Cedergren named UK men's soccer 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.

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