John Michael Hayden, a Louisville native who has served as an assistant coach with the Cardinals for four seasons, including each of the last three, was named head coach of the University of Louisville men's soccer program by UofL Vice-President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra on Dec. 27, 2018. The agreement with Hayden was a four-year deal, which runs through Dec. 31, 2022.
"Following a diligent search process, we are extremely pleased to name John Michael as our next head coach. There was an amazing amount of support for John Michael from all levels of the soccer world, including many connected with our program at Louisville," Tyra said. "He's a talented coach and relentless recruiter who enjoys teaching an attacking style that will foster ongoing success."
Hayden became the fifth head coach in the history of the UofL men's soccer program, which completed its 40th season in 2018. During his four seasons as an assistant coach with the Cardinals (2012, 2016-18), the program accumulated a 52-19-11 record overall with four NCAA Championship berths, three Elite Eight appearances and two conference championships.
"I am very excited to be the next head men's soccer coach for the University of Louisville. I want to thank both Vince Tyra and Matt Banker for their belief in me. I firmly believe in Vince's vision for this athletic program and know that I have the ability and passion to take the University of Louisville's Soccer Program to even greater heights," Hayden said. "Through my soccer career, I have spent time in a number of championship environments as both a player and coach, which gives me a blueprint for what it takes to win. My hope is to build on the success Ken Lolla achieved here at Louisville and to raise the program to an even higher standard of excellence. Ken laid a great foundation and I'd be remiss to not thank him for all he has done for me. He is an unbelievable coach, mentor, and most importantly, a good friend. I wish Ken all the best in his future endeavors.
"We have a tremendous group of returning players and incoming recruits, so I'm ready to hit the ground running. Louisville is home for me and my family and there is no other place in the country I'd rather be than at the University of Louisville."
Louisville registered its first ACC Championship title in 2018 before ending the season with an 11-5-3 record overall. The Cardinals, which defeated Notre Dame, Wake Forest and North Carolina in a span of eight days to win the ACC championship, closed the season ranked 16th in the final United Soccer Coaches Top 25. Forward Tate Schmitt closed his brilliant collegiate career as a TopDrawerSoccer.com Best XI Second Team selection and was among three All-ACC honorees for UofL.
The Cardinals reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship for the fifth time in eight seasons in 2017, including the second straight year, and earned a No. 7 ranking in the final United Soccer Coaches Top 25. The Cardinals finished with a 13-2-5 record and were second in the ACC Atlantic with a 5-2-1 league record. Defender Tim Kubel was a United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American, a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist and was among three All-ACC selections for Louisville that season.
During Hayden's first season back with the Cardinals in 2016, the team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in school history and was ranked No. 6 in the final coaches poll. Louisville had a 14-6-2 record overall and finished second in the ACC Atlantic Division with a 5-2-1 conference mark. The 14 wins were the third most in school history equaling the totals from 2011 and 2012.
Prior to returning to Louisville, Hayden served as associate head coach at Xavier University in 2015 helping the Musketeers compile 12 wins and earn a No. 10 ranking in the NSCAA poll. XU won at No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 1 Creighton during the fall, widely considered to be the first time any team had knocked off the top two NSCAA-ranked teams on the road in the same season.
Hayden joined the Musketeers after spending two successful seasons as an assistant coach at Lipscomb University, where he helped the Bisons to a program-best 12-4-1 record and A-Sun regular season title in 2014. Lipscomb was 21-13-4 overall during his two years in Nashville, racking up several conference honors in the process. Hayden trained the 2014 A-Sun Defender of the Year, Luke Gearin, and the A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Ivan Alvarado. In 2013, he mentored A-Sun Player of the Year Omar Djabi and assisted A-Sun Coach of the Year Charles Morrow – both program firsts for the Bisons.
Ahead of his two years at Lipscomb, Hayden helped lift Louisville to a 14-6-1 record, a BIG EAST Red Division regular season championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament during a highly successful 2012 season. Before his first stint with the Cardinals, Hayden served as Director of Coaching with the Kentucky Fire Juniors USYSA club, obtaining his USSF National "A" coaching license and traveling to Spain with U.S. Soccer as part of a development workshop with the international powerhouses FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Hayden was a decorated player before transitioning into coaching, playing collegiately at Indiana University winning back-to-back NCAA championships with the Hoosiers in 2003 and 2004. He scored an overtime header against No. 3 Maryland in the 2004 College Cup, sending IU to the title match. During his sophomore season, Hayden scored career-highs with seven goals, four assists and 18 total points -- tying for the team lead with six game-winning goals. Hayden was a Big Ten All-Conference selection in 2004 and 2006 and was named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team during the Hoosiers' 2004 title run.
