Jaren Wilkey, BYU
BYU Mens Soccer Coach Chris Watkins (middle) talks to his players before BYU takes on the Utah Blitz in 2004.
My responsibilities with the women’s soccer program have increased in the past few years and this program simply needs someone with more time than I can give. —Chris Watkins

PROVO — BYU men’s soccer head coach Chris Watkins announced Wednesday morning that he will be stepping down after 21 years with the team.

“It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that I have resigned as coach of this great program,” said Watkins. “Unfortunately, I just don’t have enough time to donate to this program and these great young men anymore.”

Watkins has an overall record of 304-103-75. He has traveled all over the United States with the team as well as internationally, including Mexico, Spain, Holland, Fiji, Chile and Costa Rica.

Under Watkins, BYU has won six Collegiate Club National Championships, and reached the Final Eight in the PDL playoffs twice. BYU is also the only University to participate in the U.S. Open Cup, which they did three times under Coach Watkins.

In 2013, Watkins accepted the position of associate head coach for the BYU women’s soccer team. The additional responsibilities given to Watkins included traveling with the team to its away games.

That additional responsibility took time away from Watkins’ efforts with the men’s team.

“My responsibilities with the women’s soccer program have increased in the past few years and this program simply needs someone with more time than I can give,” Watkins said.

Along with his responsibilities with the women’s soccer team, Watkins will also remain a director of the Soccer Academy and focus on improving that program as well

BYU competes in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The Cougars have competed in the league since May 2003. BYU’s team is the first university sponsored soccer program to purchase a franchise and compete at a higher level.

For more information on the team please visit soccer.byu.edu. Follow the team on Twitter @BYUsoccer.

Michelle Wood is a public relations student at Brigham Young University with a dream of making it to the Super Bowl one day. While she isn't studying for tests and classes, you can find her in the offices of BYU Athletics, working on media relations.