At the start of this academic year, other than women's basketball coach Cindy Russo, no person at FIU could stand as the embodiment of an athletic program's history as Munga Eketebi could for FIU men's soccer. The former FIU player and assistant coach has been relieved of the head coaching duties he held for five seasons, most of them working under the yoke of NCAA sanctions earned before he was head coach but while he was an assistant.
Eketebi's last team at FIU finished 5-8-2, the first decrease in wins after three consecutive seasons of increases. His final record is 27-51-9.
The men's soccer program made national noise perhaps before any other program at FIU, winning the 1984 NCAA Division II national title and being runnerup in 1985. Eketebi starred on those teams, a three-time All-America. Former Herald writer Mike Phillips, who covered FIU in those days, described Eketebi as a combination of deft feet and enormous, powerful upper body that made him a juggernaut from the top of the area to the goal line.
After his playing days, Eketebi became Karl Kremser's assistant at FIU for all but the one season he left FIU to coach Nova Southeastern. Not only did he become a fixture in the South Florida soccer community, you'll meet few people who were as widely liked by everyone from youth club players to adult fans.