Eric Bell was at Florida State for six seasons as an associate head coach and assistant.
Eric Bell enters his sixth season with the Seminole soccer program and fourth as associate head coach. He spent his first two years as an assistant coach earning a promotion to associate head coach in the spring of 2008. Bell has also served as recruiting coordinator since coming to Florida State in 2006.
Since his arrival in Tallahassee, Bell has helped guide the Seminoles to back-to-back College Cup appearances in 2006 and 2007 including a berth in the school's first national championship game in 2007. In his first five years, the Seminoles have compiled an overall record of 88-24-12 while finishing no lower than second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Bell has coached the 2007 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, a pair of national Freshman of the Year, 15 All-Americans, the 2008 ACC Freshman of the Year, 2007 and 2009 ACC Offensive Players of the Year and a handful of student-athletes who have competed internationally.
In overseeing the defensive scheme, Bell has led the Seminoles to a sub-1.00 goals against average in each of his five seasons en route to a 0.79 GAA during that span. The Seminole backline has averaged over 12 shutouts a season under Bell reaching double-digits all five years, while posting a school-record 14 shutouts in both 2006 and 2008. In 2008, FSU set the school record for the fewest goals allowed (15) and the lowest goals against average (0.63). In 2010, the Seminoles gave up a league-low five goals during conference play, while leading the ACC in shutouts with 13.
As recruiting coordinator, Bell made school history as the 2007 class earned its highest national ranking. The Seminoles were recognized by Soccer Buzz with the nation's second-best recruiting class, while grabbing the top spot in the Southeast Region. At the time, both rankings were the highest garnered in program history. Of the 11 freshman, five ranked in the top 150 by Soccer Buzz while Erin McNulty and Sanna Talonen ranked among the nation's top international recruits.
The 2007 class made major contributions on the offensive side becoming the highest scoring team in school history as the Seminoles tallied 233 points on 81 goals and 71 assists. The mark shattered the previous record of 188 points (65 goals, 58 assists) set in 2005. Four freshman including Sanna Talonen, Amanda DaCosta, Marissa Kazbour and Rachel Lim finished among the top scorers on the team while Talonen and DaCosta were named National Freshman of the Year by Soccer America and Soccer Buzz, respectively. The freshmen class was responsible for 88 of the 233 points registered in 2007 contributing to 37 percent of the total scoring.
Defensively, Erin McNulty set a trio of freshman single-season records for wins (18), shutouts (8.0) and goals against average (0.94) as the Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada native started all 27 games in goal.
In 2008, Bell once again made school history as Soccer Buzz awarded Florida State with the top recruiting class in the nation. The publication ranked six freshmen in the top 40 with five receiving PARADE All-American honors. Tiffany McCarty was recognized for her outstanding season becoming the first Seminole in school history to earn ACC Freshman of the Year honors. The accolades continued to pour in as Tori Huster and Casey Short joined McCarty as Freshman All-Americans.
The 2009 class was ranked as the fourth-best recruiting class in the Atlantic Coast Conference by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Bell's 2011 class features 10 newcomers including eight freshmen and two transfers that bring a combination of success at the international, club and high school levels.
Prior to his arrival in Tallahassee, Bell spent four years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Illinois. In 2005, he was named NSCAA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year while working at one of the top soccer programs in the Big Ten. For the past decade, Bell has been an assistant and head coach on both the men's and women's side of the college game. He is a member of the coaching staff for Region II of the Olympic Development Program.
With Bell on staff at Illinois, the Fighting Illini had tremendous success on the field and on the recruiting trail. After going 9-11-1 in 2002, his first year with the Illini, the team went 16-4-2 the very next season en route to posting an overall record of 44-17-7 from 2003-2005. During that span, the Fighting Illini advanced to three straight NCAA Tournaments. In 2004, Illinois made school history advancing to the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.
As recruiting coordinator, Bell attracted some of the nation's top talent to Champaign. His 2005 recruiting class was ranked 23rd by SoccerBuzz and his 2006 class was ranked ninth with six signees among the top 200 in the nation.
Bell comes from a strong academic background as well. As the head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania his team compiled a GPA of 3.43 in 2000, the third-highest team GPA in Division II that year. Three years ago, senior Christen Karniski was named an NSCAA/adidas first team scholar All-American at Illinois. Florida State has also seen academic success under Bell over the last four years posting an overall team GPA above a 3.0. Katrin Schmidt and Kristen van de Ven became the school's first Scholar All-Americans earning first team honors by the NSCAA in 2007. Becky Edwards added to the growing list of Scholar All-Americans at Florida State receiving first team honors in 2008 and 2009. Also in 2009, Edwards became the first Seminole soccer player to be recognized as an Academic All-American at the national level as she was named to the third team by CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine.
Before coming to Illinois, Bell spent 2001 as an assistant coach for Minnesota's women's soccer team. He organized and directed the soccer booster club for the Golden Gopher program in addition to his regular coaching and recruiting duties. Bell was also involved with the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association as the ODP state team head coach in 2001. Prior to heading to Minnesota, Bell was the head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for the 2000 season.
From 1997-2000, Bell was an assistant coach for both the men's and women's soccer teams at Ashland University in Ohio. While there, he helped the women's team to three consecutive conference titles from 1997-99 and to the NCAA Division II national semifinals in 1998.
Bell is a United States Soccer Federation A Licensed coach and a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He attended the College of Wooster where he earned a B.A. in 1992. As a player, he led his team to two NCAA Division III tournament appearances in 1989 and 1990 and to a North Coast Athletic Conference title in 1989. He was voted the team's best offensive player following the 1991 season. Bell and his wife, April, were married in May of 2001. They have two children, Malena, 9, and Cameron, 7.