ALL STAR SOCCER Southern Nevada

The 30th annual High school senior soccer all star games sponsored by the Rotary Club of Green valley, Henderson will be held on Wednesday, December 7 at UNLV’s Peter Johann field. Girls game at 5:00 and boys at 7:00. Participants are selected by southern Nevada high school soccer coaches.
Admission is $5.00 with proceeds supporting various Rotary youth projects. Open to the public.

Rebel Soccer Foundation Commits $125K Over Next Three Years

The UNLV Rebel Soccer Foundation has pledged a donation of $125,000 to the university’s men’s and women’s soccer programs, UNLV Athletics announced today.

The funds will be contributed over the next three years and provide additional financial support above and beyond the programs’ core budgets allocated by the athletics department.

“We’re very fortunate at UNLV to have passionate alumni and supporters who are earnest in their desire to create the best student-athlete experience,” UNLV Director of Athletics Erick Harper said. “I want to acknowledge and thank the UNLV Soccer Foundation for their incredible support.”

“We have a rich 40-year history of men and women who have played at UNLV and with this investment of $125,000, we hope that we can make an immediate impact to both the men’s and women’s soccer programs for years to come,” Dan Giraldo, UNLV Soccer Foundation president said. “Our goal is to help both programs so they can compete at the highest level and produce student-athletes who are successful on the field and in the classroom.  

“A special thank you goes to our sponsors, donors and alumni who have supported our tailgates, golf events and our alumni charity games because without them, this investment could not have happened!”

In alignment with UNLV Athletics’ mission and values, the donation has been allocated to acquire items and equipment that enhance the student-athlete experience and introduce innovative performance and training tools. The commitment will increase the annual recruiting budgets of both men’s and women’s soccer.

“We thank the UNLV Rebel Soccer Foundation for their continued outpouring of generosity and support for both programs,” UNLV women’s soccer head coach Jenny Ruiz-Williams said. “We’re excited to be able to add additional tools to improve analysis and performance.

“That being said,” Ruiz added, “the foundation’s support goes even beyond this. It’s incredible to have them at our games, serving our community at tailgate events, and giving the student-athletes constant support. We have so much gratitude for all that they do for us.” 

“What an amazing gift,” UNLV men’s soccer head coach BJ Craig added. “The members of the Foundation have provided such tremendous support to the programs and the student-athletes in so many ways. We’re very fortunate to have the generosity of this group in our community.”

Since its formation in 2016, the UNLV Rebels Soccer Foundation has worked to increase overall support for the programs in alignment with the athletics department to continue to assist UNLV Soccer in winning consistently academically and athletically. If you have an interest in joining the Foundation or making a donation, click here.

UNLV Athletics Mourns Passing of Vince Hart

LAS VEGAS ( — UNLV Athletics mourns the passing of former Rebel men’s soccer head coach Vincent “Vince” Hart, who passed away Monday.

Hart was one of the pioneers of Rebel soccer, coaching the team from its third year of existence as an intercollegiate varsity sport in 1976 through the 1981 season. He leaves a legacy of achievements that may never be repeated. Hart’s UNLV teams compiled a 67-47-2 record and found immediate success as his first squad won 11 consecutive games, a program record that still stands 46 years later.

“Vince changed the trajectory of my life,” UNLV alum and Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club President Roger Tabor said. “There’s a lot of guys from those teams that would say the same thing. He was an old-school, no-nonsense coach, but his passion and work ethic were off the charts.”

Hart matriculated to UNLV and joined the football team as a placekicker in 1971. Hart etched his name into Rebel lore by kicking a 41-yard field goal for the program’s first points in Sam Boyd Stadium (then Las Vegas Stadium). Hart was one of the original “soccer-style” kickers that invaded American gridirons in the 1970s—his angled approach and instep contact patch replacing the straight-ahead, toe-kicking seen through the first century of the game’s existence. On one notable point-after-touchdown attempt, a misfired snap floated over the holder’s hands but Hart volleyed the football in mid-air through the uprights. The officiating crew, who had never seen anything like it before, huddled for six minutes before awarding the extra point. 

Between stints as a student-athlete and coach at UNLV, Hart played in and worked for the Las Vegas Adult Soccer League while serving as an assistant at Valley High. Following his time with the Rebels, he returned to high school coaching and remained an influential figure in the growth and engagement of Southern Nevada’s soccer community for the next four decades.

“There was hardly a budget for the program at the time, but Vince created a viable program that had success,” Tabor said. “I don’t think the UNLV men’s soccer program would be around today if Vince hadn’t soldiered on. A lesser man would have given up.”

1981 UNLV mens soccer team; head coach Vince Hart
Vince Hart (center, middle row) stands with the 1981 UNLV men’s soccer team.

