James Madison men’s soccer Head Coach Paul Zazenski signed a five-year contract extension through the 2023 season, as announced by Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne on December 17.
“Paul was presented with a unique opportunity under unique circumstances when he took the reins of our men’s soccer program in early August,” Bourne said. “Needless to say, he did a tremendous job pulling the team together and uniting our young men to achieve one of the greatest seasons in JMU soccer history. He Seized the opportunity and we are thrilled to reward Paul and his family with the chance to stay in Harrisonburg and guide JMU men’s soccer to an even brighter future.”
In his first year at the helm, Zazenski was named the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year after leading his team to the 2018 regular-season title and the program’s sixth CAA championship. The Dukes went on to play in the 2018 NCAA Championship where they reached the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1995.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank Mr. Jeff Bourne, Kevin White, Charlie King and all of the JMU administration for the opportunity to continue leading the JMU men’s soccer program for years to come,” Zazenski said. “The past four seasons as both an assistant and now head coach have been special in so many ways. My family and I have established roots in the city of Harrisonburg and within the JMU community – we truly feel at home.”
Zazenski and his staff were named the Regional Staff of the Year for the Atlantic region by United Soccer Coaches while five student-athletes earned All-Atlantic Region honors after posting a 15-5-3 overall record in the 2018 campaign. Fifteen wins on the season inks Zazenski in the record book as the winningest first-year coach in JMU men’s soccer history. He was also named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Coach of the Year and the VaSID Coach of the Year.
Under Zazenski’s leadership, JMU made it in to the United Soccer Coaches Poll for the first time since 2011, earning a spot at No. 25 on October 23. The Dukes were recognized in the poll for six straight weeks. Following a stellar year, James Madison finished the season ranked No. 8 in Top Drawer Soccer, No. 9 in College Soccer News and No. 10 in the United Soccer Coaches Polls.
The Dukes won their second consecutive regular-season title after going 6-2 in conference action this season. Zazenski headlined the CAA postseason honors as JMU snagged a program-record ten awards while nine student-athletes were All-CAA Team selections.
Before being named head coach on August 8, 2018, he had been the associate head coach and an assistant coach of JMU men's soccer since the 2015 season, coordinating aspects of both program operations and player development. In 2017, Zazenski helped the Dukes to a 9-7-3 overall record and 5-1-2 in CAA play to take the regular-season conference championship. JMU captured a program-record eight players on the All-CAA teams, headlined by Manuel Ferriol earning a spot on the First Team.
Zazenski came from the University of Great Falls (Providence) where he had served as the head men's soccer coach for the past five seasons and earned an impressive 70-23-4 record. He has led the team to four conference championships, two NAIA National Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011 where his team advanced to the Sweet 16 both times. He was recognized as the conference Coach of the Year three times, including this past season, and was named NAIA Regional Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year Finalist in 2010 after a 16-4-1 record. His teams have been ranked in the NAIA Top 25 during four seasons while also coaching at least one NAIA All-American in each of those four seasons. His teams also were successful in the classroom, sporting a cumulative team GPA of at least 3.2 for the past four years and ranking as the top NAIA school with nine Academic All-Americans in 2014.
In addition to his college duties, Zazenski spent six years as the head coach of the Montana United Showcase U16 and U19 teams that developed players from all over the state. He also worked as the Electric City Soccer Club Director of Coaching from 2011-2013.
Prior to his time as head coach at Great Falls, Zazenski served as the top assistant with the program, with specific duties regarding goalkeeper coaching and recruiting. Prior to that, he spent three years as a high school soccer coach at Southwest Guilford High School in Jamestown, North Carolina.
Zazenski holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Advanced National Coaching License. Zazenski played four years of college soccer at UNC Greensboro from 2002-05, helping the Spartans to a pair of Southern Conference championships and back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
He earned his bachelor's degree in exercise, sports and science from UNC Greensboro in 2005 and finished his master's in organizational development with a management concentration in 2013 from Great Falls. He and his wife, Donna, have two sons, Calen and Davis, and a daughter, Cora.
In his first season as an assistant coach with James Madison men’s soccer, Adam Perron helped lead the program to the 2018 regular-season Colonial Athletic Association title and the program’s sixth CAA championship. With their automatic berth into the 2018 NCAA Championship, the Dukes went on to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 1995.
After an impressive 15-4-3 overall record and 6-2 in conference play, the soccer staff was named the Regional Staff of the Year for the Atlantic Region by United Soccer Coaches. The program earned a program-high 10 All-CAA honors while five student-athletes were named to All-Region teams.
