AKRON, Ohio – Jared Embick, the current associate head coach and recruiting coordinator of The University of Akron men's soccer program, will become the school's seventh head men's soccer coach at the end of the season, President Dr. Luis M. Proenza and Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill announced Wednesday.
Embick, the 2010 National Assistant Coach of the Year, will replace current coach Caleb Porter, who announced last August his intention to become the head coach of Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers, on December 15, 2012. Embick has agreed in principle to a three-year contract, pending approval by the University's Board of Trustees.
"Our soccer program has achieved national prominence and continues to generate positive and exciting momentum," Proenza said. "Jared Embick has been an integral part of our growth and stellar performance. His appointment as head coach was only natural and means that the team won't miss a beat in its continued excellence."
Since joining the staff in 2007, Embick has been a key component of the Zips' dominant run in college soccer, culminating with the school's first team national championship in any sport in 2010.
Under Embick's direction, Akron has secured some of the best prospects in the country – and around the world – with top-five recruiting classes in each of the past five seasons, highlighted by the No. 1 class in 2009 and No. 2 classes in 2010 and 2011.
More importantly, UA's recruits have flourished in the Zips' system, which features a style of play that is attractive and attack-oriented, yet effective on both sides of the ball. In total, Embick recruited or helped develop 14 players who have gone on to play professionally either in MLS or overseas since 2007.
The success of this formula was no more evident than at the 2011 MLS SuperDraft where seven Zips had their names called, including five with the first eight selections overall, to set a pair of MLS records.
"We have been well aware of Jared's qualities as a coach and after searching the country, we determined that he is the best fit for our program moving forward," Wistrcill said. "As our program's associate head coach, he has been a fundamental part of our success and a reason why we have been able to attract some of the best soccer players in the world. Furthermore, he is a firm believer in the style of play that has not only made The University of Akron unique around the country, but also one that has proven to win championships."
During Embick's time at Akron, the Zips have posted the highest winning percentage in the nation with an overall record of 111-14-17 (.842), including a 36-0-1 (.986) mark in Mid-American Conference play, while securing four conference tournament titles, five trips to the NCAA Tournament and two appearances in an NCAA final.
"First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Proenza, Tom Wistrcill, (Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator) Mary Lu Gribschaw and the administration for giving me this tremendous opportunity," Embick said. "I am honored to be the next head coach of The University of Akron men's soccer program and look forward to continuing the tradition and success of Akron Soccer.
"For the last six years, I have been fortunate to work with and learn from Caleb Porter, one of the best coaches in the history of college soccer. I will continue to use those experiences to keep Akron at the pinnacle of college soccer. That being said, right now I am only focused on this season and helping the team reach our goal of winning a second national championship."
Embick has also served as a staff coach with the Under-16 and Under-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy's Cleveland Internationals club team for the past three years.
Prior to joining the Zips, Embick spent four seasons (2003-06) as the head men's soccer coach at Missouri Baptist University where he led the Spartans to a record of 47-21-8 and the program's first NAIA regional tournament berth in 2003. In all, Embick spent six seasons at MBU, including two seasons as a graduate assistant (2000-01) and one season as an assistant coach (2002).
During his time at Missouri Baptist, Embick also served as assistant coach for River Cities FC of the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) whom he helped lead to a 13-2-1 record in its inaugural season and an appearance in the WPSL national final.
"Jared has been an invaluable member of my staff since I hired him as my right-hand man six years ago," Porter said. "Clearly, during this time he has played a major role in shaping the Akron Soccer program into what it is today – the nation's premier program in college soccer. What makes Akron soccer unique is the philosophy that we both share and I'm pleased to know that this brand will continue under Jared's guidance.
"Ultimately, this philosophy is the reason why, for the past seven years, the program has won so many games, developed numerous professional players, secured the nation's top recruits, increased fan attendance and competed for national championships year in and year out. The future of the Akron Soccer Program is in good hands with Jared at the helm and I couldn't be happier with this decision."
A 2000 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan, Embick, 34, was named an All-American by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) in 1998 and 1999 as a player. He was also an NAIA honorable mention All-America honoree in 1999 and was twice named to the All-Mid-Central Conference squad.