Hart, whose father served in the English military and mother was a German refugee, was born in Jerusalem in 1945 at the conclusion of World War II and raised in Yorkshire, England, until his family immigrated to the United States in 1960. 

At 16, he captained an under-19 squad coached by National Soccer Hall of Fame member Steve Negoesco that became the first team west of St. Louis to win the James McGuire Cup, youth soccer’s national championship. He was a three-time all-city soccer player at George Washington High School in San Francisco and moved to Las Vegas, graduating from Las Vegas High in 1962. Negoesco, newly hired at the University of San Francisco, offered a college scholarship, but Hart opted to fulfill his dream of playing professional soccer and signed contracts with clubs in New Zealand and Australia. In 1966, Hart was selected to play on the U.S. team in the Pan American Games, but was ruled ineligible to participate because he was not then a U.S. citizen.

Hart married his wife, Diane, in 1967, then graduated from UNLV in 1972 with a bachelor’s in physical education. He acquired his U.S. citizenship in 1975. 

Hart is survived by his wife, son Trevor, and a grandson.


LAS VEGAS ( — BJ Craig has been named the new head coach of the men’s soccer program at UNLV, Director of Athletics Erick Harper announced Thursday.

Craig comes to Las Vegas after serving as Oregon State’s associate head coach for the last four seasons. Prior to OSU, Craig held positions as assistant and associate head coach at Notre Dame over a 10-year span (2008-18), assistant coach at Louisville in 2007, and head coach for four years (2003-06) at Saint Francis University (Pa.).

“BJ has coached collegiate soccer at the highest levels over the past 18 years, including this past season’s top NCAA seed in Oregon State and with a national championship team at Notre Dame in 2013,” Harper said. “He has a clear vision for where he intends to take our program and understands the importance of student-athlete development and achievement, both academically and athletically. He has a strong recruiting plan and coaching philosophy and we are confident he is prepared to take UNLV men’s soccer to the next level.”

Craig brings a breadth of NCAA Tournament experience to the Rebel program as he helped guide the Beavers to the Big Dance three times, the Irish to nine tournament appearances and the Cardinals to one trip. Most notably, Craig was on the coaching staff when Oregon State made a run to the Elite Eight as the overall No. 1 seed in 2021 and when Notre Dame won the 2013 national title.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to become the next head coach of the UNLV men’s soccer program,” Craig said. “I am thankful and fortunate to have worked alongside so many great people over the years and the same is true for me now at UNLV. I am grateful to Erick Harper, Chris Pugh, and the entire search committee for trusting me to lead this program going forward. I also want to recognize Rich Ryerson for his dedication and devotion as a player and coach over the years, along with the many alumni at UNLV who have given both on and off the field, helping to leave the jersey in a better place. We will continue to build on this legacy and make everyone proud. I can’t wait to get started.”

Along with coaching teams to national success, Craig’s squads have come out on top of their conference a combined five times – the most recent being the Beavers’ first-ever outright Pac-12 Championship this past season. Additionally, his Irish teams hoisted four conference trophies.

Under his leadership, Craig’s former players have developed into some of the best in the country. He coached a MAC Hermann Trophy winner, three All-Americans, one Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and 20 All-Pac 12 selections in Corvallis, as well as 24 MLS draft picks, 10 All-Americans and 40 all-conference honorees in South Bend.

Among the most notable former players to train with Craig at his previous coaching stops are five-time MLS All-Star and 2012 MLS Defender of the Year Matt Besler and 2012 All-Star Justin Morrow. The duo has also earned caps with the United States Senior National Team.

Throughout his 20-plus years of coaching, Craig has received various accolades. His recognition includes forming part of the 2021 United Soccer Coaches Far West Regional Staff of the Year, the United Soccer Coaches Glenn “Mooch” Myernick National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2014, South Region Assistant  Coach of the Year in 2013 and NEC Coach of the Year in 2013. He was also named among College Soccer News’ Top Assistant Coaches list over a period of three straight years (2012-2014). 

The long list of Craig’s student-athletes’ achievements not only pertains to the soccer pitch, but also extends into the classroom as demonstrated by one CoSIDA Academic All-American and two CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees under his tutelage at Oregon State. During his tenure at Notre Dame, he helped produce 11 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and two United Soccer Coaches Scholar Athletes of the Year.

A former student-athlete himself, Craig lettered one year at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and earned two more letters after transferring to Gordon College. During his time at Gordon, he helped lead the Fighting Scots to a Commonwealth Coast Conference title in 1992. Shortly after his playing career, Craig served as assistant coach at Dartmouth (1998-2003) and his alma mater, Gordon College (1995-96). He is a member of the NSCAA and holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) B License.

Craig graduated with his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Gordon College in 1993 and later earned his master’s degree in education from UMass Lowell in 1997. He and his wife, Erin, have four children, Noah, Micah, Jonah and Mattea.