University Coach Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame


Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

Longtime coach and administrator at the University of New Haven, Dr. Joe Machnik, was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2017, as announced by the organization on Thursday. Manchnik has had a lot of experience with United States Soccer throughout his career serving as a player, coach, referee, instructor, match commissioner, and a broadcaster for FOX Sports.

Machnik spent a lot of time developing both the men’s and women’s soccer programs at the University of New Haven. He spent 11 years coaching the men’s team, compiling a record of 110-55-21, which remains the most wins by any New Haven men’s or women’s soccer coach. During his time at the helm, Machnik led the men’s team to the 1976 NCAA National Championship Game and to the Final Four in 1977. He later served four years as the coach of the inaugural Women’s soccer team.

In 1975, Manchnik was elevated from Interim Director of Athletics to the second full-time director in school history. Manchnik returned to the University in 1996 to lead the women’s soccer team for a second stint as a coach, compiling a 39-26-3 record, while also leading the team to the ECAC tournament in his final campaign.

During his career outside the University, Manchnik took his talents to the Major Indoor Soccer League, and served as a head coach and vice president of player personnel for the New York Arrows in 1983-84. He also held administrative positions in the MISL as Director of Operations (1980-83) and Referee in Chief (1978-80). Manchnik served as the Commissioner of the American Indoor Soccer Association from 1986-88, after previously holding the Director of Operations and Referee in Chief positions for the association in 1985 and 1986.

Machnik later joined and was very involved with the United States Soccer Federation. He served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Five-A-Side Team which won a bronze medal in 1989. From there, he stayed with the USSF and became an assistant coach for the first ever United States World Cup Team in 1990.

Machnik’s love for soccer did not start at the University of New Haven. Machnik’s soccer career started at Long Island University-Brooklyn as an All-American goalkeeper. Manchnik later became the head coach of the Blackbirds at the age of 23. He led the Blackbirds to the 1966 NCAA Championship Game and the Final Four in 1967.

Since 1977, Manchnik has overseen his No. 1 Soccer Camps, which holds sessions throughout the nation each summer. Over the years, his camps have helped develop over 80,000 young players, and he continues teaching young athletes. The University of New Haven applauded Dr. Joe Manchnik for his accomplishment.