The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) is rated as one of the best colleges in the U.S. Across various online rankings, UNC’s athletic programs are evaluated as a powerhouse in terms of athletic level and professional facilities. Yearly they compete for the National Championship across several sports. UNC is also a powerhouse in terms of professional education and post-graduate opportunities. Both athletically and academically, the University of North Carolina provides some of the best standards for student-athletes in the USA and opens up opportunities worldwide after graduation. As a professional athlete and in the world of work.
What makes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill so unique? Why is UNC ranked among the best colleges in the U.S.? Experience the difference yourself on our college road trip station nine. We interviewed Warubi Sports Global Scout, Tim Kübel, Director of Student-Athlete Development and Operations, and part of the UNC’s men’s soccer program at the time. Tim answers all of these questions and takes us on tour across campus.
A highly professional environment that leads to success
The athletic facilities at the University of North Carolina are amongst the best in all of the United States. They do not fall short compared to facilities of professional sports teams worldwide and across a long list of sports. Soccer, Basketball, American Football, Baseball, Golf, Swimming, Tennis, Rowing – professional teams in these sports are more often than not wishing for facilities like at UNC. In case you have watched any of the “All or Nothing” documentaries about professional sports teams by Amazon, they may as well have been filmed at UNC. Especially the series at Manchester City reminded us a lot of the soccer facilities at the University of North Carolina. Simply one of the best colleges in the U.S.
The North Carolina ‘Tar Heels’, the nickname of the sports teams at UNC, are one of the best colleges in the US for a wide range of sports. Carolina has won 46 NCAA Division I team national championships in seven different sports, eighth all-time, and 52 individual national championships. In addition to soccer star Mia Hamm, the university is most famous for Michael Jordan, a university graduate, and player of the men’s basketball team. Add to the list of notable alumni the professional athlete’s Charlie Justice from American football, Davis Love III from golf, B.J. Surhoff from Baseball, and Marion Jones from women’s basketball and track & field.
One of the Best Colleges in the U.S.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, that open-end on February 12, 1795. The flagship of the University of North Carolina system is considered a Public Ivy or a public institution that offers an academic experience similar to that of an Ivy League university. In 1952, North Carolina opened its own hospital, UNC Health Care, for research and treatment and has since specialized in cancer care through UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 51 national NCI-designated comprehensive centers.
The university offers degrees in over 70 courses of study for undergraduates, graduates, and doctoral programs. As of 2020, the university enrolls over 30,000 students, 3,500 faculty, and 8,000 administrative staff members. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” and is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). According to the National Science Foundation, UNC spent $1.14 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking 12th in the nation.
UNC’s faculty and alumni include 9 Nobel Prize laureates, 23 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 51 Rhodes Scholars. Additional notable alumni include a U.S. President, a U.S. Vice President, 38 Governors of U.S. States, 98 members of the United States Congress, nine Cabinet members, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, Olympians, and professional athletes. Needless to repeat that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the best colleges in the U.S.
One of the Best Soccer Colleges in the U.S.
The UNC women’s soccer program is considered the best college program in the USA. The team has won 23 of the 27 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and 21 of the 38 NCAA National Championships. Every year the team has participated in the NCAA Tournament and holds a mind-blowing all-time record of 496 wins over less than 100 losses and ties combined. Some notable alumni are some of the best women’s soccer players globally, like Mia Hamm, Tisha Lea Venturini, Sarina Wiegman, Heather O’Reilly, and the list goes on and on.
The men’s soccer team won their first NCAA National Championship in 2001 under head coach Elmar Bolowich. He was the program’s head coach from 1988 until 2011. As he resigned, the former assistant coach, and current head coach, Carlos Somoano, was hired. In his first year as head coach, Somoano won the 2011 national championship, a feat only accomplished by one other coach, Indiana’s Mike Freitag. The same year, he also won the ACC regular season and the ACC Tournament, winning every title possible for the year. Since the programs founding in 1947, Carolina has posted only two losing seasons. Making four consecutive College Cup appearances from 2008–2011, UNC has established itself as a powerhouse in modern-day college soccer in one of the most dominant conferences in the country. Some notable alumni of the men’s soccer program are Eddie Pope, Kirk Urso, Gregg Berhalter, and Ben Speas.
Tim Kübel - Beginnings of a fascinating soccer career
Tim Kübel has experienced soccer development at some of the best youth academies in the world – Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04. With that soccer education, he was able to play college soccer in the ACC with the University of Louisville, one of the most competitive conferences in the USA. Through his performances and mind focused on his professionalism in soccer, he was drafted by Toronto FC in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. Two years later, we interview Tim as the University of North Carolina’s Director of Student-Athlete Development and Operations and part of the UNC’s men’s soccer program as a graduate assistant.
Do you wonder how he was able to achieve this career? We most certainly did! Let us show you some more details in his path that help understand the required character.
As Tim started playing soccer for his hometown youth teams, he quickly evolved into a leader on any team, being named team captain and leading with hard work, determination, and talent. The scouts of the Borussia Dortmund academy quickly noticed his talent and invited him to join their academy in January 2010. Tim played at Dortmund for four years, served as the captain of the U19 team, and won the U19 and U23 championships with Dortmund in 2013. He initially played striker but switched to right-back after the Borussia Dortmund first-team coach, Jürgen Klopp, saw him play and was convinced he was better suited to being a right-sided defender. After spending four years with the Borussia Dortmund Youth Academy, he was only one of two players that made the Borussia Dortmund II reserve squad that competed in the 3. Liga (3rd highest professional division in Germany).
Playing at the Best Colleges in the U.S.
In 2013, he decided to join FC Schalke 04 II while training regularly with the first team. After one season with Schalke’s second team, Tim accepted an athletic scholarship offer from the University of Louisville men’s soccer team in 2014. A Wikipedia article summarizes his college career flawlessly:
Tim led the team in scoring his freshman year with seven goals, en route to being named ACC Freshman of the Year and making the All-ACC second team. He was named to the All-ACC first team as a sophomore, served as team captain for three years, and won several honors for his performance. Tim had a program record of 26 assists in 82 games with Louisville while scoring 21 goals. Despite interest from several Major League Soccer teams during his tenure, he chose to play all four of his eligible years with Louisville rather than to leave early to turn professional, declining two Generation Adidas offers in the process. Head coach Ken Lolla referred to Kübel as “one of most talented players, if not the most talented we’ve had.”
After his astonishing college career, Tim Kübel was drafted as the 28th pick by Toronto FC in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. He attended Toronto’s training camp in 2018, attempting to earn an MLS contract. In March 2018, he signed with their second team, Toronto FC II of the second-tier United Soccer League. Tim scored his first professional goal against New York Red Bulls II in a 3-3 draw on 13 September. He played for a year with Toronto FC II, but his contract was not renewed, upon his request, as he wished to return to Germany to pursue coaching.
Coaching at the Best Colleges and Clubs
In 2019, he returned to his boyhood club, VfL Nagold, where he coached the U19 side while completing his UEFA B-License in coaching. In the fall of 2019, he returned to the United States to complete his master’s degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He joined the men’s soccer program as the Director of Student-Athlete Development and Operations.
Fast forward to 2021, Tim Kübel is currently a Ph.D. student at Loughborough University London, researching the holistic development of youth athletes in collaboration with Chelsea F.C.
Soccer experiences in the U.S. and Germany enable Marvin to professionally consult athletes from all over the world. He wants to help athletes find great opportunities and be their absolute best in sports, school and life in general.