KEN LOLLA BIO
When it came to building a soccer program into a national power, head coach Ken had the Midas touch, making him the perfect fit when the University of Louisville needed to find a coach that could take a program with no winning tradition and make it into a national contender.
Lolla did that in just two short seasons, turning Louisville into a Top 25 program and earning its first NCAA Tournament bid. And in his fifth season at Louisville, the Cardinals advanced to the College Cup championship game for the first time in school history. Prior to Lolla's arrival, the Louisville men's soccer program had managed just seven winning seasons in 27 years as a varsity program and had never advanced to the NCAA Championship.
In his last nine seasons, Lolla guided Louisville to a national runner-up, four more Elite Eight appearances and eight total NCAA Championship berths. Following the completion of the 2018 season, Lolla announced his resignation as head coach of the Cardinals departing as the program's all-time winningest coach.
Lolla came to Louisville after guiding Akron to its most successful season in school history with an impressive 18-1-4 record in the 2005 season. Lolla guided the Zips to a final ranking of fifth in the nation by the NSCAA/adidas poll and at one point in the season the Zips were ranked at the top of the polls.
Lolla guided the Zips to their eighth Mid-American Conference regular season title and their fourth MAC Tournament title. He was named MAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time. The Zips advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight and tied eventual national champion Maryland but in the final outcome fell 4-1 in penalty kicks. Akron also became the only school with two players named first team NSCAA All-Americans and a third player named to the second team.
Lolla spent the last 13 seasons at the University of Akron. During his tenure at Akron he compiled a 160-68-25 record along with eight MAC Championships and a school record five straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Lolla's Akron squads were 62-9-5 all-time in regular-season MAC play and he has tutored 38 first-team All-MAC players.
Lolla has also taken his skills to the national level. In the fall of 1999, he was appointed head coach of the U.S. Soccer Federation Under-15 National Team. His travels with the national team have taken him around the world, including stops in Italy and South America.
Prior to his stint at Akron, Lolla posted a 49-16-3 record in three seasons at Belmont Abbey in Belmont, N.C., including a 19-3-2 mark in 1992. The Crusaders were the sixth-ranked team in the NAIA that season.
His Belmont Abbey clubs won three consecutive Carolinas Conference Championships which earned Lolla numerous accolades. He was named the Carolinas Conference Coach of the Year in 1990. In 1992, Lolla received NSCAA-NAIA National Coach of the Year honors.
As a player, Lolla was considered one of the finest midfielders in the Atlantic Coast Conference, earning all-conference honors three times and earned All-South and All-America honors in 1981 and 1983 while at Duke University. In 2002 he was one of 55 players named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary Men's Soccer Team.
Lolla played professionally for the Canton Invaders of the National Professional Soccer League from 1984 through 1988. In 1984, Lolla played professionally with the Charlotte Gold of the USL. He then moved to the Canton Invaders of the NPSL and finished his playing career with the New Jersey Eagles and the Penn-Jersey Spirit of the ASL in 1988 and 1989, respectively.
He also served as the Youth Development Director for the Canton Invaders in 1985 and 1986. He handled community and public relations in 1987 and 1988 in conjunction with appearances as a player for the NPSL franchise. Following his professional career, Lolla returned to Duke as an assistant coach in 1985 and then again for the 1988 and 1989 seasons.
Lolla holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Duke, which he received in 1983. He was a high school All-America pick in 1980 at St. Rose High School in Belmar, N.J. and also played on the U.S. Olympic Sports Festival teams in 1979 and 1983.
Ken Lolla focuses on paying forward the blessings he's had in his life.
He is a published author and professional speaker, both of which emphasize the importance of putting others first. He believes that our gifts are best utilized when we are truly in service to others.
His passion for team & leadership building have enabled him to help athletic departments and businesses across the country. When Ken's not promoting positive environments and culture, he spends his time in Louisville, KY with his wife Tina and their three children, Tyler, Kristiana and Elijah.