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Family Ties Take 2nd Cobber Men's Soccer Coach - Joe Larson Resigns as Coach.
MOORHEAD-- For the second consecutive year, the Concordia men's soccer coach is resigning due to increased family commitments. Joe Larson officially announced his resignation on Thursday, citing his need to devote more time to his wife and recently-born triplets. Last year longtime coach Jim Cella stepped down to spend more time with his family and concentrate on his job as the school's sports information director. 

Larson, who guided the Cobbers to a 2-13-3 record in 2004, joined the Concordia staff after spending three seasons as the assistant coach at Liberty University, a NCAA Division I program in Lynchburg, Va. He stated that he felt unable to give the players and the program the time and effort the job deserved, and wanted to devote his time to his wife and children. 

Concordia College athletics director Dr. Larry Papenfuss commented, "We are very sorry to see Joe leave Concordia. He was very good for the players and the program and was a very good role model. We also understand that his commitment to his family takes precedence over his job as head coach. 

Larson, originally from Fargo, N.D., played his collegiate soccer at Liberty. He was the team's starting goalkeeper for four years, during which time he led the squad in goals against average, wins and shutouts. 

After graduating from Liberty in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in Sports Management, Larson went to California to train under nationally-renowned soccer coach Ziggy Zigante. He then tried out for a professional team in Sweden before returning to the United States to play for the El Paso Patriots of the A-League. While playing for the Patriots, Larson moved to Phoenix, Ariz. in the off-season to coach in the Sereno Club, one of the premiere club programs in the nation. After playing for the Patriots for one season, he then moved to Virginia in 2001 to play for the Virginia Beach Mariners - also of the A-League. 

Larson grew up in Fargo, where he played high school soccer at Fargo South. He played on the varsity team at South from 1991-93, and was part of a team that won three North Dakota state titles. 

The process to start the search for a new men's soccer coach will begin in the next few weeks.