CONWAY — Frank Kohlenstein has been hired to head the University of Central Arkansas men’s soccer program after the resignation of nine-year head coach Ross Duncan, according to Dr. Brad Teague, UCA’s director of athletics.
Duncan, who assumed the head coaching role in 2012 after two years as a UCA assistant, and his wife Lindsey and two children are moving back to Oregon to be closer to family.
“Coach Duncan led our program with great success,’ said Teague. “His work ethic, recruiting prowess, and integrity have set us up for success for years to come. We are very happy for Ross and Lindsey to get back home to Oregon and look forward to seeing what the future has in store for their family.’
Kohlenstein is not a newcomer to the UCA program, having served in a consultant’s role with the UCA men’s program since 2017 as a friend and associate of Duncan’s. He has a long resume of college and professional coaching, most recently at Colorado School of the Mines, where is he the winningest coach in school history and took teams to the postseason in 17 of his 19 seasons.
“We are fortunate to be able to attract someone with the vast experience of Frank Kohlenstein,’ said Teague. “Coach Kohlenstein has been a mentor to many coaches around the country and has been a successful head coach in Division I soccer as well as the professional ranks. I am proud that someone of his character and accomplishments will lead our young men and I look forward to continued success for our great program.’
Kohlenstein coached previously at the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and professionally with the Raleigh Flyers and Richmond Kickers. Kohlenstein holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and a master’s degree from Montana State University. He is an A-license in U.S. Soccer, a FIFA coaching certificate and a Brazilian coaches certificate, and is certified by the U.S. Olympic Coaches College.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue to be involved with the special group of student athletes on the Purple Bears men’s soccer team,’ said Kohlenstein. “ This group has been taking steps forward and together we are poised to have more progress toward reaching an even higher level. One of the key reasons for wanting to become a full time part of the program was the draw of these athletes.
“The leadership of (UCA President) Dr. (Houston) Davis and Dr. Teague was very important to me in making my decision to join the UCA staff. They have a vision for the university and athletic program that has the institution and department on track to be a top emerging program. Their vision for the soccer program is one that compelled me to take on the role of leader in making our dreams for the program come to fruition.’
Kohlenstein said the relationship with Duncan was another big draw to the UCA soccer program.
“I would like to thank Ross Duncan for bringing me into the program and sharing with me just what could be accomplished when everyone works together and believes in each other in reaching toward a common goal,’ said Kohlenstein. “The seasons ahead will continue to build on the progress that Ross and his staff laid a foundation for, the program is poised to be a conference and regional power and after that the sky is the limit. ‘
Duncan led the UCA men’s program to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2017 and 2018 by winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in consecutive years. UCA then moved to the Sun Belt Conference in 2019 and won the regular-season title there as well. Duncan’s staff was named the MVC Coaching Staff of the Year in both 2017 and 2018.
UCA lost on penalty kicks in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Tournament last fall.
“To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect when I came in for my interview in the winter of 2010,’ Duncan said. “I had never been to Arkansas, let alone on the campus here at UCA. When I accepted the assistant position under coach (Chad) Flanders, I assumed it would be a 2 or 3-year stint before I moved on to my next opportunity.
“Here I am, 11 years later and I could not be happier that I made the choice to come all of those years ago. Life happens in funny ways. My wife and I have found amazing friends here, started a family, and found a real home away from home.
“Dr. Teague gave me an opportunity as a young coach and provided me with the structure and confidence to set me on my path as a head coach. His belief in a ‘character first’ recruiting and program management model really had a profound effect on what we were able to build. I really have incredible memories of the time I have spent here with the program and I will always cherish those.
“The trophies and championships were, of course, some of the highlights, but the relationships built and experiences together were just as meaningful. While it is difficult to be stepping away from the program as a head coach, I couldn’t be more excited about my new role as No.1 fan!’