Fort Hays State men’s soccer head coach Brett Parker and assistants Jordan Melia and Luca Anelli were recognized as the Central Region coaching staff of the year by the United Soccer Coaches on Monday.
Parker and the Tigers’ staff guided the Tigers to a 17-2-2 record and an NCAA Division II final four appearance. FHSU went 8-0 in MIAA play to win the conference title for the second straight year.
Parker is 100-40-17 in eight seasons guiding the Tigers, leading FHSU to seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Tigers also had two players named to the NCAA Division II Championships All-Tournament team. Senior defender Raul Fierro and freshman forward Alonso Rodriguez made the team for their performances in the national semifinal match, which the Tigers lost to eventual national champion Barry in penalty kicks.
Three MIAA teams win bowl games
The MIAA went 3-0 in postseason bowl games on Saturday, with Central Oklahoma, Emporia State and Missouri Western all ending the season on high notes.
Central Oklahoma rallied from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Angelo State 41-34 in the Heart of Texas Bowl in Waco. Bronchos quarterback Will Collins threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns, including a 53-yard score to Mekail Hall for the game-winning score with 1:12 left. The Bronchos finished 8-4.
In the Corsicana Bowl in Texas, Harlon Hill finalist Braxton Marstall threw for 315 yards and five touchdowns to lead Emporia State to a 30-22 win over Arkansas-Monticello. The Hornets ended the year 8-4.
Missouri Western held off a late rally from Southern Arkansas to earn a 30-25 win in the Live United Bowl in Texarkana, Ark. The Griffons finished 7-5.
MIAA basketball players of the week
Central Oklahoma’s Adarius Avery and Emporia State’s Tyra Jones were recognized as MIAA basketball players of the week on Monday.
Avery scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the UCO men topped Oklahoma Christian 82-72 on Thursday.
Jones posted 19 points and 10 rebounds as the ESU women earned an 82-62 win over Newman on Saturday in Emporia.
Tigers host Nebraska-Kearney on Tuesday
Fort Hays State will help kick the MIAA basketball slate into gear, hosting a doubleheader against Nebraska-Kearney on Tuesday in Gross Memorial Coliseum.
The No. 10-ranked Tiger women will take on UNK (5-2) at 5:30, and the Tiger men (4-3) will follow against the Lopers (3-3) at 7:30.