After 21 years at the helm of the Ohio State men’s soccer program, head coach John Bluem announced his retirement Monday.
The four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year compiled a 206-161-58 record in Columbus — the most wins of any coach in team history. He led the team to four Big Ten titles, two conference tournament titles and 10 appearances in the NCAA tournament, accounting for all 10 of the program’s trips to the tournament. The team finished as national runner-up in 2007.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the men’s soccer coach these past 21 years, and I would like to thank Gene Smith and Shaun Richard for their support and leadership,” Bluem said in a statement. “I would like to express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to all of the players I have had the opportunity to coach and develop relationships with. I will treasure the memories we have shared together for the rest of my life.”
Before Bluem was hired in 1997, Ohio State had just 11 seasons with a plus-.500 record since it was founded in 1953. Bluem led the Buckeyes to 15 seasons with a plus-.500 record, including six consecutive winning seasons to start his tenure as head coach.
Players under Bluem found plenty of individual success. He watched 17 players go on to be drafted by Major League Soccer teams, two selected as Big Ten Players of the Year, 31 become first team All-Big Ten, 48 named to second team All-Big Ten teams and four become All-Americans.
Bluem was the head coach of the Fresno State men’s soccer team for six seasons before joining the Scarlet and Gray. With Bluem as head coach, the Bulldogs combined to go 86-27-12 during his tenure and advanced four times to the NCAA tournament.
His 292-191-70 career record, equaling a .591 winning percentage, places him in the top 50 among active collegiate coaches. He will retire 17th in wins and 44th in winning percentage.