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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.
Despite the loss of 14 players to the professional ranks – including nine underclassmen – over the previous three seasons, Embick enjoyed an impressive inaugural campaign as the Zips head coach in 2013. With an opening day lineup that featured five first-year starters, Embick guided UA to a sweep of Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament titles, a No. 7 national ranking in the NSCAA's final regular season poll, and an overall record of 17-4-1 (.795), which represented the seventh-highest winning percentage in the country.
Moreover, Akron took a 10-match unbeaten streak (9-0-1) into the NCAA Tournament and defeated defending national champion Indiana, 3-2, in the first round of play at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. Further establishing its standing as an elite program, the Zips became one of just eight Division I programs to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past seven seasons.
This past summer, Embick had the unique opportunity to watch one of his former recruits, DeAndre Yedlin become the first player in the history of the Akron Soccer program to respresent the U.S. Men's National Team at the FIFA World Cup in Brazli. Yedlin was a two-year star for the Zips from 2011-12 before signing a Homegrown Contract with the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer following his sophomore season.
Embick, who was the 2010 National Assistant Coach of the Year,
has been a key component of the Zips' dominant run in college
soccer – culminating with the school's first team national
championship in any sport in 2010 – since joining the staff
The Zips' historic 2010 campaign capped off one of the most impressive two-year runs the college soccer world has ever seen. During that time, the Zips, who lost just once during the regular run of play over 50 matches, posted an overall mark of 45-2-3 while becoming the first school to advance to national championship games in back-to-back seasons since Indiana accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004.
Leaving little doubt of its strength of schedule, Akron achieved this success while playing the most difficult competition in college soccer with the No. 1-ranked RPI in the final regular-season release in 2009 and the No.1-ranked non-conference RPI in 2010.
Fueled by one of the greatest defensive seasons in college soccer history, the Zips matched an NCAA record by winning 23 consecutive matches on their rampage to the College Cup and national runner-up finish in 2009. UA didn't allow a single goal during the NCAA Tournament that year and finished with 19 shutouts – representing the second-highest total all-time. Furthermore, it's goals-against average (0.27) and shutout percentage (.760) were ranked third all-time.
The Zips then matched another NCAA milestone in 2010 by
registering their 11th consecutive shutout in a 4-0 rout at home
over No. 2 Tulsa before a sold out crowd and nationally televised
audience. The win also represented the 29th game of UA's 48-match
home-unbeaten streak, which shattered an NCAA record the following
Records continued to fall in 2012 when Akron ran the table against the MAC with a 7-0 mark during the regular season before capturing its fifth league tournament title in six seasons. In doing so, UA pushed its conference unbeaten streak to 47 matches (44-0-3) to set another NCAA standard. In fact, one would have to go all the way back to the 2006 season to find the Zips' last loss to a MAC foe.
Due in large part to Embick's recruiting efforts, Akron identified and secured some of the best prospects in the country – and around the world – with top-five recruiting classes in each of the past five seasons. The Zips' classes of 2012 and 2009 were ranked No. 1 in the country, while the classes of 2011 and 2010 each received a No. 2 designation.
More importantly, UA'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 20 players who have gone on to play professionally either in MLS or overseas since 2007.
The success of this formula was no more evident than at the 2011 MLS SuperDraft where seven Zips had their names called, including five with the first eight selections overall, to set a pair of MLS records.
During Embick's time at Akron, the Zips have posted the highest winning percentage in the nation with an overall record of 110-13-16 (.849), including a 35-0-1 (.986) mark in Mid-American Conference play, while securing five conference tournament titles, six trips to the NCAA Tournament and two appearances in an NCAA final.
Embick has also served as a staff coach with the Under-16 and Under-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy's Cleveland Internationals club team for the past three years.
Prior to joining the Zips, Embick spent four seasons (2003-06) as the head men's soccer coach at Missouri Baptist University where he led the Spartans to a record of 47-21-8 and the program's first NAIA regional tournament berth in 2003. In all, Embick spent six seasons at MBU, including two seasons as a graduate assistant (2000-01) and one season as an assistant coach (2002).
During his time at Missouri Baptist, Embick also served as
assistant coach for River Cities FC of the Women's Premier Soccer
League (WPSL) whom he helped lead to a 13-2-1 record in its
inaugural season and an appearance in the WPSL national final.
A 2000 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan, Embick, 34, was named an All-American by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) in 1998 and 1999 as a player. He was also an NAIA honorable mention All-America honoree in 1999 and was twice named to the All-Mid-Central Conference squad.