PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Director of Athletics, Shannon James Ealy, announced Wednesday (April 24, 2019) the appointment of Samuel (Sam) Koenig as head men's soccer coach. Koenig's coaching experience includes three years at the NCAA Division III level with the last two years spent at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois as assistant men's soccer coach and recruiting coordinator.
"We are excited to welcome Sam Koenig to the Pioneer family," said Athletic Director Ealy. "His energy, passion, professionalism, and work ethic were very evident throughout the search process. His knowledge and familiarity of our community and his desire to be at UW-Platteville will be a huge advantage in recruiting prospective student-athletes from the tri-state area and beyond. I am confident Sam has a bright future ahead of him."
Having grown up in Dubuque, Iowa, Koenig returns to the tri-state area where he not only competed on the Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa) men's soccer team, but also started his collegiate coaching career with the Duhawks men and women's soccer programs in 2016.
"The Pioneer men's soccer program is in the national spotlight with the work of Enzo Fuschino. I will work tirelessly to continue this success into the future. UW-Platteville has a niche in the Tri-State area academically and athletically which allows me to be part of a great institution," Koenig said. "The tri-state area and the Midwest has produced nationally ranked teams year in and year out. I am excited to compete and build something special within this competitive region."
While coaching at Loras, Koenig helped guide the Duhawks men and women's teams to Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (now the American Rivers Conference) regular season conference titles in 2016. The women's team went on to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in the same year.
During his most recent time at Dominican University, the Stars won the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference tournament championships in the 2017 and 2018 seasons to advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament and as far as the second round in 2018. During his time at Dominican, the team tallied a record of 29-11-1 over the two seasons.
"Sam has competed and coached at the highest levels of NCAA Division III and understands what it takes to continue our past success and elevate our program to be a national contender," said Ealy. "But even more importantly, he believes in the value of providing a first-class student-athlete experience, forging relationships, and developing our men's soccer student-athletes in the classroom, on the field and preparing them for life after college."
During Koenig's collegiate career, he was a four-year member of the Loras men's soccer team. The program collectively recorded a 77-12-7 record in that four year span and he competed in three NCAA Division III Final Four competitions including one National Championship game. Koenig was also a two-time Scholar All-American his junior and senior years.
"I have been fortunate to learn from two of the greats in Division III soccer, Dan Rothert and Erick Baumann," commented Koenig. "I have learned how to develop teams into competing in major moments on the national stage. I look forward to continuing that pursuit at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. My relentless pursuit to create a culture where family, relationships, we before me mentality, competition, and personal growth in all areas of life will be carried out on a daily basis."
Prior to coaching collegiately, Koenig got his start in coaching as head boy's soccer coach at Wahlert Catholic High School in Dubuque, Iowa from 2013-2016. Both the 2013 and 2016 teams qualified for the Iowa State competition with the 2016 team finishing third in the state.
Athletic Director Ealy shared, "I would like to thank our entire search and screen committee for their tireless efforts in helping identify quality candidates for our next men's soccer head coach, which led to Sam Koenig. I appreciate the efforts of Josh Galvin for leading the team during this transition. Last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to Enzo Fuschino for his leadership of the men's soccer program for the past 12 years and elevating the overall success of our soccer program."
Koenig received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Loras College and his Master's in College Athletic Administration from Coker College.
"I would like to thank my fiancé and soon to be wife, Shannon, for allowing me to chase my dreams. I am grateful for Chancellor Shields, Athletic Director Ealy, the search and screen committee, the team, the alumni, and the whole institution for giving me the opportunity to build a program," said Koenig.
When reflecting on the foundation that has been built by the Pioneer men's soccer program and looking ahead to the future, Koenig said, "I would like to thank each administrator, coach, player, and family that has influenced this program to this point. We are in this together to continue the growth and development of the program. I cannot wait to work together to get the program to the next level."