Allen Vital returned to his alma mater as head men's soccer coach on December 8, 2010.
Entering his 10th season as head men's soccer coach at Tusculum University in the 2020-21 academic year, the 1992 Tusculum graduate has guided the Pioneers to three of the last sixSouth Atlantic Conference Tournament championships, including the 2018 season. He has compiled a 77-64-21 record as head coach of the Pioneers, including a 57-38-15 mark over the past six seasons. His 77 victories as the Pioneer skipper ranks him third all-time in program history behind Tusculum Sports Hall of Famers Tony Castainca (199) and John Eiskamp (113).
Vital came home to Tusculum after 14 seasons as the head coach at Carson-Newman University. While at the Jefferson City, Tennessee school, Vital amassed an impressive 166-88-19 worksheet, giving him a career coaching mark of 243-152-40, making him the second winningest coach in South Atlantic Conference history. He has a career SAC worksheet of 112-63-17, which are also the second-most league wins in conference history.
While at Tusculum, he has led the Pioneers to SAC Tournament titles in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The 2018 Pioneers shook off an early-season five-game losing streak to close the regular season with wins in seven of their final nine contests. The Pioneers then beat Wingate, Carson-Newman and Anderson to claim their conference-record seventh SAC Championship title. Tusculum then beat Queens 3-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Southeast Region semifinal.
His 2016 Pioneers finished with a 16-4 record after opening the year with 12 straight wins, its best as a NCAA II member. Tusculum finished the 2016 season ranked 24th in the country and third in the Southeast Region while earning the program a NCAA II postseason berth.
In his first year at Tusculum, Vital earned SAC Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time in his career after directing a youthful Pioneer squad to a second-place finish in the conference with a 6-1-2 record. It was the ninth time that a Vital-led team has finished either first or second in the SAC.
In 2014, Vital guided the Pioneers to their first SAC Tournament Championship since 2009, winning three matches away from home after entering the tournament as the sixth seed. During the tournament, the Pioneers won a quarterfinal match at Carson-Newman on a goal in the 88th minute, advanced past Mars Hill in the semifinals on penalty kicks, then defeated 20th-ranked Wingate in double overtime on a goal from Mark Patterson after tying the game with two minutes remaining in regulation.
His career record ranks in the top-40 among active NCAA Division II coaches in both wins and winning percentage (.605). Vital has had 33 All-South Atlantic Conference selections during his nine years at Tusculum, along with All-Region selections Matias Rubio (2011), Guillermo Lazcano (2015) and Andre De Giorgi (2016). Vital recorded his 200th career victory on September 16, 2015 as the Pioneers defeated Queens 2-0 on the road. He became only the second coach in SAC history with 100 conference wins when the Pioneers blanked Anderson 2-0 on Sep. 23, 2017.
Since his return to Tusculum, he has had a student-athlete earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors on 12 occasions including three who garnered Academic All-America accolades (Jonathan Spicher - 2015, 2016; Guillermo Lazcano - 2016; Pau Peiro - 2019). Spicher (2016) and Ivan Andabak (2018) were the recipients of the prestigious SAC Elite 20 Award which is awarded to the men's soccer student-athlete with the best grade point average of teams to advance to the league championship site.
Vital led the Carson-Newman to eight South Atlantic Conference championships (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010), one SAC Tournament title (2005) and seven consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). He was named Conference Coach of the Year six times (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011) and NCAA II Region Coach of the Year on two occasions (2003, 2005) during his tenure at C-N.
In 2010, Vital guided C-N to a 12-5-1 record, including 8-1 in the league to capture the program’s third straight SAC championship and seventh in a span of eight seasons. It was also C-N’s eighth consecutive winning season with Vital’s teams going 115-31-14 (.763), including 49-6-4 in South Atlantic Conference play (.864) during that eight-year span.
Vital led the Eagles to one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2003 as Carson-Newman went 14-6-3 and 6-1 in league action to win their second SAC title in four years. The Eagles advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they defeated two top-10 teams in UNC Pembroke and USC Spartanburg and advanced to the NCAA II Elite Eight for the first time in school history. C-N lost a hard-fought match to eventual national champion Lynn University. The Eagles finished the season ranked 12th in the final D-II poll in 2003.
He followed that with yet another successful campaign in 2004 as the Eagles won the SAC title again and was ranked as high as number one in the NSCAA Division II Pool during the season. Coach Vital was named SAC Coach of the Year and Tyler Baldock was selected the SAC Player of the Year as C-N went 17-2-1 for the program’s best winning percentage in school history (.875).
