Ali Kazemaini
Ali Kazemaini
Position: Head Coach
Last College: 7th season

When Ali Kazemaini took over the Cleveland State soccer program in 2006, the team was coming off a winless season and expectations were not very high.

In a short period he has built the program to the point where big things are expected, evidenced by the fact the Vikings were tabbed to finish second in the 2012 Horizon League Preseason Poll.

In his 20 years as a head coach Ali Kazemaini has compiled a record of 219-133-18, including 43 victories at Cleveland State and a 22-7-1 record at Krenzler Field over the past four seasons.

Last season Kazemaini led a young Vikings team that continued to improve, finishing 9-9-1 in 2011, including winning three of its final four games to end the season.

Taking over the winless CSU program beginning with the 2006 season, he returned immediate results. Coach Kazemaini led the Vikings to the largest turnaround among all NCAA Division I programs, ending the season with a 6-10-2 record.

During the 2007 season, the Vikings finished with a record of 3-7-2 in matches decided by one goal or less, indicating they were better than their 3-12-3 overall record.

The Vikings were able to rebound under Kazemaini in 2008 by going 5-5-2 in matches decided by one goal or fewer and posting an overall record of 9-8-3, leading the team to the finals of the Horizon League Championship for the first time since 2002.

Kazemaini came back to Cleveland State after 14 successful seasons as head coach at John Carroll University.

Kazemaini took over at JCU in 1992 and the Blue Streaks immediately benefited, going 15-2-1 and winning the Ohio Athletic Conference Championship in his first season.

The accomplishments quickly piled up. He won seven OAC regular season titles during his 14 seasons, earning a league tournament berth 12 times and claiming four tournament championships.

He guided his teams to the NCAA Tournament in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005, highlighted by a trip to the round of 16 in 2003.

For his efforts, Kazemaini was named OAC Coach of the Year three times (2000, 2001, & 2005) and the NSCAA/Adidas Regional Coach of the Year twice (2000 & 2001).

During his tenure at John Carroll, Kazemaini coached players who won all-league honors 42 times, all-region accolades 21 times and 31 All-Ohio choices.

In the classroom, eight of his players were named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team, with two earning Academic All-America honors.

A native of Tehran, Iran, Kazemaini originally came to Cleveland State in 1980 and played on teams that compiled a 42-21-12 record, making one NCAA Championship appearance.

Kazemaini, one of two players in Vikings history to lead the team in scoring four straight years, currently ranks fifth in CSU history in goals (41), sixth in total points (102) and ninth in assists (20).

Kazemaini began his CSU playing career in fine fashion, leading the team in goals (6), assists (4) and points (16) in 1980.

He came back the fol¬lowing year to double his scoring totals, tallying team highs in all three categories with 12 goals, eight assists and 32 points to earn second team All-America and first team All-Ohio accolades, helping CSU to a 14-5-2 record.