Poropat takes over LSUA men's soccer, Sunila hired as women's coach

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ALEXANDRIA The LSUA athletic department on Monday announced a reorganization of the Generals soccer coaching staffs, with Michael Poropat taking command of the men’s team as well as a promotion to assistant athletic director, while former original General Nea Sunila was named the head coach of the women’s team.

“We have a bright future ahead for our soccer programs with these two leading the way,” said Director of Athletics Adam Jonson. “These two have both been part of the program since its inception in 2014 and have both progressed in their careers during their time at LSUA.”

Michael Poropat, the LSUA women’s soccer team head coach for the entirety of the team’s first four years, will take the helm of the men’s soccer team while also receiving the title of assistant athletic director with new administrative roles.

The St. Louis, Mo. native went 39-32-4 in four seasons as the women’s soccer team’s head coach, including winning the 2017 Red River Athletic Conference’s regular season championship with an 8-1-1 mark in RRAC play. The team’s 13-4-2 overall record in 2017 merited him the conference’s Coach of the Year award, as well as the Coach of the Year award from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. This will be his second stint as the head coach of the men’s team. In the team’s inaugural season of 2014, he led the Generals to a 7-9-2 record and made the postseason.

He has served as an assistant coach on the men’s team over the last three seasons. Poropat replaces Brocklon Chatman, who resigned as head coach of the LSUA men’s soccer team earlier this summer.

“Coach Poropat continues to serve the department and University above his duties to the soccer programs, and his new role as Assistant Athletic Director is a testament to his dedication to LSUA,” said Jonson. “He will add some administrative duties to his plate while taking the helm of the men’s program and assisting the women’s program.”

Nea Sunila was also introduced as the new head coach of the women’s soccer team. The Jokela, Finland native was a member of the first two LSUA women’s soccer teams, scoring eight goals in her time as a General, including a goal from the penalty spot in LSUA’s first ever match, a 3-1 win over Central Baptist. She was named to the RRAC’s All-Tournament Team in 2014 and was an All-Conference Second Team selection following the 2015 season. After graduating with a pair of degrees from LSUA in 2015, Sunila became Poropat’s top assistant over the last two seasons on the women’s team, including last season’s run to the RRAC regular season championship. She also served on the staff on the Holy Savior Menard High School girls’ soccer team and at the Crossroads Soccer Association with the U18 girls’ team.

“Over the past 18 months, I’ve observed as Coach Sunila transitioned from a student-athlete into a coaching role,” Jonson continued. “As a member of the first-ever LSUA women’s soccer team, she has a deep understanding of the program and the things it takes for LSUA soccer to continue on its championship path.”

Both coaches will get a taste of their new roles on August 11th as both teams kick off their 2018 schedules as they host a scrimmage against LSU Eunice with the women’s match starting at 3:00 PM at Generals Field and the men’s match starting right after. A full schedule release will come out later this week.