Perron worked closely with goalkeeper TJ Bush,helping him to an outstanding season in goal as he was named All-ECAC Team, First Team All-CAA, VaSID First Team All-State, Third Team All-Atlantic Region and was a member of the CAA All-Tournament Team. Bush also broke the individual single-season shutout record, recording 13 clean sheets on the year.
As a former Southern New Hampshire men’s soccer assistant coach, Perron was brought in by Head Coach Tom Foley on April 19, 2018.
“I am really excited to be given this opportunity,” Perron said. “When I stepped on this campus, I fell in love with the school and the team, and I am committed to the goals that have already been set for this team. I’m very grateful and thankful to Tom, Paul and the JMU community for welcoming me.”
Perron will primarily work with the goalkeepers and assist in recruiting in the northeastern parts of the United States.
“I am very excited to add Adam to the staff,” Foley said. “He has a strong goalkeeping background, which will help us tremendously, and I admire his knowledge of the game and his enthusiasm for the game.”
While at SNHU, Perron served as the primary recruiter and goalkeeper coach. Over two seasons, Perron guided the goalkeepers to multiple accolades, including First Team All-America honors and the Northeast 10 Conference Goalkeeper of the Year award. In 2015, the team finished in the top three nationally in goals-against average with a 0.47 clip.
Additionally, in 2017, Perron served as the head coach of the Seacoast Academy under-19 team. While working with Seacoast Academy, Perron was the assistant coach for the Seacoast United Phantoms in the Premier Developmental League (PDL).
In 2016, Perron was the assistant/goalkeeper coach at Ohio State. In his sole year with the program, Perron’s starting goalkeeper was unanimously named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in addition to landing on the Top Drawer Soccer Best Freshman Second Team.
Perron played professional soccer for multiple teams in the USL-PDL, played three years with the Western Massachusetts Pioneers (2006-2009), the Massachusetts Twisters (2007-2009) and received a training camp invite from the Rochester Rhinos in 2010. Most recently Perron played in the summers of 2013 and 2014 for the Portland Phoenix in the USL-PDL, where Perron served as the team captain in the 2013 campaign.
Perron received his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire, where Perron was a four-year starter as a goalkeeper. With the Chargers, Perron sits second all-time in wins as a goalie, was a two-time All-Conference selection (2002 and 2005) and was the team MVP in 2004.
Perron got his master’s degree in liberal studies with a concentration in social sciences from Utica College in 2012. He received his National Soccer Coaches Association of America diploma in 2010.
During his first season as an assistant coach, Nicholas Melville helped the program to a 15-4-3 overall record while winning the 2018 regular-season Colonial Athletic Association title, 2018 CAA Championship title and a Quarterfinal appearance in the 2018 NCAA Championship for the first time since 1995.
After a stellar 2018 season, the soccer staff was named the Regional Staff of the Year for the Atlantic Region by United Soccer Coaches. James Madison finished the season ranked No. 8 in Top Drawer Soccer, No. 9 in College Soccer News and No. 10 in the United Soccer Coaches Polls.
Following a brief stint as the volunteer assistant coach, Melville was elevated to assistant coach, as announced by Head Coach Paul Zazenski on August 27, 2018.
"We are excited to have Nick join our staff full time for the 2018 season," Zazenski said. "Nick joins us with a solid playing background, as he was part of a national championship team at Iowa Western College and then transferred to the University of Cincinnati where he started all games as a Bearcat. He is a great up-and-coming coach who has impressed me greatly in his very brief time as a volunteer assistant. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make it in the coaching world and his professionalism goes well beyond his years."
Melville made the leap from athlete to coach, coming to JMU at the end of July as a volunteer assistant coach. In a matter of weeks, Melville was given the full-time position.
"First and foremost, I would like to thank Coach Paul Zazenski for giving me this opportunity and trusting me to help push the standards in place for JMU men's soccer, both on and off the pitch," Melville said. "I am eager to embrace my role as an assistant coach and I look forward to playing my part in helping this program achieve continued success."
Melville began his collegiate career at Iowa Western where he helped the program to a 48-0 record over the course of his two seasons, winning the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I national title in 2013 and reaching the semifinals in 2014. His postseason performance was recognized in 2014 as he was named to the NJCAA National Tournament All-Tournament team. In his two seasons as a Reiver, he scored 11 goals and tallied six assists.
After a two-year stint at Iowa Western, Melville transferred to Cincinnati where he started every game in 2015 and 2016. In his 37 games as a Bearcat, he tallied nine points from two goals and five assists.
Melville graduated from Cincinnati in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications. He received 2018 preseason invites from FC Cincinnati and Bethlehem Steel FC of the United Soccer League and chose to play for FCC.