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2007-08 Women's Soccer Coaches
|YEAR AT FGCU:|
• NCAA Championship Appearances – 2011, 2012
• Atlantic Sun Championship Appearances – 2011, 2012
• Atlantic Sun Regular Season Champions – 2010, 2011, 2012
• Atlantic Sun Tournament Champions – 2011, 2012
• Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year – 2012
• Coached A-Sun Player of the Year - 2010
• Coached A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year – 2010, 2011, 2012
• Coached A-Sun Freshman of the Year – 2007, 2009
• Coached A-Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year - 2011
• 2 NSCAA All-South Region selections
• 14 A-Sun All-Conference first team players
• 11 A-Sun All-Conference second team players
• 12 A-Sun All-Freshmen selections
• 3 All-Academic Team selections
A veteran of nearly two decades in collegiate coaching, head coach Jim Blankenship, who was named the 2012 A-Sun Coach of the Year, has built FGCU women's soccer into a yearly contender in the Atlantic Sun Conference and a rising program in the South Region in just six seasons. Blankenship started the program in 2007 and has since guided the Eagles to six straight double-digit win seasons, culminating with an Atlantic Sun regular season championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2011 and 2012 he also lead the Eagles to back-to-back A-Sun tournament championship and became the first team in the history of the university to make it to the NCAA Tournament.
Blankenship has guided FGCU to a 71-29-13 overall record over the first six seasons of the program's existence, including a 40-10-9 mark in the A-Sun. Both of those win totals rank third in the conference over the last four years, and those results also include a 22-game home unbeaten streak in A-Sun that includes postseason play. Since joining the A-Sun in 2007, the Eagles lead the league in conference wins (40), fewest conference losses (10) and most conference ties (9). In their last 30 A-Sun games, FGCU sports a 24-2-4 record with a 69-6 goal differential. FGCU's 8-0-2 A-Sun record in 2010 was the 11th unblemished season in conference history and the sixth since the league left divisional play in 1999.
While building four different programs from scratch, Blankenship's teams have won three National Championships, appeared in eight Final Fours, received three NCAA Division I National Tournament bids and graduated more than 40 All-Americans and 25 Academic All-Americans. Blankenship's impressive career record of 311-100-24 over 22 seasons has come while leading FGCU, University of Miami, Lynn University and St. Thomas University.
In his sixth year at the helm, Blankenship led FGCU to its third-straight regular season title and second-straight tournament crown. The team tied the program record for wins (14) and had a program-best 14-4-3 record and an impressive 7-1-1 record in the A-Sun. FGCU won the A-Sun Championship in the same fashion as last year, with a freshman scoring the game-winning goal in overtime for a 2-1 victory over Mercer.
In his fifth year at the helm, FGCU women’s soccer team ended the 2011 campaign with a 14-5-2 overall record and animpressive 7-1-1 A-Sun mark, claiming back-to-back A-Sun regular season titlesand earning their first-ever A-Sun tournament championship. FGCU won the championship off a dramatic goal in double-overtime sending the Eagles into theNCAA Championship for the first time in program history.
In his fourth year at the helm, Blankenship led FGCU to its first A-Sun regular season championship after finishing the season with an unblemished 8-0-2 conference record, while posting an 11-4-2 overall mark. The Eagles had a conference-best 11 shutouts under Blankenship's watch and received votes in the NSCAA South Region Poll. As the central part of a defense that only allowed two goals in A-Sun games, KC Correllus earned Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. It was the first time the same player has won both honors since it's the defensive award's inception in 2007. Goalkeeper Stephanie Powers and midfielder Olivia Elias joined Correllus on the All-Conference first team, while defender Kat Hunter and forward Lindsay Haw made the second team. Newcomer Jenci Villaverde made an immediate mark on the program, earning a spot on the All-Freshmen team. Correllus and Elias also earned spots on the All-South Region first and third teams, respectively.
Blankenship and the Blue and Green matched their inaugural win total after posting a conference best 11 overall wins (11-5-3) in 2009. FGCU again finished in third place in the conference, going 6-2-2 in the A-Sun. Under Blankenship's direction, the Eagles posted the conference's lowest goals against average at 0.74 and were second-best in shutouts (7). For their performances in the backfield, Correllus earned first team honors while newcomer Danielle Faller was named Freshman of the Year. The Eagles' keeper, Powers, earned All-Conference second team honors after allowing a conference-low 14 goals. Senior midfielder Amber McCall was also recognized for her offensive tactics as she earned Atlantic Sun All-Conference first team honors for the third consecutive year.
In 2008, Blankenship led the Eagles to 10-4-3 overall record and a 5-2-3 record in the A-Sun. FGCU finished fourth in the A-Sun, ending the season second in goals per game, assists, assists per game, goals allowed and shutouts. McCall was voted to the Atlantic Sun All-Conference first team, while Haw and redshirt freshman Correllus earned All-Conference second team honors. Correllus also earned a spot on the All-Freshmen team along with Powers.
The Eagles' inaugural season saw a third-place finish in the A-Sun with a 7-4 conference mark. FGCU was second in points and goals during 2007 and allowed the second fewest goals per game in the A-Sun. Blankenship guided the new program to an overall record of 11-7 and saw Haw named the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year with a team-leading 28 points. McCall earned first team honors while, Hunter earned a second team nod. Both Haw and Hunter were voted onto the All-Freshmen team.
Prior to FGCU, Blankenship worked three seasons as the assistant women's soccer coach at FAU, which won back-to-back Atlantic Sun Conference championships. After posting the most wins in program history during the fall of 2006, the Owls received their first-ever bid to the NCAA College Cup, but fell to eventual national semifinalist Florida State in the first round. Under the direction of head coach Brian Dooley, Blankenship was responsible for training and recruiting for the Owls' program.
From 1998 to 2002, Blankenship led the Hurricanes to the conference tournament in the second year of the program and received an NCAA tournament bid in just the fourth season of competition. Under his direction, the Hurricanes climbed as high as No. 14 in the national rankings and Blankenship's recruiting classes were recognized as some of the top-rated collegiate classes between 1998 and 2001.
Before coaching the Hurricanes, Blankenship spent 12 years as the first-ever head women's soccer coach at Lynn. He earned NAIA Coach of the Year honors five times (1988, 1990, 1992, 1994 & 1995) and NSCAA Coach of the Year twice (1992 and 1994). His teams won three national championships (1992, 1994 & 1995) and were runners-up twice (1991 and 1993). The Fighting Knights reached the Final Four in 10 consecutive seasons under his tutelage. He was inducted into Lynn University's Athletic Hall of Fame in the spring of 2003.
In addition to his collegiate coaching, he has been the Director of Coaching for the Soccer Association of Boca Raton, where he coached 15 teams and led Team Boca, one of the most competitive development programs in the nation, to eight championships, including a state title in the U-13 division.
Blankenship played collegiate soccer at FIU and graduated with a bachelor's degree in administration and recreation in 1982. He later went on to earn his master's degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University.
Blankenship, along with his wife Patricia, daughter Jordan, 17, and son Justin, 15, live in Estero.