6:00: Morning News

West Virginia men’s soccer coach LeBlanc leaving after 14 years

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Marlon LeBlanc’s 14-year run as West Virginia’s men’s soccer coach has come to a surprising end. LeBlanc is resigning from the program effective Dec. 30.

WVU later confirmed that LeBlanc declined a multi-year contract extension.

LeBlanc was the first and to this point only African-American head coach in WVU history.

LeBlanc’s current contract, which paid $180,000 in 2019, expires at the end of the year.

“I want to thank Marlon for leading our men’s soccer program for the past 14 years,” WVU athletic director Shane Lyons said in the school release. “He took over a team when it was going through some tough times and guided it back to being a competitive program that performed well in the classroom and the community. We appreciate his work ethic and his accomplishments at West Virginia University.”

Lyons said there will be a national search for LeBlanc’s replacement.

MetroNews unsuccessfully attempted to reach LeBlanc for comment.

LeBlanc told Mike Cassaza of 247Sports that the decision was family-based. His wife and children moved to the Philadelphia area last summer. LeBlanc’s 11-year-old son earned a playing opportunity with the youth program for Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, and LeBlanc determined that path was best for the family’s future.

LeBlanc’s final season in Morgantown was a memorable one.

After finishing 0-4-1 in Mid-American Conference play in the regular season, West Virginia won three straight matches to capture the MAC tournament championship and reach the postseason. The Mountaineers stunned Butler 5-1 in the opening round before the season ended with a 2-1 defeat at Marshall. West Virginia finished with a 10-9-1 record, making 2019 the 11th winning season of LeBlanc’s tenure.

LeBlanc was named the national coach of the year in his first season leading the program in 2006. West Virginia finished 15-3-3 and went unbeaten in Big East play. His West Virginia career ends with a 138-100-34 record.

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