The 2008 campaign marks the 17th women's soccer season at the University of Kentucky, and head coach Warren Lipka has been at the helm of the program every year since its inception in 1992. One of the pioneers responsible for the dawn of women's soccer as a varsity sport at UK, Lipka has ascended the program from club team status to its current level of national prominence.
Leading the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and the SEC Championship in 1995, he was awarded the 1995 SEC Coach of the Year, an honor he would repeat in 1999 and again in 2006. Lipka was also named the 1999 Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year as he led the Cats to a 16-3-2 record, the best record in school history. Now in his 17th season, Lipka has guided the Cats to the NCAA tournament seven times, including the most recent trip to the "Big Dance" in 2006.
Lipka, who holds a USSF "A" license, (the highest license in the federation) and the National Soccer Coaches Association premiere badge, started his college-coaching career as an assistant coach for the UK men's soccer team in 1991. He became the first coach of the UK women's soccer team when the program started in the fall of 1992 and currently holds a 177-127-28 overall record.
Lipka's first band of Cats finished 8-10-1 but the program has steadily improved. In 1995, the Cats posted a 17-7 record en route to the SEC Championship. UK reeled off 15 consecutive victories during the 1999 season as the Wildcats marched to a 16-3-2 record, the best overall record in school history.
While Lipka's teams have gained much success, so have his players. In his 16 years at the helm of the Wildcats, Lipka has coached 15 All-Great Lakes Region players (total of 30 selections), 20 All-SEC players (33 selections), 83 SEC Academic Honor Roll members (170 times), three Soccer Buzz All-Americans (Anne Ogundele, 2006; Allison Peppers, 1999; Keri Boyce, 1999) two NSCAA All-America selections (Anne Ogundele, 2006; Allison Peppers, 1999) and an SEC Women's Soccer Player of the Year (Kerri Landrum, 1995). Last season, the Wildcats landed an SEC?best 18 student-athletes on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Lipka arrived in Lexington straight from the professional ranks. From 1989 to 1991, Lipka served as general manager and head coach of the Indiana Kick of the National Professional Soccer League. Before being a professional administrator, Lipka played professionally for the Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Flames of the American Indoor Soccer Association (1986-89). With the Flames, Lipka earned Most Valuable Player honors in 1987 and 1988. Lipka finished his playing career in 1991 with the Detroit Rockers in the NPSL, where he was an All-Star selection.
While playing professionally, Lipka helped coach the Bishop Dwenger High School soccer team in Ft. Wayne (1987-90) and was the head coach of the women's soccer team at Tri-State University (1989).
Making a name for himself in his native St. Louis, Mo., as a high school Parade All-American, Lipka made his mark in college as an All-America goalkeeper at the University of South Carolina. He earned Soccer America All-America honors in 1985 along with winning the adidas College Goalkeeper of the Year Award.
In 1986, he played in the United States Olympic Festival, and was part of the 1987 U.S. National Team Pool. At USC, Lipka received a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management.
In the summer of 2003, Lipka took his coaching talents to the international level, serving as the goalkeeper coach for the U.S. Under-19 and Under-21 National Women's Soccer Teams. Under Lipka's tutelage, the Under-21 team allowed only two goals in four matches, leading Team USA to its fifth Nordic Cup Championship in as many years.
Furthermore, Lipka has been involved with developing Kentucky youth soccer. He has been a member of the coaching staff for the Region II Olympic Development Program and has also been director of coaching for the Kentucky Kickers Soccer Club, an advance staff coach for Joe Machnik's Number One Goalkeeping Camp. In addition, Lipka serves as the Camp Director for UK's Winter, Spring Break and Summer Camps.
Lipka, 43, has two sons: Warren Christopher (23) and Joshua Michael (19).
Year Record Postseason 1992 8-10-1 1993 13-7-0 First Round of SEC Tournament 1994 10-9-0 First Round of SEC Tournament 1995 17-7-0 (SEC Champions) SEC Tournament Champions First Round of NCAA Tournament 1996 13-6-2 First Round of SEC Tournament First Round of NCAA Tournament 1997 9-12-1 Semifinals of SEC Tournament 1998 9-9-3 Semifinals of SEC Tournament First Round of NCAA Tournament 1999 16-3-2 First Round of SEC Tournament Second Round of NCAA Tournament 2000 15-6-0 Semifinals of SEC Tournament 2001 12-8-1 Semifinals of SEC Tournament First Round of NCAA Tournament 2002 11-9-0 First Round of NCAA Tournament 2003 6-9-4 First Round of SEC Tournament 2004 6-12-1 First Round of SEC Tournament 2005 8-6-7 Semifinals of SEC Tournament 2006 14-7-3 SEC Tournament Champions First Round of NCAA Tournament 2007 10-7-3 First Round of SEC Tournament
One SEC Championship: 1995
Lipka's Milestone Victories
1 Sept. 5, 1992 Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 5-2 OT, in Lexington, Ky. 25 Sept. 24, 1994 Virginia, 2-1, in Charlottesville, Va. 50 Sept. 9, 1996 Dayton, 5-1, in Lexington, Ky. 75 Oct. 13, 1998 Evansville, 2-0, in Evansville, Ind. 100 Sept. 10, 2000 Ohio, 4-0, in Athens, Ohio 150 Sept. 25, 2005 Arkansas, 2-1, in Lexington, Ky.
Lipka's SEC Milestone Victories
1 Sept. 18, 1993, Auburn, 2-0, in Lexington, Ky. 25 Oct. 23, 1998, LSU, 1-0, in Baton Rouge, La. 50 Oct. 3, 2003, LSU, 2-0, in Lexington, Ky.
Won SEC Tournament Championship:
Lipka by the Numbers