The National Soccer Coaches Association of America has named William Jewell men’s soccer coach Chris Cissell the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year. The award was presented at the association’s annual conference in Indianapolis, Ind., on Friday, January 12.
Based in Mission, Kan., the NSCAA is the largest coaches organization in the United States.
Cissell guided the Cardinal’s Men’s Soccer Team to an 18-3-2 season that included a trip to the NAIA Final Four. The Cardinals finished the season ranked third in the final NAIA national poll. The Cardinals also became the first team in HAAC history to go undefeated in the conference without any ties. They also won the HAAC Championship for the first time in over 20 years.
This is Cissell’s first win as Coach of the Year. The Liberty, Mo., resident was nominated for the award in 2003 on the women’s side. He is the only coach in history to have coached both a men’s and women’s soccer team in NAIA national final four championship tournaments.
“I want to thank our team and our coaches, Jefferson Roblee and Rob Thomson, for all their help with our program,” said Cissell. “I also want to thank my wife Heather and my four children for giving me the chance to live out my dream in being a college soccer coach. This is such a huge honor for me, and to know it was voted on by the coaches we compete against is very humbling. I am just thrilled that they recognized what kind of season our men’s team had here at Jewell. It is a great honor, not only for our program but also for William Jewell College.”
Earlier this season, Cissell was named the NSCAA/Adidas Central Region and the Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
“This just caps off an outstanding year for Chris and our soccer program,” said athletic director Dr. Jim Redd. “He is a gifted coach and a fine role model for our student-athletes, both on and off the field.”
Cissell has headed the William Jewell College men’s program since 2002 and the women’s program since 1999. On the men’s side, Cissell owns a 66-26-7 record. For the women, his record stands at 112-25-6. He has already led the women’s program to three NAIA National Tournament appearances (2003, 2004 and 2005). The men’s program appeared in the NAIA National Tournament in 2004 and 2006.
In addition, both William Jewell College programs have become staples in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national rankings, regularly producing All-Americans and nationally recognized scholar-athletes. The men’s team placed three players from this year’s squad on the All-American teams and three players on the Academic All-American team. The women also placed three members from this year’s team on the Academic All-American team. Combining both teams, Cissell has coached 21 All-Americans and 16 Academic All-Americans during his tenure at Jewell.
Cissell’s accumulating coaching credits include HAAC Women’s Coach of the Year four times (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005), as well as NAIA Region V Women’s Coach of the Year in 2003. In addition, he was named NSCAA/Adidas Midwest Coach of the Year in 2003. On the men’s side, Cissell has earned the HAAC Men’s Coach of the Year designation two times (in 2003 and 2006). He was also Region V Coach of the Year in 2006.
Besides his coaching responsibilities, Cissell directs the William Jewell College All Star Soccer Camps. In 2006, Jewell hosted nine weeks of soccer camps with combined attendance of more than 800.
Cissell earned his bachelor of science degree in business administration and communication in 1994 from William Jewell College. He also holds a United States Soccer Federation national coaching license and is a member of various coaching associations, including the NSCAA, United States Soccer Coaches Organization and the United States Youth Soccer Coaches Connection. He is the chairman of the NAIA Region V Men’s Soccer Committee.