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PITTSBURGH (pittsburghpanthers.com) — Jay Vidovich, one of America’s most respected and accomplished soccer coaches, has been named the new head men’s soccer coach at the University of Pittsburgh by Athletic Director Scott Barnes.
Vidovich oversaw the men’s soccer program at Wake Forest for 21 seasons (1994-2014), building the Demon Deacons into a national power and winning the 2007 NCAA championship. He spent this past year in professional soccer, coaching the Portland Timbers 2 (T2) in the United Soccer League (USL).
“We were looking for an impact hire to change the culture and trajectory of the Pitt men’s soccer program,” Barnes said. “Jay is without question that individual. He is one of the most successful Power Five coaches in the country and has a proven ability to win and recruit at a national championship level. He is greatly respected by the soccer community. We could not be more excited about Jay putting in place his plan for academic and competitive success.”
“It is certainly an exciting time to be a Pitt Panther and I’m thrilled to be back in the ACC leading a men’s soccer program with a rich history and such tremendous potential,” said Vidovich. “ I would like to thank Scott Barnes and the search committee for providing me and my family with this opportunity and for welcoming us so warmly to this great city. From my very first phone conversation, I could sense the energy and enthusiasm behind the new leadership and vision at Pitt and I am honored to be a part of this impressive team of people. I also would like to thank the Portland Timbers and express my gratitude for the opportunity and my experience with the club.”
During his Wake Forest tenure, Vidovich compiled a 272-121-50 record and led the Demon Deacons to the NCAA Tournament in 13 of his final 14 seasons. Wake Forest won five Atlantic Coast Conference titles under his watch, compiling a 76-52-22 mark in one of the nation’s most challenging leagues.
In 2007, Wake Forest went 22-2-2—the winningest season in school history—and defeated Ohio State, 2-1, in the national final to claim the program’s first NCAA title. The Demon Deacons made four consecutive appearances in the College Cup from 2006-09.
Vidovich, a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Coach of the Year (2007 and 2008) and five-time ACC Coach of the Year (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009), ranks among the most decorated coaches in collegiate soccer.
Vidovich was the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Walt Chyzowych Award for lifetime contributions to the sport of soccer. Vidovich was an assistant under the legendary Chyzowych for eight seasons at Wake Forest from 1986-93.
Widely regarded as one of the game’s top evaluators and developers of talent, Vidovich has produced 21 All-Americans and five ACC Player of the Year honorees (three offensive and two defensive). He also coached Marcus Tracy, the first player in Wake history to win the Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy, which honors the top individual player in college soccer.
Thirty-five players under Vidovich went on to play in the professional ranks from 2002-14. His Wake Forest teams also achieved academically, evidenced by two ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honorees, two Academic All-Americans, one adidas National Scholar-Athlete of the Year and one Senior CLASS Award recipient.
Born in Detroit, Mich., Vidovich was an all-state player for New Canaan High School in Connecticut. He played for Indiana University in 1978 before transferring to Ohio Wesleyan, where he was a three-year starter. As a senior, Vidovich was team captain and helped lead OWU to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.
A 1982 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, he went on to earn a master’s degree in sports sciences from the University of Denver in 1983.
It was at Denver where Vidovich’s coaching career was launched as an assistant in 1982. He served in additional assistant posts at Regis College (1983) and his alma mater Ohio Wesleyan (1984-85) before joining Wake Forest’s staff in 1986.
Vidovich and his wife Julie have two daughters, Zoe and Tess.
VIDOVICH PERSONAL INFORMATION
Born: February 5, 1960
Hometown: Detroit, Mich.
Education: Ohio Wesleyan, 1982 (B.A. in physical education)
University of Denver, 1983 (M.A. in sports sciences)
Family: Vidovich and his wife Julie have two daughters, Zoe and Tess.
COLLEGIATE PLAYING EXPERIENCE
Indiana University (1978)
Ohio Wesleyan (1979-81)
COLLEGIATE HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE
WAKE FOREST (1994-2014)
Career Record: 272-121-50 (.670)
ACC Record: 76-52-22 (.580)
ACC Coach of the Year: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009
NSCAA National Coach of the Year: 2007 and 2008
Walt Chyzowych Award: 2008
NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year: 2002