In 2007, Hayden was selected 13th overall in the MLS SuperDraft by the Houston Dynamo. His pro debut came on July 10, 2007 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against Charleston Battery. In his rookie season, the Dynamo won an MLS Cup Championship. He wrapped up his professional career after signing with the Louisville Lightning in January of 2010.
A two-time Parade Magazine All-American at Louisville's Trinity High School, Hayden was named NSCAA/adidas Kentucky Player of the Year along with Gatorade and Eurosport honors. When he signed with IU, he was recognized as a top-25 recruit by Soccer America.
In 2007, Hayden married Hollie Minogue, who played soccer for Louisville's women's team and the couple has two sons, Liam and Jacob.
JOHN MICHAEL HAYDEN AT A GLANCE
2019: Louisville Head Coach
2016-18: Louisville Assistant Coach
2015: Xavier Associate Head Coach
2013-14: Lipscomb Assistant Coach
2012: Louisville Assistant Coach
Born: April 27, 1984
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
High School: Trinity High School
College: Indiana University
Wife: Hollie (Minogue)
Sons: Liam, Jacob
What Others Are Saying about JMH
"I am so happy for John Michael. He truly deserves this opportunity and I know he will do an excellent job. I look forward to continuing to grow the Louisville soccer community with John Michael."
– John Hackworth, Louisville City FC Head Coach
"John Michael has been instrumental in the success of the program over the past three seasons. He is prepared to lead the University of Louisville men's soccer program to greater success. Most importantly, he is a person of high integrity and strong character. This will be a basis for future growth of the program. His ties to the community will further connect UofL fans with the program. It will be exciting to watch the development of the program under John Michael."
– Ken Lolla, Former UofL Men's Soccer Head Coach
"John Michael has a tremendous work ethic. He's ready for this opportunity at Louisville."
– Todd Yeagley, Indiana Men's Soccer Head Coach
"John Michael is a rock star. He's strong mentally and a top echelon coach."
– Jerry Yeagley, Former Indiana Men's Soccer Head Coach
Bryan Green joined the Cardinals as the associate head coach after being named to the position by head coach John Michael Hayden on Feb. 7, 2019.
Green came to Louisville after spending five seasons as the head coach at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. While at Belmont, Green guided the Bruins through two conference changes and led the program to their first postseason win in the Southern Conference and the first overall since 2008. Green produced eight All-Freshman conference team selections, three All-Conference selections, and one Freshman of the Year recipient.
Prior to Belmont, Green coached for Drexel University. Starting as the first assistant in 2010, Green was promoted to associate head coach in 2012. Green helped guide the Dragons to their first Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship in 2013, the same season they were also regular season champions. Green also assisted in earning the program back-to-back NCAA Championship bids in 2012 and 2013, the program’s first bids in 40 years.
Prior to Drexel, Green played an integral part of the coaching staff at West Virginia from 2003-10, where he was the first assistant and recruiting coordinator. Green helped direct the program to three consecutive NCAA Championship bids from 2005-07 and four consecutive top 30-ranked recruiting classes from 2006-09. Green was a part of the 2006 Big East Coaching Staff of the Year, which was awarded to the Mountaineers staff after a Big East regular season championship title and runner-up finish in the Big East Tournament.
Keystone College gave Green his first head coaching opportunity, where he guided the Giants for three seasons from 2000-02. While in charge, Green lead the program to their first NJCAA Region XIX regular season title and advanced to the Region XIX tournament championship game. His 2002 team was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally.
Green spent one season as an assistant coach at East Stroudsburg University in 1999, helping guide the team to an NCAA Championship appearance and producing an All-American. Green began his coaching career in 1997 at his alma mater, Elizabethtown College, where he served for two seasons.
The National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) has recognized 13 of Green’s teams for academic excellence with the Team Academic Award.
A native of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Green played collegiate soccer at Elizabethtown College where he earned All-American and All-Mid Atlantic Conference honors. He earned a bachelor of science in business administration from Elizabethtown College in 1997 and a maters of education in health and physical education from East Stroudsburg University in 2000. He holds a USSF ‘B’ License.
Green and his wife Ehren have two sons, Henry and Nathan.
