After a season away from the college game, former North Carolina and Creighton men's soccer coach Elmar Bolowich has been hired as the head man at George Mason, the university announced Monday.
Bolowich coached the Tar Heels for 22 years and guided them to their first national championship, amassing 280 wins and 15 NCAA Tournament appearances. He then spent eight seasons at Creighton until he left in 2018 to become technical director of a youth academy in Jacksonville.
It wasn't long before he got pulled back into the NCAA ranks.
“Maybe at the tail end of the career you go back into youth soccer, but to run an entire club is very different compared to just coaching one team,” Bolowich told the Washington Post. “It didn’t quite materialize the way I envisioned it. I felt like my skills are better suited in college soccer, where I have had my success. I missed the connection with the coaches, the level of competitiveness, the university life in general, because I was connected with the communities.”
Bolowich, the winningest coach in UNC men's soccer history, captured both the national championship and the NSCAA National Coach of the Year award in 2001. The 65-year-old also reached the semifinals of the College Cup in each of his last three seasons with the Tar Heels before bolting to Creighton.
Former assistant coach Carlos Somoano took Bolowich's place and has now coached UNC for nine seasons, capturing the program's second national championship in his first year at the helm. At press time, Somoano could not be reached for comment.
In a statement, Bolowich thanked George Mason for the opportunity and expressed excitement for a new, but familiar challenge.
“I have a good network in college soccer," he said, "and I’m looking forward to my return and being back in the game amongst my colleagues and friends.”