March 3, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Chris Apple, assistant men’s soccer coach at Notre Dame the last four seasons, has been named interim head men’s soccer coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Apple replaces Mike Berticelli, who died suddenly Jan. 25, following 10 seasons as Irish head coach.
Apple will coach the Irish men’s team on an interim basis through the 2000 fall season. The University is in the process of searching for a new director of athletics, and that individual will have the opportunity to determine a direction for all Irish athletic teams.
“I’m extremely grateful the University has shown the faith in me to oversee the Notre Dame men’s soccer program,” said Apple.
“I’m also honored to follow Mike Berticelli, who was my close friend and mentor. Mike’s contributions to soccer at Notre Dame and to the game at large have been immense, and I’m thankful simply to have an opportunity to add to those.”
Apple has been extensively involved in recruiting in his four seasons at Notre Dame. He played a key role in the signing of 1999 BIG EAST rookie of the year Erich Braun, a freshman from Frankfurt, Germany, who finished third in the conference in scoring in ’99 — as well as Andreas Forstner, a freshman from Gerlinden, Germany, who ranked as one of the top first-year defenders in the BIG EAST in ’99.
Apple’s four seasons with the Irish saw Notre Dame produce a combined 41-31-10 record (.561), including trips to the BIG EAST men’s soccer tournament each of his four years on the staff. His first season at Notre Dame in ’96 featured the most successful season in Irish history — including a 14-7-2 record and an NCAA first-round victory over second-ranked North Carolina-Greensboro. The Irish finished 17th that season in the final Soccer America poll.
Apple came to Notre Dame in the spring of ’96 following two seasons as head coach at North Carolina Wesleyan, where his teams finished 12-20-1 combined during the 1994 and ’95 campaigns.
A standout midfielder at the University of Rochester, Apple led his team to three University Athletic Association championships and three NCAA tournament appearances during his four-year career. He was a two-time All-American at the school and three times earned all-UAA honors. In 1990, he was named the conference player of the year.
A 1992 cum laude graduate of Rochester with a bachelor of arts in German literature and European history, the Millersville, Pa., native played professionally in Germany for one year following graduation. Apple then served as an assistant coach at Harvard for one season in ’93 before taking over as head coach at North Carolina Wesleyan.
Apple, who played professionally in the United States for the Raleigh Flyers, holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America advanced national diploma and a United States Soccer Federation “B” license.
Born April 9, 1970, he and his wife Melissa were married in May 1997 and reside in South Bend. She currently is a doctoral student in psychology at Notre Dame.