James Madison men’s soccer Head Coach Paul Zazenski signed a contract during the fall 2022 season to keep him at the helm of JMU men's soccer running through the fall of 2026.
In the fall 2022 and fifth overall season as head coach at JMU, Zazenski lead the Dukes to an overall record of 8-8-4 making it to the SUN BELT Championship game. During the regular season the Dukes had a strength of schedule of 17 in the country and RPI of 55. After the conclusion of the 2022 fall season, JMU had its 8th player drafted into the MLS professional ranks. Zazenski having coached 4 of those MLS draftees in his tenure.
In his fourth season, Zazenski led the Dukes to one of their best starts to the season since 2004 before finishing 11-5-1 and third in the standings in the CAA with a 5-3 record in league play. The Dukes received votes or were ranked inside the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll every week except for one, being ranked as high as 15th in the country. They were awarded with six players named to the All-Conference Team, with three placed on the First Team.
The Dukes were ineligible for postseason play in the fall due to conference realignment.
Zazenski's third year at the helm was during a shortened spring 2021 season, earning his second CAA Coach of the Year honor as he guided the Dukes to a 5-1-3 overall record and 4-0 in CAA play, becoming the third season in program history where the Dukes never lost or tied a conference game. The Dukes took their regular season conference play into the playoffs, winning their third consecutive conference title and making their 15th NCAA Tournament appearance.
Zazenski and his staff earned Atlantic Region Staff of the Year honors from United Soccer Coaches for the second time in three years, as the team either received votes or were included in the top 25 in every Coaches poll during the spring. The Dukes were ranked as high as seventh in the nation in the national weekly polls.
Under Zazenski, the Dukes received Defender and Rookie of the Year honors from the CAA, and had seven players on All-Conference teams. They earned success across the state of Virginia as well, having earned Defensive Player and Rookie of the Year honors and placing five on All-State teams. From the tutelage of Zazenski, JMU saw two players drafted in the MLS SuperDraft for the first time ever.
In his second season at the helm of the Dukes, Zazenski guided JMU to another 11-win season, winning the program's seventh CAA championship. The Dukes went on to host a first round match of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The match at Sentara Park was the first for the venue and was the first time that JMU hosted Men's Soccer NCAA Tournament matches since 2011.
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.
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 United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma 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.
|2022||James Madison University||8-8-4||Sun Belt Tournament Championship Game|
|2021||James Madison University||11-5-1||*Was not able to compete in postseason play due to conference change|
|2020||James Madison University||5-1-3||CAA Regular Season Co-Champion, CAA Tournament Champions, NCAA First Round|
|2019||James Madison Universtiy||11-7-3||CAA Tournament Champions, NCAA Tournament First Round|
|2018||James Madison University||15-5-3||CAA Regular Season Champion, CAA Tournament Champions, NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals|
|2014||University of Great Falls (NAIA)||17-3||Frontier Conference Regular Season Champions|
|2013||University of Great Falls (NAIA)||10-7-1||Frontier Conference Regular Season Champions|
|2012||University of Great Falls (NAIA)||11-4-2|
|2011||University of Great Falls (NAIA)||16-5||Frontier Conference Regular Season Champions, Frontier Conference Tournament Champions, NAIA Tournament Sweet 16|
|2010||Universtiy of Great Falls (NAIA)||16-4-1||Frontier Conference Tournament Champions, NAIA Tournament Sweet 16|
James Madison head coach Paul Zazenski announced on March 5, 2020 the addition of Charlie Hubbard to the coaching staff as an assistant coach.
"We couldn't be more excited to add Charlie Hubbard to our men's soccer staff,” said Zazenski. “Having known Charlie from the recruiting trails there is no doubt we are getting a quality individual and extremely qualified coach. Charlie's DI head coaching experience will serve the program well both on and off the field. He also has his USSF 'B' license which shows his dedication to coaching education. I am confident he will fit perfectly into the future of JMU men's soccer and we are fortunate to have him.”
Hubbard comes to Harrisonburg after spending the last four seasons at VMI, where he was the head coach during 2019 season. He served as associate head coach for the first three seasons while at VMI, recruited 41 players over the last three years and helped guide the Keydets to its best season in five years.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank JMU athletics coaches and administration for providing me with this fantastic opportunity,” said Hubbard. “I am very excited to join the JMU coaching staff and become a member of this University. JMU has an excellent energy and culture, as well as a fantastic soccer program. I look forward to contributing to the JMU campus community and the men's soccer program in every capacity.”
Before heading to Lexington, Hubbard was an assistant coach on the men’s soccer team at Dallas Baptist University. He served in that capacity for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, where he helped recruit and develop the team as it played its way to the best season in program history.
Hubbard began his coaching career by spending the 2013 season as assistant coach on both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky. While there, he assisted both programs as they qualified for the Division III Tournament and aided the women’s program to consistently be ranked in the top 25 and reached its first-ever Sweet Sixteen.
A four-year letterwinner at Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University, he set a university record by playing in 84 games throughout his career. He assisted in leading Palm Beach Atlantic to the NCCAA Semi-Final match in his senior year, and made it to the NCCAA National Tournament every year while he was a Sailfish.
Hubbard is a 2013 graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic, earning a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies. He also earned his master’s in sport management from Dallas Baptist in 2016.
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.
Gerard Miniaci joins the coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach ahead of the 2022 season.
In his first season with the Dukes, Miniaci aided the team to go 8-8-4 in the first season in the Sun Belt Conference. The Dukes went unbeaten in six of their final seven matches of the regular season and used the momentum to take down fifth-ranked and two-seeded Marshall in the quarterfinals and three-seeded Georgia State in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Championship to make an appearance in the championship match. Alex Krakowiak was tabbed to the All-Sun Belt Second Team while Tyler Clegg earned All-Region Third Team honors.
He joins JMU after a second stint at VMI, serving as an assistant coach before being named the interim head coach over the last two seasons. Before his return to VMI, he was on the coaching staff at NCAA Division III New England College from 2018-19. He served as an assistant coach and then was the interim head coach before his second season, leading the Pilgrims to a second-place finish in the NECC.
The Sterling, Va. native started his college coaching career in 2017 in his first stint at VMI, serving as an assistant coach. Before jumping to college, Miniaci was the head coach at Broadway High School from 2015-17. A three-year letterwinner at Bridgewater College, he received his bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science in 2013. He also has a master’s in Sport and Recreation Management that he earned in 2020 during his time at NEC. Miniaci holds a USSF E coaching license.