percentage and 27th with a 0.85 team goals against average.
For the second straight year Russell helped Coastal to a sweep of the Big South's postseason player of the year honors as Ashton Bennett earned his second Attacking Player of the Year award and Kjartan Sigurdsson was tabbed the league's Defensive Player of the Year. In addition to league honors, Sigurdsson and defender Jhamie Hyde also earned NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region plaudits. Moreover, Russell guided Chanticleer defenders to five national and three Big South player of the week awards.
In all, the 2012 Chanticleers collected a league-high 11 All-Big South honors. Joining Bennett and Sigurdsson on the first team were Ricky Garbanzo, Pedro Ribeiro and Justin Portillo. Defenders Henrik Robstad and Uchenna Uzo along with netminder Federico Bertele earned season team all-conference honors, while Jhamie Hyde and Tevin Skyers earned all-freshman plaudits. Robstad was also named to the Big South All-Academic Team.
In 2011 the Chanticleers posted one of the most successful campaigns in program history. The team finished 16th in the national poll, had an 18-4-0 record, won the Big South regular season championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition, Coastal defeated No. 16 VCU and No. 21 Ohio State at home on back-to-back Sunday's as part of a 16-1-0 run to close out the regular season after falling to eventual national runner-up UNC Charlotte in the season opener. The Chants also celebrated the program's second-ever NCAA postseason home game with a 4-3 victory over Southern Conference champion Elon.
On the defensive side of the ball, defender Cyprian Hedrick, a NSCAA Scholar All-American, was selected 30th overall by Sporting Kansas City and goalkeeper Scott Angevine finished his career with a Coastal Carolina record-tying 16 career shutouts. The 2011 team also proved to have the most lethal attack in the country as the Chants ranked tops in the NCAA in both scoring offense (3.0 goals per game) and total goals (66). Individually, junior striker Ashton Bennett led the nation in total goals with 23, ranked first in total points with 53 (23g/7a) and second in goals per game with 1.05.
Russell helped the Chanticleers to a clean sweep of the Big South postseason awards as Bennett was named the Attacking Player of the Year, Hedrick earned Defensive Player of the Year and defender Kjartan Sigurdsson garnered Freshman of the Year. Luis Faz, Pedro Ribeiro, Angevine and Justin Portillo joined Bennett, Hedrick and Sigurdsson on the first team; while Ricky Garbanzo, Henrik Robstad and Sigurdsson earned All-Freshman team honors.
Russell's arrival in Conway paid immediate dividends as the Chanticleers won the 2010 Big South Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in school history. Coastal finished the year with an overall record of 12-8-2 and won the most games in a season since the 2004 team finished with 14 wins. The Chants turned in eight shutouts during the course of the year and allowed just one team from the Big South to score more than one goal in any single game.
The Chants steamrolled through the Big South Tournament posted wins over VMI, Gardner-Webb and tournament host and top-seeded High Point. Coastal nearly upset Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but a late comeback by the Blue Devils thwarted the upset bid.
Russell helped five Chanticleers earned All-Big South honors, which included first team selections Ross Kelly and Alex Russell. Kelly was also named the 2010 Big South Tournament MVP after anchoring a Chanticleer backline that allowed just one goal during the tournament. Coastal keeper Scott Angevine and freshman midfielder Justin Portillo were tabbed to the All-Big South second team, while Pedro Ribeiro and Portillo made the All-Freshman Team.
Russell began his coaching career in 2009 while serving as student volunteer assistant coach on Docking's staff. He helped the Chants win the Big South regular season title and post and unbeaten mark in conference play for just the fourth time in school history.
Russel has also coached a U-15 boys' team in Myrtle Beach and has held several other coaching assignments since embarking on his coaching career.
A four-year defender for the Chants from 2005-08, Russell drew 74 starts in the 78 games in which he appeared and currently ranks ninth all-time at Coastal in games played and eighth in games started.
Russell proved to be a mainstay on the back line and anchored one of the top defensive units in the Big South in each of his four seasons on the pitch. In fact, Russell and the Coastal defense recorded a total of 21 shutouts over a four-year span and never ranked worse than third in the Big South in that category.
That same defense finished fourth or better in goals against average in three of his four seasons and limited opponents to just a total of 27 goals during the 2006 season.
A native of South Elgin, Ill., Russell played an instrumental role in helping Coastal win one Big South regular season championship, one Big South Tournament championships and make one NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Chanticleers posted a 42-26-1 overall record and a 20-6-1 conference record with Russell on the back line.
Individually, Russell was named All-Big South on three different occasions and was tabbed to the Big South All-Tournament team three times. He went on to participate in the Major League Soccer Combine during the summer of 2009 and the United Soccer League combine in 2010. Upon graduation, Russell played professionally with the Charleston Battery, Real Maryland and Charlotte Eagles of the USL.
Russell graduated from Coastal Carolina in 2009 with a degree in business management. He and his wife Monica married in May 2013.