Trevor Dawkins, who coached the Cleveland Crunch for a little more than half a season, on Wednesday was named MSL Coach of the Year. Ballots were cast by his peers.
Dawkins received three first-place votes and 20 points overall (five points for a first-place vote, three for a second and one for third).
In a surprise, Don Popovic, coach of the St. Louis Storm, finished second in the voting with 13 points. He received no first-place votes.
Socker Coach Ron Newman, who rebuilt the Sockers' defense then watched as the new players improved last year's 25-27 record to 34-18, was third with 11 points and one first-place vote. Many thought Newman would place second after his team finished with the league's best record.
Four other coaches each received one first-place vote, including Dawkins' predecessor, Kai Haaskivi, who stepped down with a 7-14 record.
After Dawkins took over, the Crunch rallied to finish first in the East with a 29-23 overall record.
The Crunch's roll continues. They have forged a 1-1 tie with the Sockers in the MSL championship series with Game 3 scheduled for Friday night in Cleveland.
"Trevor deserves it," Newman said. "He's a romantic choice, really. The whole team is kind of a Cinderella story."