Jared Embick, who had previously served as the Zips’ associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, officially became the seventh head coach in the history of The University of Akron men’s soccer program in December of 2012. Akron’s 94 victories since Embick took the helm of the Zips’ program in 2013 lead all men’s soccer programs in Division I.
During Embick’s time at Akron, the Zips have posted the highest winning percentage in the nation with an overall record of 204-43-29 (.792), including a 56-6-4 (.879) mark in Mid-American Conference play, while securing 11 conference tournament titles, 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament and three appearances in the College Cup final. The Zips became one of just four Division I programs in 2018 to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past 12 seasons.
During his six years as head coach at Akron, the Zips have earned eight All-America citations, 19 all-region awards, 47 All-MAC selections, three academic All-America award winners, a pair of MAC Player and Newcomer of the Year awards, 42 academic All-MAC recipients and 18 MAC Distinguished Scholars. Due in large part to recruiting efforts of Embick and his staff, Akron identified and secured some of the best prospects in the country – and around the world – with top-five recruiting classes.
The Zips’ classes of 2015, 2012 and 2009 were ranked No. 1 in the country, while the classes of 2016, 2011 and 2010 each received a No. 2 designation. Akron’s 2018 class was tabbed No. 9 nationally. More importantly, Akron’s recruits have flourished in the Zips’ system, which features a style of play that is attractive and attack-oriented, yet effective on both sides of the ball. In total, Embick recruited or helped develop 37 players who have gone on to play professionally either in MLS or overseas since 2007.
Since 2008, Akron leads the country with eight players selected among the top-five selections in the MLS SuperDraft. The Zips also boast the highest total of players chosen among the top-10 draftees over the same span with 12. Akron went on to post its 18th consecutive double-digit victory campaign in 2018 and concluded the year with a 15-7-2 ledger after advancing to the title match of the College Cup for the fourth time in program history.
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Michael Nanchoff is entering his first season as a coach with Akron. Nanchoff starred for the Zips as a player from 2007-10, helping elevate the Akron men's soccer program to new heights, including capturing the school's first-ever national title in 2010. The Zips posted a remarkable 77-8-9 (.867) record during his four seasons at Akron, including advancing to the NCAA title match in 2009 and 2010, while winning the Mid-American Conference regular and postseason titles in each of his four campaigns.
Nanchoff was tabbed as the No. 8 overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the Vancouver Whitecaps where he starred for two seasons (2011-12) before playing three campaigns (2013-15) with the Portland Timbers.
While in Portland, he helped the Timbers capture the 2015 MLS Cup under the leadership of his collegiate coach Caleb Porter. Nanchoff capped his playing career starring the last three seasons (2016-18) for the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League.
A two-time First-Team All-MAC performer, Nanchoff played in 62 games for the Zips, including 38 starts, and registered 16 career goals and 22 assists on the strength of recording 116 shots. He crafted a dynamic senior campaign in 2010 notching 10 goals and adding nine assists en route to be tabbed an All-College Cup selection.
A native of Cleveland, Nanchoff earned a bachelor's degree in sport sciences from Akron in 2011 and maintains a National "B" Coaching License.
Ger Coppinger is in his fourth season on the Zips’ staff after spending the four seasons on the Missouri State coaching staff where he was tasked with the training of the Bears’ goalkeepers, while also assisting on the recruiting front.
Coppinger handles the training of goalkeepers, assists with scouting and recruiting at Akron.
During Coppinger’s time at Akron, the Zips have posted the an overall record of 49-13-8 (.757), including a 11-2-2 (.800) mark in Mid-American Conference play, while securing three conference tournament titles, three trips to the NCAA Tournament and two appearances in the College Cup.
Eight Akron players have been selected in the MLS SuperDraft during Coppinger’s tenure, including three players chosen in the first round. That list includes; Joao Moutinho (No. 1 - 2018), Jonathan Lewis (No. 3 - 2017) and Richie Laryea (No. 7 - 2016).
As a player, Coppinger was a goalkeeper on the varsity squad at Missouri Baptist for four seasons, including his freshman campaign under Embick.
A native of Ireland, Coppinger earned a B.S. in physical education from Missouri Baptist in May 2011 and has a teaching license. He also holds a Goalkeeper I & II diploma and National “D” Coaching License from NSCAA.
NIAI & NJCAA