A 21-Year Legacy Continues for Queens Men's Soccer Head Coach Oliver Carias
by Austin Slough
For the last 21 years, Queens men's soccer Head Coach Oliver Carias has put on the Royals blue and gold. His historic journey began in 2001 when Carias enrolled as a student-athlete at Queens.
"I remember vividly my first day at Queens back in the fall of 2001," he said. "I felt like I was at home surrounded by people that care about us every day. To this day, I still get that same feeling when I'm on campus."
The welcoming environment helped Carias remain comfortable on the pitch, leaving a legacy as one of the best players to wear the Queens uniform. Over a four-year period, Carias led the team to a 60-10-6 overall record, including a 35-game conference winning streak and an undefeated regular season in 2002-03. The All-American and Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (CVAC) Player of the Year guided the Royals to a pair of NCAA tournament bids in 2002 and 2004 and was named All-Conference every season.
Carias was renowned for his abilities being ranked as one of the top five soccer players in the nation by USA TODAY. In 2003, the Charlotte Observer tabbed the Guatemala native as the number one soccer player in the Carolinas.
"Choosing Queens was the best decision for my education, personal growth, and athletic career," Carias said. "I was looking for an amazing experience in an environment that would allow me to become the best version of myself."
Following graduation, his dream was to remain in the Queens Athletics family as a member of the coaching staff. When an assistant coach opportunity came in 2006, Carias didn't hesitate. After spending five years as an assistant, Carias was offered the head coaching position. He took the opportunity and hasn't looked back.
At the helm of the Royals program over the last 11 seasons at the Division II level, Carias held an 80-79-9 overall record. Queens won three regular season titles, a conference tournament title, and made three NCAA tournament Division II appearances under Carias.
"Every day I feel blessed to have my dream job, leading our men's soccer program and helping to guide our student-athletes to have a transformational and meaningful academic, athletic, and personal growth experience here at Queens," he said.
In the summer of 2022, Queens University of Charlotte announced a move to Division I as a member of the ASUN Conference. This meant that Carias would have had the unique opportunity to play at Queens as a Division II athlete, lead the program for 11 seasons at the Division II level, and now be an integral part of the program's future at the Division I level. Carias is confident that he is ready for it.
"I take a lot of pride to represent our school both as a head coach and as a Queens alum now," he said. "I am very excited to continue to see our athletics and university thrive as one of the best schools in the region and country."
The Royals inaugural Division I season kicked off on Aug. 26 at the UAB Soccer for a Cure Classic. However, history is quickly approaching as the Royals will take the field at home for the first time as a Division I program on Wednesday, Sept. 7 when they host in-state rival, Gardner Webb. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from the Queens Sports Complex.
Carias is hopeful that Royals fans and families will make the trip to Dickson Field to witness history. "We would love to have your support in our team's first official Division I home game," he said. "It will be a historic day for our program and we would like to share this day with all of our Queens and Charlotte community."
Fans and families looking to purchase tickets to the inaugural home opener, or any future Royals matches can access tickets by visiting the Queens Athletics website. The Royals are offering season passes as well as single-game tickets.