Johan Cedergren Named UK Men's Soccer Head Coach
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After helping lead Dartmouth to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, Dartmouth associate head coach Johan Cedergren has been named the third head coach in the history of Kentucky men's soccer, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced on Thursday morning.
"Johan is one of the top assistant coaches in the nation and is going to be a dynamic head coach for our men's soccer program," Barnhart said. "He is a tireless worker, has great tactical knowledge of the game and has a proven track record of success. We are so excited to welcome Johan, his wife Julia and family to the University of Kentucky."
A native of Sölvesborg, Sweden, Cedergren comes to UK after spending five years with Dartmouth, leading the Big Green to the NCAA Tournament in each season, an impressive feat at an Ivy League program without athletic scholarships and significant academic requirements.
A former standout player at the University of Cincinnati, Cedergren has helped pace Dartmouth to the Sweet 16 in two of the last five years, including two Ivy League Championships.
"I am extremely grateful to Dr. Eli Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart and Kevin Saal for the opportunity to lead the men's soccer program," Cedergren said. "My family and I are delighted to be back in the Central Kentucky area. I have had five great seasons at Dartmouth and can't express enough of my appreciation to athletics director Harry Sheehy and my coach and mentor, Jeff Cook.
"I join a University and athletics department that are known for excellence. Our soccer program will compete at the highest level and make this community proud. Conference USA is a great league and has done well nationally sending four teams to the NCAA Tournament in both 2010 and 2011. We can't wait to get started and are looking forward to becoming a part of the UK family."
The 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year, Cedergren has helped lead the Big Green to a 52-30-12 overall record, including a 22-9-3 mark in Ivy League play, with NCAA Tournament appearances from 2007-11. Dartmouth is one of just 10 programs to play in five consecutive NCAA Tournaments, the eighth-longest streak in the nation, winning the Ivy League title in 2008 and 2011.
Highly committed to the student-athlete experience and success on the field and in the classroom, Cedergren's Dartmouth teams won the NSCAA Team Academic Award for five consecutive seasons. In 2009, Dartmouth's team 3.46 GPA was the highest in the nation, with Dartmouth boasting three Scholar-Athlete All-America honorees.
Cedergren's impact on Dartmouth can been seen directly in the individual achievements of its student-athletes, guiding two players to All-America accolades, two Hermann Trophy candidates, Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Year honorees and 28 All-Ivy League selections. In addition, Dartmouth players have earned an invite to the Major League Soccer Player Combine in four consecutive seasons, most recently Lucky Mkosana, the 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year.
Dartmouth head coach Jeff Cook - who coached Cedergren at Cincinnati - has been enrolled in the demanding UEFA Pro License coaching course throughout the 2011 year, requiring Cedergren to take on an enhanced role with the program, including coaching the team independently at times during spring games and preseason training sessions.
Highly active in recruiting the Dartmouth roster, Cedergren has found success coaching international talents, with the 2011 Dartmouth roster featuring six international players from five different countries. UK's 2011 roster featured 10 international players.
Cedergren played for Cook at Cincinnati, after playing at the highest youth level in Sweden for Kalmar FF, also participating in the national development program. At UC, Cedergren was a three-year letterwinner and an All-Conference USA honoree. A former team captain, Cedergren helped lead UC to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998 and a final-season top-20 ranking.
After concluding his playing career with a business-finance degree, Cedergren attained his master's in business administration from Xavier University, while also working full time in finance. Before beginning his coaching career, Cedergren spent eight years working in business, including time spent with U.S. Bank (2004-07) and the Johnson Investment Counsel (2001-04). While in Cincinnati, Cedergren coached with the Cincinnati Classics Soccer Club.
Cedergren has his Level I and Level II coaching diploma from the Swedish Football Federation and his NSCAA Premier Diploma, Advanced National and National certifications.
Cedergren, 36, is married to the former Julia Greenwald, a native of Cincinnati. The couple has two children, Gavin (six) and six-month old Abigail.
INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE
THE CEDERGREN FILE
Birth Date: May 31, 1975
College: Cincinnati (2001)
Post-Graduate Degree: Xavier (2005)
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT CEDERGREN:
"Johan has been a big part of one of the most successful periods in Dartmouth Men's Soccer history over the last five years and we will miss his contributions very much. We are always proud when one of our assistant coaches can move forward in his career, the opportunity to lead the men's soccer program at the University of Kentucky is a very exciting one for both Johan and his family. I am thrilled that he has earned this chance to begin his career as a head coach and have no doubt he will be hugely successful at UK. It's also important to recognize the professional manner in which the Kentucky Athletic Department conducted their coaching search. From my perspective this is a great match for an outstanding institution and a talented, up and coming coach.
"It is really exciting. We couldn't get happier for him and his family. I am just delighted for him moving forward in his career, but also because I feel like Kentucky is the type of institution that we would hope our assistants move into when they have jobs. It is a great position to leave Dartmouth for. Of course we are sad to see Johan go, this is the right opportunity for him and his career.
"Johan was a seriously competitive player and one of the best players I have ever coached in my over 20 years of being involved in college soccer. His passion for the game was very evident, even when he was playing. He was a bit older when I recruited him to the University of Cincinnati, so his final year in school, he was no longer eligible because of his age, so he took his senior year as a student-assistant coach. That was the first time that I saw his real interest in team organization, in putting real thought into building a team and the process, team management, all of those things that go along with coaching. That is when we knew he was going to be a really good coach."
"I have said this to a few people. I believe that his experience outside of the game, ironically, has really set him up well in terms of his professionalism, the fact that he has done his MBA, he has worked in the business world for a time. That helps him. I think he does a great job with preparation. That stands out to me. He is very current, up-to-date on sports science, conditioning and coaching. He is a passionate man. He wants to gain knowledge; he wants to see how he can be a better coach. For me that is one of the things that when you look across all sports and you see the top coaches, it is those that are always trying to get better. As a coach, once you start to think you have figured it all out, you are in trouble. He is so knowledgeable about the game. And our players really respect him and wanted to play for him. I feel that he was able to work with our student-athletes in the right way so that they knew that he could really help them become better players in college soccer."
"Johan is a great hire for Kentucky. He was huge for me and Dartmouth during his time there. He really helped us jump the program to the next level. I had the chance to work with him after the season to get ready for the MLS Combine last year and he was huge for me there. He was that one missing link that we had as far as bringing his ideas and coaching ability that kind of brought us from being a competitive team to being a team that expected to win on the national stage. He is an important person and a lifelong friend in my life and I am just so excited that he has gotten the opportunity to coach Kentucky."
"The Kentucky program is one that has been on the cusp of national prominence for quite a few years. They have teetered in and out of the top 25 and the expectation for every program at Kentucky is probably to be in the top 10. UK's hire in Johan is a guy who will very likely take you there. For the school, the program and the athletics department as a whole, there is a man in place now who will get things done for the program."
BREAKING DOWN CEDERGREN'S TIME WITH THE BIG GREEN:
QUICK NOTES ON CEDERGREN: