Dalton State Athletic Director Derek Waugh announced Monday that 20-year coaching veteran Kerem Daser has been hired as the Director of Soccer for the Roadrunners.
“I want to thank the hiring committee for the professional job that they did and for selecting me to lead the soccer program in an already prestigious athletic department at Dalton State,” Daser said. “I cannot wait to get started recruiting student-athletes to compete in the most competitive conference in NAIA soccer, the Southern States Athletic Conference.
Daser has coached in some of the most impressive NCAA Division I soccer leagues in the Southeast including the ACC, Colonial Athletic Association and Atlantic Sun, Waugh said.
“I am excited to lead the Roadrunner soccer program and work with the local coaches and players,” Daser said. “Dalton is one of the developing hot soccer pockets of Georgia. I will be recruiting high level athletes who possess academic and athletic credentials needed to excel in both athletics and life. My goal is to have us at the top of the Southern States Athletic Conference and to compete for NAIA national titles.”
The 1995 graduate of Wake Forest University began his coaching career at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C., where the team appeared in the NCAA Division III national title game in his only season.
Daser was then hired as an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he coached with former NCAA coach of the year and NCAA Division I National Champion, Elmar Bolowich.
“Kerem knows talent, he has a great demeanor around young men and he values sportsmanship” said Bolowich, the current head coach at national power Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. “He will be a passionate, enthusiastic and successful coach at Dalton State.”
From UNC, Daser moved to Georgia State University where he coached for 14 years. For 11 of those years, he was the Panthers’ head coach. He was named the Atlantic Sun coach of the year in 2000 and finished his career third on the Panther’s all-time wins list.
Daser’s Georgia State teams were ranked in the South Region’s top 10 for four of his first five years, ahead of teams from the ACC and SEC.
“Student-athletes that have an opportunity to play for him will cherish their experience,” said Georgia State Athletic Director Mary McElroy. “He cares about them as much in the classroom as he does the playing field.”
He was the NCAA Divison I, Atlantic Sun coach of the year in 2000 and was the winningest coach in the Atlantic Sun during Georgia State’s time in the league. He was also successful in the very tough Colonial Athletic Association upon Georgia State’s move to that conference.
After leaving Georgia State in 2010, Daser took over the men’s and women’s soccer programs at Georgia Military College. He was the conference coach of the year in 2011 and the South Region coach of the year in 2013, when he led Georgia Military to the best record in school history.
Daser also has organized numerous identification camps in the Dalton area for years and is well known among the local soccer community.
“I consider Kerem a friend and have watched him work with numerous local players,” said Dalton High School coach Matt Cheaves, who has led the Catamounts to consecutive state soccer titles. “I cannot overemphasize how impressive he is. His experience and qualifications in the game of soccer are extensive, yet he is down to earth and humble in these achievements.”
Dalton High star midfielder Eder Mora plays club soccer for Daser.
“Coach K is a great hire, not only for the Dalton State soccer program, but also for the whole community,” Mora said. “He is so much more than a coach, he is more like a father figure to me who really cares about players reaching their potential in the classroom, on the field and in life.”
Daser has a tremendous amount of experience working with elite players throughout the Southeast. He coached the Georgia Amateur Olympic Development team from 2002 to 2004 and has over 19 years of experience coaching Olympic Development players in North Carolina and Georgia. He has coached and mentored World Cup players including 2014 United States captain, Clint Dempsey. He helps out with the professional Atlanta Sivlerbacks as well as at most of the elite camps in the South. He is well respected in Georgia but also in the college soccer coaching fraternity.
Current Old Dominion Coach Alan Dawson started with Coach Daser at Methodist.
“Kerem is an outstanding coach and person as well” Dawson said. “His amazing recruiting and coaching skills will serve a new program very well.”
Coach Doug Allison, of NCAA Division I power Furman University in Greenville, S.C., adds Daser is “one of the most respected and well liked coaches in the Southeast.”
“I think that we are blessed to be able to hire someone the caliber of Coach Daser or ‘Coach K’ as he is generally known in the soccer world,” Waugh said. “He is extremely well respected in the worldwide soccer community and, with all of his experience running camps locally.”
Waugh said the newest Roadrunner coach is a perfect fit.
“He is an enthusiastic person who really wants to represent Dalton State and get heavily involved in Dalton’s impressive soccer community,” he said. “I think local players and coaches will love him and he can recruit locally, regionally and worldwide. He has local ties and a NCAA Division I background. That has been a successful formula for us as we have built the athletic department with an outstanding group of coaches, and he is a great addition.”
Dalton State men’s and women’s soccer teams will begin play in the fall of 2015.