Jon Akin, long-time head coach of the Oglethorpe men’s soccer program, was named as one of the top 50 soccer coaches in Georgia over the last 50 years by Georgia Soccer, the state’s official soccer association within the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). Akin joined 49 other coaches from around the state of Georgia at all levels, including collegiate, high school and club. Coaches were nominated by members of Georgia Soccer, and were then pared to a list of 50 by a committee.
Akin has led the Stormy Petrels to three straight Southern Athletic Association regular season titles, as well as an SAA tournament championship and a spot in the second round of the NCAA tournament last fall. Overall, he’s won two SAA championships and three total conference championships, in addition to the three SAA regular season crowns. His teams have earned spots in the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship twice, with the other coming in 2011.
It has been an outstanding turnaround for the program under Akin, as he’s taken a team that had not enjoyed a winning season in 10 years at the time that he arrived and turned it into a nationally-recognized program, accumulating a career record of 144-105-22 in the process. He’s won six conference coach of the year honors in his career, including four in the SAA (2013, 2015-17) and two in the SCAC (2004, 2011).
Akin has dramatically improved the visibility of NCAA Division III soccer in Georgia, as well as of the Oglethorpe program. He’s also involved with U.S. Soccer, where he teaches coaching courses and has been a U.S. youth national team scout for almost six years, and with Major League Soccer.
“I am very honored to have been named to this list,” said Akin. “Unfortunately, when you get named to these things, it means you have been around a long time and are starting to get old. In all seriousness, though, it has been my pleasure to work with Georgia Soccer, who has really helped develop the game of soccer in the last 50 years in this state. And we have worked hard to develop a brand of soccer at Oglethorpe to try and become more synonymous with the international brand of soccer, as opposed to the negative views that some people have of traditional college soccer. I feel like that’s helped us elevate the level of our program.”
The Oglethorpe men’s soccer season will begin on Friday, Aug, 31, at Emory’s Sonny Carter Invitational, where they’ll take on Washington and Lee in a rematch of last year’s NCAA second round battle which ended in a penalty kick shootout.