BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College athletics has named alumnus Frankie Taal as the new men’s soccer coach.
The Gambia, West Africa native returns to Bethany College after 16 seasons at North Carolina Wesleyan.
Taal graduated from Bethany in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and spent over a decade around the men’s and women’s programs. He served five seasons as the men’s assistant coach and led the women’s program for a season.
“It’s special that as we approach the 25th anniversary of the 1994 National Championship we bring a Bethanian, a member of that team, back to Bethany,” stated Director of Athletics Steve Thompson. “Frankie is a part of the rich tradition of Bethany College Soccer and will bring a passion for alma mater to the sideline.”
During his time at Bethany College, Taal was a two-time PAC All-Conference First Team selection and was a critical member of the Bison’s 1994 Division III National Championship team. After his career ended, Taal moved to the sidelines as an assistant to the men’s team. While an assistant, Bethany won five PAC titles, earning five berths into the NCAA Tournament.
“I am delighted to see Frankie return to Bethany, he has a love for the game and is admired by his athletes. I think it’s a wonderful appointment” expressed Bethany College Hall of Fame Coach John Cunningham. “Frankie is loyal and dedicated to Bethany and has served many years to the program.”
Taal’s N.C. Wesleyan tenure as both an assistant and a head coach has seen the Bishops turn in a 214-93-26 overall record, including five regular season USA South Championships, three USA South Tournament Championships, five NCAA Tournament berths, and two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
In 2017, Taal enjoyed his best season at the helm of the program with a 15-6 overall record. The Bishops won their second consecutive regular season league title and first conference tournament title thereby securing a bid to the NCAA tournament. In 2018, the Bishops finished with a record of 9-7-1.
“I am excited to welcome Bethanian soccer legend Frankie Taal back to his alma mater as the new men’s soccer coach,” Bethany College President Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg said. “I believe his passion for Bethany’s soccer program will inspire greatness and comradery among the team in the coming years.”
Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The men’s soccer program at Bethany is the most successful program in Presidents’ Athletic Conference History and recently celebrated 50 years during the Fall of 2018. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.