Donovan Dowling joined the University of Louisville in July of 2018. He serves as the men's soccer assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
In his first season at Louisville, the Cards won their first ever ACC Championship title in 2018, earning the #4 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament before ending the season 11-5-3. The Cards also saw a number of individuals move on to the professional ranks with Tate Schmitt signing a Homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake (MLS), Adam Wilson was selected in the 2nd round of the MLS Draft by Toronto FC, and Geoffrey Dee signed a professional contract with Louisville City FC (USL). Dowling also helped spearhead a national top-25 recruiting class in 2019.
Dowling arrived in Louisville following three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he assisted in restarting the men’s soccer program from scratch in 2015. While at UTGRV, Donovan served as the top assistant coach for three seasons where he was directly involved in numerous phases of the program, including recruiting, scouting, compliance, budgeting, travel, and academics. The Vaqueros showed notable improvement during the first three seasons increasing their win total each year, qualifying for the 2016 & 2017 WAC Tournament, and increasing their RPI each year ending 44th nationally.
In addition to his duties at UTRGV, Dowling also coached in the professional ranks as the goalkeeper coach with Rio Grande Valley FC of the USL Championship. In their inaugural season, RGVFC finished second in the USL Western Conference in 2016, qualifying for the USL Playoffs. Dowling worked under current Montreal Impact head coach Wilmer Cabrera in 2016 and under current LA Galaxy II head coach Junior Gonzalez in 2017. Overall, 11 players from RGVFC have signed MLS contracts since 2016.
Prior to helping restart the program at UTRGV, Dowling coached at Northeast Texas Community College, where he served as the head coach of the men’s and women’s soccer programs for two years. He led the men’s team to a program-best 17-4-2 record in 2014, with a ranking as high as No. 4 in the nation en route to an NJCAA Tournament berth. For his efforts, Dowling was a finalist for National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Coach of the Year. In 2013, the men’s team was one of the most improved teams in the NJCAA with a 14-7 record, compared to a 5-14-1 record the season prior to his arrival.
From 2011-12, Dowling helped start the first-ever men’s soccer program at Fort Hays State University as an assistant coach. In 2011, the inaugural team finished 11-5-2, while receiving votes in the NSCAA Top 25 poll. In 2012, the team did one better, as Dowling helped lead the Tigers to an 11-6-2 record, along with the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, advancing all the way to the Sweet 16. The Tigers were ranked for the majority of the 2012 season, with a high of No. 9 in the nation.
Dowling coached from 2009-11 with the Fort Wayne Fever as the Director of Goalkeeping for the entire club, while also serving as the assistant coach for the 93’ and 95’ Fever boys’ teams. Both of his Fever teams were Indiana State Cup Finalists.
A goalkeeper, Dowling played collegiately at the NCAA Division I level at IPFW, where, as a two-year starter, he set program records for goals against average and shutouts in a season while earning All-Summit League honors. He played his first two collegiate seasons at Barton County Community College, where he was a Third Team All-American and First Team NSCAA All-Region and All-Conference honoree, leading his team to the No. 2 ranking in the nation while serving as the sophomore captain. A two-year starter, Dowling compiled a 39-4-2 record during his career.
A native of Olathe, Kansas, Dowling earned his bachelor of general studies from Indiana University and added a master of science in sports and human performance from Fort Hays State.
James Kusak joined the University of Louisville men's soccer program as its director of operation in May of 2018. Kusak joined the Cardinals after serving two seasons as the men's soccer head coach at Bluffton University, an NCAA Division III program in Bluffton, Ohio.
Prior to taking the lead role at Bluffton, Kusak worked two seasons as an assistant coach with the men's and women's soccer programs at Spalding University, the NCAA Division III program in Louisville. During his time at Spalding, Kusak helped both teams earn their first-ever postseason berths in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
From 2012-14, Kusak was an assistant coach with the men's soccer team at Centre College in Danville, Ky., where he also played as an undergrad. In 2012, the team won the Southern Athletic Association championship and advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. Kusak started his collegiate coaching career as an assistant with the men's and women's soccer programs at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.
Kusak played for Centre College from 2006-09. He was named second team All-SCAC, two-time captain and MVP of the 20th Bob Allen Nissan Classic. He was a two-time member of the SCAC All-Academic Team. The center midfielder helped the Colonels to a 55-17-4 record as a player, during which Centre earned a trio of second-place finishes in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
A Louisville native, Kusak previously served as the director of the Central Kentucky Soccer Club U9/U10 Academy. He also led the Louisville Soccer Alliance U23 team to two regional championship runner-ups. Kusak earned his National Soccer Coaches Association of America diploma in 2012 and has a United States Soccer Federation license.
He earned a bachelor of arts in history from Centre College in 2010. Kusak completed his master's degree in business communication and leadership from Spalding University in May of 2015.