On Friday, I made my way around University of Pittsburgh’s upper campus area that intertwines with state-of-the-art hospitals, a host of academic buildings and plenty of reminders of the school’s long, storied past. Eventually after working my way up cardiac hill, my final destination was one of the oldest remaining buildings on Pitt’s campus: Fitzgerald Field House.
My mission was to catch up with Pitt’s soccer coaches for our newest feature for Pittsburgh Soccer Now. I would be meeting with both Jay Vidovich, who’s heading into his third season at the helm of the men’s program, and Randy Waldrum, who enters his first season in charge of the women’s team.
This new feature, produced in conjunction with the Beautiful Game Network and our colleague Mike Sparks, will be an ongoing podcast named: Pittsburgh Soccer Now 1-on-1.
So, what better way to start this new ‘1-on-1’ venture than with in-depth interviews with two coaches who are universally respected and undeniably in the conversation among the elite leaders in the intercollegiate game during the past 25 years.
First up — Jay Vidovich:
When Pitt hired Vidovich, who won a National Championship and built Wake Forest into a powerhouse program in NCAA Division I men’s soccer during a 22-year tenure, it sent a clear message that they wanted to build a winning program.
After two years, Vidovich has the program heading in the right direction. The 2017 season included wins against ranked opponents and Pitt’s first wins in conference play in more than five years, showed that things are looking up.
But there’s still lots of work to do, and Vidovich is optimistic about where things are going in his third season.
Vidovich opens up in this interview on a number of topics, including:
- new recruits (the ones that he can talk about)
- where the Panthers stand heading into his third season, after taking a step forward in 2017, as expectations will continue to become greater
- his role in fostering continued growth of soccer in this region
- his thoughts on the Riverhounds SC turnaround season under Bob Lilley
- and much, much more
Next week, we’ll run the Waldrum interview.
The Jay Vidovich File
ACC Coach of the Year: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009
NSCAA National Coach of the Year: 2007 and 2008
Walt Chyzowych Award: 2008
NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year: 2002
Vidovich PSN file:
Indiana University (1978)
Ohio Wesleyan (1979-81)
COLLEGIATE HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE
Career Record: 282-144-53 (.652)
PITT (2016- )
Overall – 10-23-2 (ACC – 2-12-2)
WAKE FOREST (1994-2014)
Overall – 272-121-50
ACC Record: 76-58-24 (.481)
PRO COACHING EXPERIENCE
PORTLAND TIMBERS 2 – 11-15-2 (2015)
Born: February 5, 1960
Hometown: Detroit, Mich.
Education: Ohio Wesleyan, 1982 (B.A. in physical education)
University of Denver, 1983 (M.A. in sports sciences)
Family: Vidovich and his wife Julie have two daughters, Zoe and Tess.
MORE ABOUT PSN 1-on-1
During the first month, we’ll be mostly focused on interviews with area’s Division I coaches as the College season fast approaches.
After that, the sky is the limit.
We will be looking forward to having many guests on the podcast that encompass all areas of the World’s most popular sport in Pittsburgh.
I hope you enjoy these podcasts as it’s our aim to provide closer and more in-depth profiles of the people in the Pittsburgh soccer community.
Thanks always for reading, listening and for your support!
Special thanks to both Julie Jurich and Kelly Dumrauf from University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department for their assistance in coordinating these interviews.