Jeff Chaney has played an integral role for the University of Kentucky men's and women's soccer teams for the past 17 seasons, 15 of which he's been a men's assistant coach.
Chaney was an assistant for the women's program in its first two seasons (1992 and 1993) before being named men's assistant in 1994. He has played a vital role in the Wildcat's success, including the 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004 Mid- American Conference regular-season titles, the 1999, 2000 and 2001 MAC Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament bids in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003.
Chaney handles a majority of the administrative duties for the program in addition to his training responsibilities. He is responsible for oversight of the players' academic development. It is the latter area that gives Chaney particular pride in the program, as the Wildcats have shown the same kind of success in the classroom as on the field.
On the field, Chaney has worked as goalkeeping coach since 2001, coaching some of the top keepers in program annals. Since 2001, five UK keepers have earned all-conference accolades, including returning starter Dan Williams, who was tabbed All-Conference in 2006 and 2008. Chaney has had a direct impact on some of the top keepers in UK history, including Williams, Andy Gruenebaum, Greg Raber and Brian O'Leary. The four keepers have rewritten the UK record books and Gruenebaum is coming off a 2008 Major League Soccer Championship, tending goal for the Columbus Crew. Raber finished his career as UK's record holder with a 0.85 career goals-against average, while O'Leary posted a school-record 22 shutouts. O'Leary went on to play professionally in Finland.
Over the past few years, the Wildcats have had 15 selections to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll, three Verizon Academic All-Americans, two NSCAA Scholar-Athlete All-Americans, 106 Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll Selections and three Arthur Ashe Scholar Athletes. During the spring of 2008, the team as a whole earned the Team Academic CATSPY for the third straight year as UK's highest achieving athletic team.
The Wildcats have also earned four NSCAA Team Academic Awards since 2000 and combined for a team grade-point average of 3.30 in the 2005-06 academic year.
Perhaps the best indicator of the Kentucky soccer program's dual commitment to academics and on-the-field excellence can be found in the finalists for the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Every year, the SEC selects two Student-Athletes of the Year. A male and female nominee, considered the top student-athletes from their university, represents each SEC school. The University of Kentucky's male nominee has often been a member of the men's soccer program: Jason Bell in 2000, Giovani Fernandes in 2001, Ilkka Jantti in 2002, Chris Austin in 2004 and Nathan Li in 2007.
A native of Georgetown, Ky., Chaney graduated from Scott County High School, where he earned All-State and All-Conference honors and was a co-founder of the soccer program. In 1984, Chaney received the prestigious American High School Athlete Award.
Chaney continued his soccer career at Georgetown (Ky.) College where he was named to the NAIA All-District team in 1985 and was team captain for three seasons. He was also awarded the Outstanding Senior Award in Political Science in 1991.
Since 1986, Chaney has spent his summers as staff coach at numerous soccer camps across the country as well as in Germany.
Chaney served as an assistant boys coach at Lexington Catholic High School (Lexington, Ky.) from 1989-1991, helping the Knights reach the state semifinals in 1989. He has also worked with the Kentucky Olympic Development Program where he was a state coach from 1992-1997 and the girl's state coach in 1995 and 1996.
Since 1987, Chaney has been working with the many local clubs in Lexington. His club teams have reached the State Cup final nine times, coming away with five championships.
Chaney has received the NSCAA National Diploma and his USSF "B" coaching license.
Chaney resides in Lexington, Ky., and has one daughter, Caroline (8).