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Niagara men's soccer adds Tanke to coaching staff



NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Head men's soccer coach Bill Boyle announced the addition of Michael Tanke to his coaching staff on Thursday afternoon. Tanke's main responsibilities will be recruiting, assisting with on-field coaching, video analysis, scouting opponents and individual player development.

"Michael will be a valuable addition to our program moving forward," Boyle stated. "His recruiting experience and involvement in the academy system will be key in our efforts recruiting top level players to Niagara.  His age gives our players a different perspective closer to their generation, and our players now have a role model with professional experience to look up to. We are very excited to add Michael Tanke to our team."

A native of Niles, Mich., Tanke joins the Purple Eagles after a season involved with Empire United – an elite academy based in Rochester, N.Y. – and their U.S. Soccer Development Academy program. Tanke was heavily involved in their recruiting process, helping high school seniors find their way to multiple NCAA DI programs.

"I would like to thank Coach Boyle for giving me the opportunity to join the Niagara men's soccer staff," said Tanke. "I look forward to helping grow our program on the field, in the classroom and in the community for years to come. Western New York is a special place for me personally, and I couldn't be happier to be here at such a great institution."

Prior to his season with Empire United, Tanke was an assistant with the University of Dayton men's team for two years.

In 2015, the Flyers posted a 10-5-3 regular season record and reeled off three straight wins in the A-10 Tournament for their first conference crown and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. In the opening round, the Flyers knocked off Oakland in penalty kicks before bowing out to Ohio State in penalty kicks in their next game.

The following season, five players earn all-conference honors, including a pair of first team selections and the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year (Lalas Abubakar). Tanke helped groom Abubakar into one of the best players in the NCAA, which helped him become the fifth overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew. Tanke also trained Amass Amankona who was selected by Real Salt Lake in the third round of the same draft to give the Flyers two draftees in one class for the first time ever.

Before heading to Dayton, Tanke was a graduate assistant coach at Castleton University in Vermont for two seasons. Tanke helped guide the Spartans to a 13-4-2 record in 2013, the highest winning percentage for the program in 20 years, and the top spot in the North Atlantic Conference tournament. His teams also boasted five NAC All-Conference players during his stint.

His coaching career began after playing three years professionally with the USL's Rochester Rhinos, making 24 starts and 41 appearances before injuries forced him to retire. Tanke helped the Rhinos to a regular season conference championship in 2011, playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012, and two appearances in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.

The professional career came after Tanke was a four-year midfielder for the Rams at Rhode Island University, where Tanke played 65 career games for the Rams.
Tanke earned Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll all four years at Rhode Island. He won the URI Centennial Scholarship and the Elizabeth Holmes Award as a senior. He was recognized by the Speaker of the House for the State of Rhode Island for his success in the classroom as well.

In 2011, Tanke graduated cum laude from Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. He went on to earn his Master's Degree in Education from Castleton.

Tanke holds a USSF "B" license and a U.S. Youth National license.