Wildcats Picked to Host Xavier on Thursday in NCAA Tournament First Round
Former UK Standouts Marco dos Santos, Barry Rice to Join Johan Cedergren's Staff
Camps throughout June and July
Camps throughout June and July
Former University of Virginia three-time NCAA Champion and United States Olympic Team veteran Erik Imler is in his second year as an assistant coach at UK.
In 2012 Imler transformed a backline which started at times two freshmen and two upperclassmen into a solid wall in front of the keeper. Under Imler's tutelage Kentucky reached the postseason for the first time since 2003. The backline was key for the Wildcats as the squad posted the fourth best goals against average in the Conference USA as well as posting the second-fewest goals allowed in the league.
The anchor of the backline, senior centerback Steven Perinovic started all 21 games in the Kentucky kit in 2012 and with Imler's guidance produced his finest year to date by being selected first-team All C-USA as well as earning C-USA All-Tournament team honors.
One of the more decorated players in Virginia school history, Imler won three national championships at Virginia (1989, 1991, 1992) as a star midfielder and defender. Soccer America honored Imler's playing career as a member of the Team of the Century and on the 1990's Team of the Decade. A two-time All-American at Virginia, Imler was a ParadeMagazine High School All-American during his prep career.
Imler is also a veteran of the United States Olympic (1991-92; Barcelona, Spain) and National Teams (1991-93), in addition to two years on the U.S. Youth National Team (1985-87). Imler notched a full international cap with the U.S.A. National Team in 1993. In the 1992 Olympic Games, Imler started all six games and scored a goal and added an assist vs. Poland, who won the Silver Medal.
Following his career at UVA, Imler embarked on a successful professional soccer career, playing a year with the United Soccer League (Delaware Wizards and Raleigh Flyers). He also played for the D.C. United and the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer from 1996-97, before playing in the A-League for the Charleston Battery and the Lehigh Valley Steam. Imler helped lead D.C. United to the MLS Championship in 1996. Imler was drafted in the third round (30th overall) in the 1996 MLS Inaugural Player Draft, playing in 19 games while helping lead D.C. United to the title.
After his standout playing career on the collegiate and professional level, Imler began an assistant coaching career with a season at his alma mater, coaching at Virginia in 1993. He then moved to The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. (1998-99), before taking the head coaching job with the Belmont Abbey women's soccer program in 2009-10.
During his season as the head coach of Belmont Abbey College, Imler led the team to a 17-3-3 record, before becoming an assistant coach with the U.S.A. men's national under-17 team.
Imler comes to Kentucky after a two-year stint as an assistant coach from the United States U17 Men's National Team. He was charged with training the reserve players when the first team was traveling domestically and internationally. He played a major role with younger group of residency players and assisted the head coach in younger group residency players in an international tournament in Montaigu, France. He was highly active in coordinating, planning and executing the training of the team, in addition to scheduling all local games and scrimmages for the first and second teams. He helped track the progress of all current cycle age group players for consideration in the next residency program cycle. He was highly active in scouting USYSA National Events, US Soccer National League events and US Soccer Developmental Academy events.
In addition to his role as an assistant coach with the U.S. U18 Men's National Team, Imler has served as technical advisor for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (Great Lakes Territory). In that role, he scouted all youth players in the Great Lakes territory (Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania, Northern Kentucky and Colorado).
In 2005, Imler founded the Boot Room Soccer School in Waxhaw, N.C., a soccer training resource that was focused on developing innovative training programs for all ages and skill levels. He worked directly in developing mentoring and coaching programs for all college bound student-athletes and was charged with managing all financial aspects of the business. In 2008, he was a presenter at the NSCAA Convention in Baltimore, Md.
A native of Bowie, Md., Imler earned his bachelor of science in education from the University of Virginia in 1993. Imler has his USSF "A" Coaching License in 2010 and is an accredited trainer in certified speed, agility and quickness by the National Endurance Sports Trainers Association.
Imler is married to the former Claudine Maas and the couple have a 13-year old daughter named Jordan and an eight-year old son, Evan.