The Maryland Bays are in the market for a new coach after yesterday's resignation of Pete Caringi, who led them to the American Professional Soccer League title last season.
Caringi, 35, has accepted the head coaching job at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, which has been vacant since John Ellinger resigned.
"It was a big decision and a hard one to give up two things you really love [the Bays and Essex Community College job]," said Caringi, "but UMBC made a nice offer, and one of my goals has been to get into Division I. I couldn't pass up the security."
A conflict between the Bays' playoff season and the opening of the Retrievers' regular season also influenced the decision.
"UMBC had no objections to me doing both," he said, "but it's not wise to start in a program and miss the first couple games. That creates problems you don't need.
"Last year, we had some slight difficulty at Essex, but it only involved one game, so we lived with it."
The Bays were 15-5 last year and scored 42 goals in 20 games, the most in the APSL. They went on to defeat the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks for the league championship.
It was Caringi's only season as head coach after two years as an assistant to Lincoln Phillips. He has been at Essex CC for 10 years.
Caringi said that despite the uncertain future of the East Coast Conference, which UMBC joined this year, the school "will definitely play a Division I schedule in any event. We're looking to get stronger."