Jon Coleman was named the men's soccer coach at Milwaukee on Dec. 27, 2005, becoming just the fifth head coach in school history. The 2009 season will mark his 17th-straight at UWM as a coach, assistant coach or player.
Three seasons into his coaching career, Coleman has fielded teams that have been competitive and strong defensively, yet have struggled to have much to show for it in the win-loss column. After a 4-10-5 record during the 2008 season, 22 of UWM's 31 losses over the past three years have been by just one goal. Following a 3-3-3 start through nine games last fall, the Panthers struggled to a 1-7-2 finish and were eliminated in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament against Wright State.
"This is a pivotal year and it is going to take hard work and discipline to make some national noise, but we have the schedule to do it," Coleman said. "We need to bring it every day and fight for everything. With the right mentality and never-give-up attitude, we can put UWM soccer back on top."
After a slow start in 2007, Milwaukee rebounded to go 5-2-1 in Horizon League play to earn the No. 2 seed in the league tournament.
The Panthers went 8-9-2 in his first season at the helm, with eight of the nine losses coming by one goal - including three to Top 25 teams (1-0 to #2 SMU, 2-1 to #6 Washington and 1-0 to #12 UIC). After hitting its stride at the end of the regular season with a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1), UWM had its season come to an end in a very unfamiliar spot. The Panthers were upset by Butler in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament, ending a streak of five-straight appearances in the league tournament championship.
Coleman is a former UWM player who served as an assistant coach for the program for nine seasons (1997-2005). While on the sidelines, Coleman helped direct the Panthers to unprecedented success, including five consecutive NCAA Tournament berths. Having been involved with the Panthers for so long, Coleman was very happy to continue his long-time relationship at UWM by taking the next step.
Coleman's career with the Panthers started on the field, as he was a four-year letterwinner from 1993-96. He played in 73 games as a midfielder, starting 63. In 1995, he was named an All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference team selection and also won the Coach's Award his senior year as a team captain. He posted an overall record of 56-22-6 (.702 winning percentage) on the playing field in his four seasons, spending three years under the direction of Brian Tompkins. His teams also went 25-7-3 in league play, winning a conference title in 1993.
He joined Louis Bennett's staff after finishing his playing career in 1996, serving as a volunteer assistant until being named a full-time assistant prior to the 2001 season. In Coleman's tenure as an assistant, the Panthers posted an overall record of 123-59-14 (.663) and enjoyed unprecedented success.
In 2005, they reached the NCAA Tournament for the fifth-consecutive season and became one of only seven schools to post victories in each of those previous four tournaments when they made it to the second round for the fourth-straight year. Additionally, the Panthers claimed five regular season conference titles and four Horizon League Tournament titles under his watch.
His recruiting efforts have not gone unnoticed, as UWM players have been regularly recognized by the Horizon League with postseason honors: three times they have been named Player of the Year to go along with 20 first team and 23 second team all-conference selections. In addition, 32 players have been selected for the conference all-tournament team. Panther players have been honored nationally, as well, as Tighe Dombrowski (2003), Antou Jallow (2002) and Chad Dombrowski (2002) have all earned various All-American honors.
Additionally, he holds a USSF `B' coaching license as well as an NSCAA Premier license. Coleman and his wife, Anne, were married in the summer of 2009 and live in Milwaukee.