In his first year guiding the Cavaliers program in 2013, Head Coach David Knapp led the Cavaliers to a 7-7-2 record, a +3 win/loss improvement from the year before and finished the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular season with its best finish since 2008 finishing third in the 10 team circuit.
Under Knapp the Cavs have never lost by more than a single goal, including 1-0 losses to NAIA Top-25 opponents, Georgia Gwinnett and Bryan (Tenn.) who finished the season ranked in the final 2013 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, No. 9 and No. 21 respectively.
Under Knapp Cavaliers earned 14 All-Conference honors including First Team Selections by Lucas Carvalho and Benjamin Lloyd, while Stefan Cazzonelli and Lewis Jones earned Second Team honors and Cody LaBelle was named to the Third Team while Evan Allen, Adrian Erwin, Alan Jackson, Cody LaBelle, Ian McVay, Stefan Cazzonelli, Frankie Leo, Dylan MacFarlane and Ezra White were named to the Academic All-Conference Team.
Knapp came to Montreat after spending the 2011 season at Mars Hill College (N.C.) where he helped direct the Lions men’s and women’s soccer teams as an assistant coach.
Knapp helped guide the men’s squad to their first NCAA Division II National Tournament appearance as the Lions advanced to the round of 16 and finished the season ranked No. 17 in the nation.
With Knapp’s guidance MHC had four All-SAC First Team picks, led by forward Stephen Bivens, who finished top-10 in the SAC in every major offensive statistical category. He was joined by fellow first-teamers Rury Caulfield, Troy Chavez and goalkeeper Zac Scott.
Under Knapp’s direction, the First Team All-SAC selection goalkeeper posted a 13-6-1 record in the net, with a 0.71 goals against average, recorded seven shutouts and allowed just 15 goals against through Scott’s 1,785 minutes of action.
Prior to his arrival in Mars Hill, Knapp spent a year as an assistant coach with Emory & Henry College’s (Va.) women’s soccer team and served as a Classic and Academy Coach at Highland Football Club of Ashville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association.
Knapp a Tallmadge, Ohio, native brings a knowledge from his collegiate and club coaching ranks as well as experience as a collegiate and professional player to the Cavaliers program.
A previous professional player with the Cincinnati Excite of the AISL, Knapp began his coaching career at his alma mater Xavier University as the Musketeers Training Coordinator.
In 2006 Knapp joined the Lake Erie College staff as an assistant for the men’s soccer team where he coached the 2007 Allegany Mountain Collegiate Conference New Comer of the Year, Scott Stuckey, four first team Allegany Mountain Collegiate Conference honorees Brad McFadden, Justin Daly, Brent Bleasdell, and two-time AMCC honoree Joe Starvaggi. Knapp also worked with an additional six second and third team AMCC selections.
Under his guidance the Storm featured six AMCC players of the week and finished third in the AMCC in 2006. In all LEC combined for a 19-16-3 overall mark with a 9-7-2 record in the AMCC
In the winter of 2007 Knapp was appointed the Director of Coaching for the Cleveland Whitecaps Premier Soccer Club.
Knapp worked with former Olympian and Canadian National Team legend Mike Sweeney who was a member of the 1979 FIFA World Youth Championship squad and made 61 appearances for the senior national team including two in the 1986 FIFA World Cup on developing some of the most competitive teams in Ohio while he also served as an Ohio North Youth Soccer Association Olympic Development staff and state assistant coach and as an assistant coach for the USSF Development Academy under the Cleveland Alliance Soccer Academy.
Knapp began his prep soccer with the Cleveland Whitecaps and Cleveland Kickers for whom he represented in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup when he was just 14-years old.
Knapp went onto join the prestigious IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Fla., that has produced countless players who have gone onto NCAA DI scholarships, MLS and European clubs along with alumni including US National Team present and past players, Tim Howard, Eddie Johnson, Michael Parkhurst, DeMarcus Beasley, and Jon Busch.
Knapp who trained at Manchester United prior to joining IMG spent time in Spain and Brazil during his time at the Bradenton, Fla., academy. While in Spain Knapp trained at and played against the youth teams of Liga BBVA squads Real Madrid CF and Valencia FC. In addition during his time in Brazil the Tallmadge, Ohio, native also trained with and played against the youth teams of Botafogo Futebol Club, Fluminese Football Club, São Cristóvão de Futebol e Regatas, and the famed Zico Soccer Academy before going on to earn a NCAA Division I scholarship at Xavier University.
Knapp went onto to become a four-year letterman and was honored as an A-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and NSCAA Academic All-American honoree for the Musketeers while earning his bachelor's degree in sport management. Knapp then went onto to earn his Master's Degree in Strategic Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.
After graduating from Xavier, Knapp joined the Cincinnati Excite of the American Indoor Soccer League where he helped the Excite to an AISL championship. That season (’05-06) the Excite lost just one match.
Knapp served as the President for United FC a non-profit soccer organization focusing on youth soccer development and serves as an associate staff member for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America where he also holds the coaching certifications, Premier Diploma, National Level III Goalkeeping Diploma, Advanced National Diploma, Director of Coaching Diploma, National Youth Diploma, and National Coaching Diploma. Knapp also holds a Speed, Agility, Quickness Specialist Certification from NESTA and an English FA, Psychology for Soccer Certification Level 1.
In his first season with the Cavaliers in 2013, Assistant Coach and Goalkeeper Coach, Michael Bruce helped goalkeeper Lucas Carvalho to his second straight Appalachian Athletic Conference First Team selection.
Under Bruce’s guidance Carvalho had a career season in shutouts (6), goals against (17), goals against average (1.02), and wins (7) while playing a career-high 1,494 minutes.
Michael Bruce joined the coaching staff at his alma mater following his graduation in 2013 with a degree in business administration with a concentration in sports management.
Bruce made nine starting appearances for the Cavaliers in 2010 before injuries cut his career short. In his loan season in a Cavalier uniform the East Kilbride, Scotland, native allowed just 1.02 goals against, ranking him 41st in the NAIA.
Prior to Montreat, Bruce played two seasons at Shorter (Ga.) where he appeared in 19 career matches for the Hawks and for Alloa Athletic FC of the Scottish Second Division where he played as a youth.