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'Boyzzz' joins SCC staff

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TOM BYSTREK

St. Catharine College

The distance from Bethlehem High School in Bardstown to St. Catharine College is about 17 miles. But for Thabiso “Boyzzz” Khumalo, the new assistant men’s soccer coach for the Patriots, the journey was much longer.

Khumalo came to the United States from South Africa in 1996 at age 16. He played soccer at Bethlehem until his graduation in 2000. From there he attended Lindsey Wilson College for two years and Coastal Carolina for two years.

Khumalo received an impressive array of honors during his college career. At Lindsey Wilson College, he was a member of the Blue Raiders’ NAIA national semifinalist squad in 2000 and a member of the 2001 national champions. In 2001 he had 21 goals and 11 assists and was voted First Team All-American and the NAIA Player of the Year, the first time a freshman had won that award. He was also a first team All-American in 2002 when he had 26 goals and 20 assists. He played his final two years at Coastal Carolina University, where he was first team All-Big South in 2003 and a preseason All-American in 2004. He graduated from Coastal Carolina with a BS in Physical Education.

Following his college career, Khumalo was drafted by the Chicago Fire of the Major League Soccer (MLS), but never played with Chicago and for a short time returned to play in South Africa. In 2008 he signed with DC United of the MLS where he was noted for his “speed, energy and unpredictability” in a Washington Post article. But a freak accident cut short his professional career.

“I broke my wrist in a game and it got infected because of a tattoo I had just gotten on that arm,” explained Khumalo. “It was scary. I thought my arm may have to come off.”

While his arm was saved, his MLS days were over when DCU released him last July. He was on the sideline some last fall with St. Catharine head coach Tim Wolz and also coached at Mockingbird Valley Soccer in Louisville.

“From the players I saw last year and from what I have heard about the new players coming in I think we will be much better,” said Khumalo of the 2011 Patriots. “Of course the goal is to improve every year and we should do that.”

Wolz, entering his second season at St. Catharine, believes his new assistant will be an integral part of that improvement.

“As a volunteer assistant last year I saw how well he interacted with the players,” Wolz said. “He is very good at communicating his ideas and his competitiveness as a player is something the players can benefit from. This will be a good partnership in that he can learn things from me as well as I can learn things from him.” 

 

Tom Bystrek is the sports information director at St. Catharine College.