New Panther Soccer Coach Kelderman Arrives To Rave Reviews
June 7, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Kris Kelderman comes to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as its new men's soccer coach boasting a strong playing and coaching pedigree along with plenty of rave reviews.
Kelderman was named the seventh coach in program history last week and now embarks on returning the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005.
The Neenah native is no stranger to success as both a player and coach. He won a pair of Major League Soccer titles as a player at DC United after winning a collegiate national championship at the University of Virginia.
At Virginia and at DC United, Kelderman played for Bruce Arena, easily one of the most accomplished coaches in American soccer. There are few in the country that could provide a more powerful endorsement than Arena, who is currently the head coach and general manager for the LA Galaxy.
"Kris is an up and coming coach in college soccer," Arena said. "He has all of the attributes necessary to be a success - integrity, a great work ethic and an outstanding understanding of the game."
Arena's assistant coach with the LA Galaxy is Curt Onalfo, who was the head coach in both Kansas City and DC when Kelderman was an assistant coach.
"Kris has been a champion at every level as a player and as a coach," Onalfo said. "He is a great coach who will bring a new era of success to the Milwaukee program."
Keldmerman's first college coaching experience came as an assistant at George Mason, where he helped the Patriots to an NCAA Tournament berth and a Top-25 national ranking. Greg Andrulis, the head coach at Mason and a former MLS Coach of the Year at Columbus, has no doubt Kelderman will be successful in Milwaukee.
"Coach Kelderman is a passionate, knowledgeable and remarkable coach," Andrulis said. "His world class experience, his ability to motivate young men and his championship pedigree are all remarkable traits. The young men at UWM will all benefit from playing for such an accomplished soccer coach."
Within the Wisconsin soccer community, the Kelderman name is well-known. Kris' dad, Harry, was the long-time coach at Neenah High School. In fact, Neenah was the Wisconsin state champions with Kris on the field and Harry on the sidelines.
"I had the privilege of growing up with Kris and playing for his father," Scott Surprise, President of the Wisconsin State Soccer Coaches Association, said. "He is a first-class individual and has been a winner and professional everywhere he has been as a player and coach."
Kelderman's Wisconsin roots include strong ties in the soccer-rich Milwaukee-area. Tom Zaiss, Director of Soccer for the Milwaukee Bavarians Soccer Club, is excited Kelderman is at UWM.
"This is a great hire," Zaiss said. "He has a tremendous pedigree as a player and he has been a successful coach. He played in the state and really knows the state, and has always had strong ties to Milwaukee. I have no doubt he'll get the alumni involved and play an attractive style of soccer."
Along with all of the kudos directed toward Kelderman for his abilities as a player and his success as a coach, observers are also quick to focus in on the new head coach as a person. And all say Kelderman will represent UWM in the best way possible.
"As a person, he is first class in every way," Andrulis said. "He has a great family and wonderful way about him. His confident demeanor and humble attitude are a true testament to strong beliefs and a great set of values."
"Kris is a class act," Zaiss said. "UWM couldn't have done any better."