Despite the firing of head coach Tim Busen, the Dixie State University men’s soccer team sits in first place in the Pacific West Conference standings.
Jason Boothe, DSU’s athletic director, made the announcement of Busen’s firing Oct. 19.
Boothe declined to comment on the reason for the firing and said the athletic department would not be releasing further details of the situation.
“As part of school policy, we are unable to comment on the situation,” Boothe said. “There has to be a good reason to release someone due to personnel reasons.”
Nyle Ortiz, who currently serves as an assistant coach to both the men’s and women’s soccer teams, has been named the head coach on an interim basis, Boothe said.
“[Ortiz] will coach the rest of the year,” Boothe said. “As for a replacement, we won’t be doing a search [for one] this year.”
Busen did not respond to Dixie Sun News’ request for comment.
“We’re all saddened by the news,” said sophomore defender Dominic Damato, a criminal justice major from Las Vegas. “We are going to rally behind [Ortiz], and finish what we started.”
Busen led the Trailblazers to their best start of a season in school history. DSU currently holds an overall record of 11-3 and are leading the Pacific West Conference at an unblemished 9-0 record.
“Our job is to take care of it on the field,” said junior defender Bryan Baugh, a criminal justice major from Henderson, Nevada. “Our goals are still the same, one of which is to win the [PacWest] Conference.”
The Trailblazers have won 11 straight games. Their last loss was against Montana State Billings University Sept. 9.
DSU has five games remaining in the season, all of which will be played in St. George. Two of those games are against Notre Dame de Namur University and Concordia University. Tied for second, NDNU and CU lurk behind DSU in the PacWest standings.
“It took a while for [the firing] to sink it,” Ortiz said. “It’s unfortunate. Based on what we’ve overcome during the first part of the season so far, I feel very good about [the team] moving forward from this.”