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MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - The UTM Eagles, at the University of Toronto Mississauga have a new men's head soccer coach. Rick Titus has stepped into the role vacated by the former head coach Robert Brown, who stepped aside after the 2016 fall season to concentrate on his young family. Coach Brown led the UTM men's indoor soccer team to a championship at the Sheridan Invitational in their first year during the 2015 winter season. He followed that up with a berth in the 2015 fall OCAA provincial championship in the school's first year of outdoor varsity soccer, where UTM lost on penalties in the consolation final.

One of the benefits of playing OCAA varsity soccer, is the move from outdoor soccer in the fall to indoor soccer in the winter. This will allow coach Titus to work with the players in a competitive environment. Titus will look to build on the momentum that Brown has established with this very young program. Titus inherits a squad that struggled with injuries and inconsistent play during their second full season this fall. The current varsity team is quite young, comprised of 14 first-year players and 10 second years. The team captain was the only third-year player on the squad this fall, so the potential moving forward is tremendous.

UTM varsity program coordinator Jack Krist is thrilled that Titus has stepped in to take over the men's varsity soccer program. "Rick brings with him a wealth of soccer knowledge, not only as a coach but as a player. He will be a great mentor to our young athletes and I expect that the players and the entire UTM soccer program to grow and excel under his leadership," said Krist.  "Rick also has excellent connections within the local, provincial and national soccer clubs, which will help with the scouting and recruiting of top athletes to UTM."

Before taking the position at UTM, Titus was the League1 Ontario head coach for the North Mississauga Panthers. Titus was also an integral part of the Toronto FC Academy as a head coach for the U14 and U16 academy teams, and also a regional scout for the Mississauga/Brampton region. During his time at TFC Academy, he was responsible for the recruitment of many of their academies top players, and as a head coach his team won the Ontario Youth Soccer League division title, and were finalists in the OYSL championship.

Titus' professional playing career included a game with Toronto FC and successful stints with the Colorado Rapids, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Toronto Lynx. Titus would go on to win Defender of the Year in 1997 and 1998 with the Toronto Lynx, in 2000 and 2001 with the Vancouver Whitecaps, and also in 2002 with the Colorado Rapids. In addition, Titus earned a national team selection for Trinidad and Tobago. In 2003, he captured an A-League championship with the Charleston Battery and was the 2006 Toronto Lynx Most Valuable Player. In 2010 Titus earned Defender of the Year title for the Canadian Soccer League. Currently, he is still playing over 35 soccer with Wexford Hi-Profile, who are the two-time Canadian over-35 national champions for 2015 and 2016, respectively.

With the men's indoor tryouts well underway, coach Titus is very excited about the prospects for his new team. "We have a great group of athletes and there is some good chemistry amongst the players," said Titus. "The team is quickly becoming a bonded group."

Coach Titus believes strongly in the team concept and that players, coaches and trainers are all part of the UTM Eagles soccer family. It is this very concept that should help Titus on the recruitment trail as new players will really thrive within his team system.

The UTM men's first varsity indoor soccer game action under coach Titus will be on Friday, Jan. 13, as the team heads to the Centennial College Invitational in Pickering, Ont. The team will then play in two more invitational tourneys before heading to their regional championship on March 8 at the OSA Centre, with potential for a berth at provincials from March 23-25 at Redeemer College in Ancaster, Ont.

Source: University of Toronto Mississauga