Following a decades long career playing and coaching the beautiful game, Chris Libert will step away from the sidelines after being named an Assistant Director of the Cape Fear Community College Athletics Department.
Libert will be responsible for assisting Athletics Director Ryan Mantlo through all facets of the department, including student services, marketing and fundraising.
“It’s going to be a big change not seeing Coach Libert roam the sidelines anymore,” commented CFCC Director of Athletics Ryan Mantlo. “He laid such a great foundation for our soccer program and I am very thankful for that. This change will allow him to spend more time helping us brand CFCC athletics and I am certain he will help take this department to the next level.”
A 10-year veteran coach of the Cape Fear men’s and women’s soccer teams, his valuable experience as a former college athlete and community member has prepared Libert for the move into administration.
“Everyone’s goal is to someday step into a front office,” Libert said. “I’m blessed to have this opportunity to step up and build our athletic department to have not only a bigger presence throughout Wilmington, but on a national stage.”
During his time with the Sea Devils, Libert amassed a 125-47-15 record. He was the first head coach of the women’s team, guiding the young program to five Region 10 Tournament Titles (’06-’10) and five regular season championships (06’, ’07, ’10-’12) during his seven-year tenure.
He made the switch to coaching men’s soccer at Cape Fear in December of 2012. Libert received the women’s Region 10 “Coach of the Year” award six times (’06-’09,’11,‘12) and produced the school’s first NJCAA All American Holly Humphrey (’06) and three others, Kimberly Keener (’07), Carley Strauss (’10), and Jaylyn High (’11).
High was the first and only player in CFCC women’s soccer program history to be named to the NJCAA All American First Team. Libert produced four Region 10 “Players of the Year,” in ’06 (Humphrey), ’07 (Keener),’10 (Strauss) and ’11 (High), and 49 All Region 10 selections.
“The one-on-one relationships with the student-athletes on and off the field on a daily basis is what I’ll miss most,” Libert added. “I’ll still be able to have some of that in my new position as our number one goal here is to help our kids grow in life and put them in the best position to succeed after their short time with us.”
Libert arrived in the Wilmington area as the General Manager and Director of Soccer Operations for the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Division II for the 2000 and 2001 seasons. He also served as the Hammerheads assistant and goalkeeping coach for the ’06 and ’07 seasons.
“This is really something I’ve been doing really for the last 15-16 years,” said Libert. “Coach Mantlo and I have similar visions on where we want this department to go. I’ve worked over the last decade at Cape Fear to build a winning women’s soccer team as the program’s first-ever coach. My job is now a full-time effort to help with the everyday operations in athletics and activities. We are looking at ways to upgrade all of our facilities and plan to continue full speed ahead in taking the necessary steps to get it done.”
Libert played professionally in the USISL (currently United Soccer Leagues) with the Eastern Shore Sharks (Maryland) of the Pro League and the Cocoa Expos – PDL. He lettered as a Goalkeeper at East Carolina University (’91-’95), while pursuing a BS degree in Recreation and Leisure in ’96 and eventually a Master’s degree in Exercise Sports Science in ’98.
Libert has coached in many youth organizations locally as well as in the collegiate and professional ranks. He holds a NCSAA “National” coaching license.
A search for the new men’s soccer coach will begin immediately, according to Mantlo.