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Louisville names new men’s soccer coach

A familiar name will be taking over for Ken Lolla.

From U of L:

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, has been named head coach of the University of Louisville men's soccer program, UofL Vice-President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra announced Thursday. The agreement with Hayden is 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 becomes 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 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.

Fans can follow Louisville men's soccer on Twitter at @UofLmenssoccer and on Facebook at
Coaching Career
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