Vital and Baldock repeated those honors in 2005 as the Eagles went 18-2-2 for the most wins in school history as C-N finished the year ranked sixth in the nation. Carson-Newman captured the program’s third straight SAC Championship and its first Food Lion SAC Tournament title in school history. Vital and the Eagles followed with the first four-peat performance in SAC history as C-N posted a 14-2-2 worksheet in 2006 and finished the year ranked 15th in Division II.
C-N’s bid for a fifth straight league crown was halted in 2007, but the Eagles still finished the season ranked 13th in the country and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a fifth straight year.
Vital guided the Eagles to a share of the 2008 league regular season title with Tusculum and followed with the program’s seventh and eighth league crowns in 2009 and 2010.
While at Carson-Newman, Vital mentored 57 All-Conference honorees, including 32 All-Region selections, three All-Americans (Tyler Baldock – three times, Thomas Ostvold, Dario Carrasco), two SAC Players of the Year (Tyler Baldock – twice, Dario Carrasco), one SAC Freshman of the Year (Omar Cooke) and one SAC Scholar Athlete of the Year (Arthur Garnes).
As a player, Vital garnered All-Conference honors as a freshman and sophomore at Lees-McRae as he led the Bobcats to a pair of NJCAA Region 10 Championships. He played the 1990 and 1991 campaigns at Tusculum, where he was selected to the NAIA All-District 24 both seasons. He led the Pioneers to a combined 26-16-2 record, while capturing the 1990 Tennessee Virginia Athletic Conference Championship and followed with the 1991 NAIA District title.
Vital spent three years as the Coordinator of Special Student Activities and Soccer Coach at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tennessee. He holds an Advance National license by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Vital has been very active in youth soccer development throughout the State of Tennessee. He served for several years on the coaching staff of the East Tennessee Soccer Federation and is currently on the coaching staff of the Olympic Development Program for the State of Tennessee. Vital is also the director of coaching and player development for the Lakeway Soccer Club as well as the Star Soccer Academy of Morristown, Tenn.
Vital not only has an outstanding soccer resume, he is also a scholar. Along with a Business Administration degree from Tusculum, he minored in French and Art. Vital is trilingual, speaking English, French and Haitian Creole.
Vital and his wife, Christina (who earned her Masters degree from Tusculum in 1994), are the proud parents of three sons Devin Alain, Jean-Pierre and Remi. Jean-Pierre is in his first season on the TU men's soccer team.
Allen Vital’s Year-by-Year Coaching Record
Year School Overall Pct. SAC Pct. SAC Finish
1997 Carson-Newman 7-12-0 .368 2-5-0 .286 7th
1998 Carson-Newman 6-12-0 .333 3-4-0 .429 6th
1999 Carson-Newman 12-7-2 .619 4-4-0 .500 T4th
2000 Carson-Newman 12-7-0 .632 6-1-0 .857 1st
2001 Carson-Newman 9-8-2 .526 2-4-1 .357 6th
2002 Carson-Newman 5-11-1 .324 2-5-0 .286 T6th
2003 Carson-Newman 14-6-3 .674 6-1-0 .857 1st
2004 Carson-Newman 17-2-1 .875 6-0-1 .929 1st
2005 Carson-Newman 18-2-2 .864 7-0-0 1.000 1st
2006 Carson-Newman 14-2-2 .833 5-0-1 .917 1st
2007 Carson-Newman 15-4-2 .762 4-2-1 .643 4th
2008 Carson-Newman 11-5-2 .667 6-1-1 .813 T1st
2009 Carson-Newman 14-5-1 .725 7-1-0 .875 1st
2010 Carson-Newman 12-5-1 .694 8-1-0 .888 T1st
2011 Tusculum 7-8-3 .472 6-1-2 .778 2nd
2012 Tusculum 7-8-3 .472 3-4-2 .444 T7th
2013 Tusculum 6-10-0 .375 3-8-0 .273 T10th
2014 Tusculum 11-6-3 .625 5-4-2 .545 6th
2015 Tusculum 9-6-2 .588 6-4-1 .591 T3rd
2016 Tusculum 16-4-0 .800 8-3-0 .727 2nd
2017 Tusculum 2-8-6 .313 2-4-4 .400 T8th
2018 Tusculum 13-7-1 .643 6-3-1 .650 3rd
2019 Tusculum 6-7-3 .469 5-3-2 .600 4th
Tusculum 77-64-21 .540 44-34-14 .554
Overall 243-152-40 .605 112-63-17 .628