After three consecutive Southern Conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, Elon University head men's soccer coach Darren Powell is moving on.
Powell resigned Thursday after nine years at the helm in which he amassed 94 wins, the most in program history, to accept a position with the Orlando City Soccer Club. He helped Elon advance in the postseason for the first time ever in 2013, beating Clemson University in penalty kicks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
"I want to thank all the current Elon student-athletes and alumni I have coached within our program," Powell said in a statement. "The effort and commitment from our student-athletes has been fantastic and has taken this program forward. Without their help this opportunity would not have been possible. The team is in a great position and the current group of players continue to improve every day."
Powell was a four-time SoCon Coach of the Year. Elon saw 47 players garner All-SoCon honors during his tenure, including four SoCon Players of the Year. Four players also were drafted by Major League Soccer clubs.
"Darren Powell has been a fantastic leader, mentor, and role model for our men's soccer team during his time here at Elon. One of his personal goals has been to coach within the professional level of soccer, and we are very excited for Darren that he has this opportunity," said Dave Blank, Elon Director of Athletics, in a statement. "Darren has helped the Elon men's soccer program reach incredible heights over the last several years and he has had a tremendous impact on the Elon student-athletes that he has coached. He will be missed, but we wish him and his family the best of luck in Orlando."
The MLS added Orlando as its 21st franchise in November 2013 and the club will begin competition in 2015. Blank said Elon's search for a new coach will begin immediately.