UGF Soccer's Paul Zazenski Leaving Argos for James Madison Unive - News, Sports and Weather

UGF Soccer's Paul Zazenski Leaving Argos for James Madison University

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GREAT FALLS, Mont. – University of Great Falls head men's soccer coach Paul Zazenski will leave the program to accept an assistant coaching job at James Madison University, the UGF Athletic Department announced Monday.

James Madison is an NCAA Division I program in Harrisonburg, Va., and competes in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“First and foremost I want to thank President McAllister for giving me the opportunity to coach at the University of Great Falls,” Zazenski said. “The university and Great Falls communities have been nothing but supportive over my five-year tenure as head men's soccer coach.

“It was my pleasure to work with such a unique university that truly does care about relationships and the overall well-being of its student-athletes, faculty, and staff,” Zazenski added. “Through this continuous support we were able to accomplish many things both on and off the soccer field.”

Zazenski led the UGF men's program to unprecedented heights in his five years as head coach. The Argonauts won regular-season conference titles in 2010, 2011 and 2014. In addition they were conference co-champions in 2013 and the runner-up in 2012 as UGF compiled a 70-23-4 record in Zazenski's tenure.

The Argos reached the NAIA Sweet 16 in both 2010 and 2011. The 2014 team finished the season 17-3 and lost a heart-breaking 1-0 decision to Rocky Mountain College in the Frontier/North Star Conference Tournament championship game.

For his efforts Zazenski was named the Frontier Coach of the Year three times – including 2014. He was also the Region Coach of the Year in 2010.

“We would like to thank Paul for his many contributions to Argo Athletics and our entire community,” said Arunas Duda, UGF's acting athletic director. “During his tenure as assistant and head coach, Paul recruited the very best student-athletes who understood how to compete both on and off the field as well as contribute in many facets around campus.

“His multiple trips to the national tournament as well as hanging three conference championship banners in the gym were a result of a clear vision and direction for the men's soccer program, hard work, and great coaching,” Duda added.

In his five seasons Zazenski coached 25 All-Conference players, seven All-Region players, three Frontier Conference Players of the Year, four NAIA All-Americans and 54 Academic All-Conference players. In his final two seasons 11 players earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition.

“I am most proud of the efforts we put in the classroom and how our UGF alumni continue to succeed once presented with opportunities outside of soccer,” Zazenski said. “All of the many aspects of success here at UGF are 100 percent owed to the current and former players who have built this program into what it is today.”

Zazenski and his wife, Donna, welcomed their first child, a son named Calen, in December.

“Although we are sad to see such a great coach leave our university, we are excited for him in his next step at the Division I level and happy that he will be closer to many family and friends,” Duda said.

Duda said the search for the next UGF men's soccer coach will begin immediately.

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