He says the regional talent dictates FIU should win at soccer, but FIU Soccer Field might be the most neglected of the sports facilities, putting coaches at a recruiting disadvantage. Chestnutt overcame that. Former FIU player, assistant coach and coach Munga Eketebi, hampered by scholarship reductions in the tough Conference USA (FIU is in the Sun Belt for all other sports), couldn’t do the same. Eketebi was fired and replaced by Arena this year
For all the time and money invested in men’s basketball over the years, there has been minimal return. Along with only 26 wins in three years under ballyhooed Garcia hire and Hall of Fame guard Isiah Thomas, including only eight last season, the 2010-11 single-season APR clanked at 833. That’s low enough to draw NCAA sanctions and deliver a killing blow to Thomas’ employment in April.
Players present said the coaching staff got bum-rushed out of its offices that afternoon almost like criminals. After clashing with Garcia during a testy departure, former men’s soccer coach Karl Kremser isn’t acknowledged by anything at FIU Soccer Field despite 27 seasons during which his teams often were among the nation’s best even while playing in Division II. The athletic program’s only two team national titles came under Kremser.
“Maybe I pushed too hard, knowing all the obstacles we had to overcome, that’s my personal impatience,” Garcia said. “I’m not a very patient person. I pushed too hard, too quickly. And sometimes that’s not good.”
Under previous FIU president Mitch Madique, Garcia received a 2009 reprimand for “unprofessional management and poor leadership style, misuse of state funds and hostile work environment,” according to a report filed with the Employee and Labor Relations department of FIU’s Human Resources Division.
“Yes, I did ruffle a lot of feathers because a lot of people didn’t have the mind-set of a winning culture,” Garcia said. “But I always had the support of the administration and I have the support of this administration, especially now that they’re seeing some results.”
Feel free to translate “results” both as “wins” and “school exposure.” ”