Bears Soccer Academy Staff
Carlos Rubio, Head Men's Soccer Coach at LRU & Bears S...
Vice President of Athletics Kim Pate has announced the elevation of Carlos Rubio to the men's soccer head coach. Rubio has served as a goalkeepers coach since 2018 and has been a member of both the men's and women's soccer coaching staffs while serving as the interim women's head coach a year ago. Rubio replaces Jack Winter who moved on to become the assistant coach at Stanford and becomes the eighth coach in the 39-year history of LR men's soccer.
"I'm excited for Coach Rubio to step into the head coach role as he has been an integral part of the success of our soccer programs over the past four years," said Pate. "He brings tremendous passion, knowledge of the game, strong leadership skills, recruiting experience, and most importantly he embodies our core values and commitment to developing our student-athletes on and off the field. Our men's soccer program has become a highly regarded perennial contender and I am confident that Coach Rubio will not only sustain success but will take the program to the next level,"
"I would like to thank Kim Pate and everyone in the LR Athletic Department for trusting in me and my vision for the Men's Soccer Program," said Rubio. "These past five years at Lenoir-Rhyne have been extremely special for me and I am beyond thrilled to lead a program that I feel very passionate about. I want to thank everyone that has helped me prepare for this opportunity, especially Coach Jack Winter and Coach Gary Higgins. I cannot wait to kick things off."
Rubio has helped the Bears to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2021 and 2022 and led the Bears to the No. 2 seed and tournament hosts this past fall. In 2019, Rubio helped LR to upset wins over No. 9 Barry – the defending national champions – and No. 2 Young Harris.
Rubio and the Bears advanced to the SAC Tournament Championship game during the 2020-21 COVID season and two of the five NCAA Tournament appearances in program history. The 2022 Bears also won the SAC Championship for just the fourth time in team history and the first time since 2006.
Rubio also helped guide the women's team to unmatched heights. In 2021, the Bears advanced to a Final Four. With Rubio's assistance, the Bears went to a pair of NCAA Tournaments and won the SAC Championship in the shortened COVID 2020-21 season. Rubio coached Grayson Cameron to a Second Team All-Conference season as a goalkeeper during the COVID season and her 0.77 GAA that season ranked fifth in program history. He also coached GK Charlotte Warner to an Honorable Mention All-Conference selecting and the sixth-best GAA in program history in 2019.
"Carlos has been one of the most influential members of our program over the last five years," said Winter. "His commitment to self-development and professional growth is remarkable. He has an unmatched determination to be the best coach he can be and is inspirational to those under his guidance. However, Carlos's passion for developing well-rounded young men is what makes him truly unique. He pours so much effort and energy into his coaching practice and mentorship. The young men of the LR men's soccer program are incredibly fortunate to have someone who cares so deeply about their future. I am so excited to see where Carlos can take this team in the coming years."
"From the moment Carlos stepped foot on Lenoir-Rhyne's campus in 2018, both soccer programs got better," said Gary Higgins, former LR women's soccer head coach and LR men's soccer All-American. "Carlos is one of the best young coaches in the country and most importantly he is an incredible human being. He has dedicated so much time and energy towards LR Soccer and nobody is more deserving of this opportunity. Not only is our men's soccer program going to benefit from having Carlos as their head coach, but Lenoir-Rhyne University and the local Hickory community will too. As a proud alum, I am so excited that Carlos will be leading our men's soccer program moving forward."