John Bluem



As a fullback at traditional soccer power Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., Bluem and his teammates compiled a three-year mark of 30-9-7. The Warriors made an NCAA appearance each of those three years and reached the semifinals of the College Cup in 1974, when they finished the season ranked third in the nation. After graduating in 1975, Bluem was drafted by Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League, a team that went 16-6 and won the Soccer Bowl his first year. He played for two seasons with Tampa Bay. After arriving in Tampa and surrounded by foreigners, John went on to become the American leader of the band .You could always find him and his merrymen around the pool at Spanish Oaks Apartments. Along  with Bob Stetler, Eddie Engerth and Doug Wark they would leave behind legendary tales. The game however was never forgotten.

It is no coincidence that the most successful era in Ohio State soccer has come with John Bluem at the helm. The 2007 season will mark his 11th at Ohio State, where he has led the Buckeyes to all four of their NCAA tournament appearances, with those four postseason berths coming in the last seven seasons. Bluem is Ohio State's all-time wins leader with a 101-77-23 (.560) record in Columbus. His career record, which includes six seasons at Fresno State, stands at 187-104-35 for a .627 winning percentage, which ranks No. 33 on the NCAA list of active coaches. In 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Bluem's teams have won at least 10 games 14 times and he has taken his teams to the NCAA tournament eight times. His 1996 Fresno State team advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and his 2004 OSU squad went to the 'Sweet 16.' Seven of Bluem's Ohio State players have been MLS draft picks, including a pair of 2006 SuperDraft third-round selections in Ray Burse, who was the first goalkeeper chosen, to Dallas and defender Kyle Veris to Los Angeles. In the 2007 supplemental draft, OSU defender Dustin Kirby was a fourth-round pick of Real Salt Lake, where former OSU assistant coach Brian Johnson, who played for Bluem at Fresno State, now coaches. Under Bluem, Ohio State won a Big Ten championship in 2000 and won a share of the league regular-season title in 2004. The last two years, the Buckeyes have finished second in the league's regular-season race in a conference that is annually in the Top 3 of the RPI conference index. Twice Bluem has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year (1999, 2004), which brings his career total coach of the year honors to five. Since his arrival in Columbus in 1997, Bluem has led the Buckeyes to at least 10 wins in eight of his 10 seasons and to the NCAA tournament in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005. The 2004 Buckeyes topped No. 11 Memphis and No. 9 Notre Dame in the postseason to advance to the third round, the furthest an OSU team has advanced.

The 54-year-old Syracuse, N.Y. native lives in Columbus with his wife, Bethany, son, William, 18, and daughter, Amy, 15.