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Eastern Florida Men's Soccer Coach Oliver Twelvetrees Ready to Get Going
July 31, 2013 - It's been nine months since Oliver Twelvetrees left Kansas to take the reins of Eastern Florida State College's inaugural men's soccer team.
And in those roughly 270 days the majority of his time has been spent on the telephone, watching prospective players on video or in person on the road and handling the myriad paperwork and other tasks inherent in starting from scratch.
But now with his first practice with his first EFSC team just days away he's ready to go.
"It has certainly been a challenge not having a team of my own for nine months to train," Twelvetrees said. "I live and breathe the game and not being able to put the knowledge I get from courses, books and games to work has been tough. But a friend gave me a good bit of advice: Enjoy the calm before the storm."
Men's soccer joins women's tennis as new athletic programs at EFSC bringing the college's number of intercollegiate sports to nine, the most of any NJCAA Division I institution in Florida.
Twelvetrees, a native of Swansea City in Wales, came to EFSC from Barton Community College in Great Bend, KS where he amassed a record of 127-22-3. He is accustomed to success and his expectations haven't wavered.
The men open the regular season against Mississippi Gulf Coast and San Jacinto College (TX) on Aug. 23 and 24 respectively in Perkinston, MS. They debut at home on the new Melbourne Campus field on Saturday, Sept. 14 against Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference and NJCAA Region 8 foe Broward College.
"I am very hungry for immediate success," Twelvetrees said. "I have come from a program that was a contender for a national championship every year and I want to do the same here. I want this program to be synonymous with producing top level NCAA Division I transfers, future professionals and a winning tradition."
The college's new facility, to be used by both the men and the women, has been a needed plus in recruiting for Twelvetrees who has to sell the virtues of a program that has yet to play a game.
"I have been selling a vision of the new field and stadium so it's great that we have been able to attract so many high level players," Twelvetrees said. "The facility is an amazing selling point as it will be as good as anything in the NJCAA. Whenever I have a recruit on campus it is the first place I take them."
Recruiting and laying the foundation are what it has been all about for Twelvetrees who in a decade of coaching has built a new program for the first time. To that end he has received counsel from many friends and contacts in the game.
"I think the best advice I received was to be patient — not my best attribute — and do things the right way," he said. "Don't try to rush success, recruit quality people who are talented soccer athletes and success will come. This is great advice for me."
Twelvetrees gets his first look at his recruits as a team at their first practice on Monday, Aug. 5, and at their first scrimmage, 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7 on the Melbourne Campus field against Florida Memorial.