Dean Koski begins his 14th season as head coach of the Lehighs mens soccer program. Since taking over the program in 1991, Koski, the 15th coach in school history, has guided the Mountain Hawks to a Patriot League Championship in 2000, two NCAA tournament appearances, eight Mid-Atlantic Region Top 10 rankings and the best overall record in the Patriot League over the last nine seasons (95-41-26). He has helped to develop 23 All-Patriot League First Team players, and 24 Second Team players. In addition, two players, Andrew Mittendorf and Kevin Jackson, were drafted by MLS franchises and one, Evan Bruno, was named an All-American.
In 2003, Koski passed yet another milestone, as he recorded career victory No. 100 versus Navy on November 8. Koski became the first coach in Lehigh history to win 100 games, and has the most wins in school history with 113. This past season, Koski led Lehigh to a 12-7-2 record, marking the ninth consecutive season that the Mountain Hawks have finished with a winning record, which is both a Patriot League and school record. In the winter of 2004, Koski appeared at a coaches clinic in Reading, PA where he was a featured guest speaker, along with Bruce Arena, the US Mens National Team Coach.
In 2002, Koski led the Mountain Hawks to their highest ever national ranking, as Lehigh climbed as high as No. 14 in the Division I polls. Lehigh also ranked atop the Mid-Atlantic Regions rankings for much of the season. The surge in the rankings came in the midst of a Lehigh record nine match unbeaten streak. The Mountain Hawks earned the schools first at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, and hosted Northeastern in the first round. For his efforts, Koski was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year for the second time.
Koski, who holds a USSF A license, the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and the England FA Preliminary and International Diplomas, serves as a staff coach for both the USSF and NSCAA coaching schools. The 2000 NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year, Koski also sits on the NCAA Division I Regional Advisory Committee and has chaired the Patriot League soccer coaches committee. He has been a featured clinician for the New York/New Jersey Metro Stars and the North Jersey Imperials.
Coaching soccer is a passion for me, Koski says when asked why he decided to pursue the profession. My degree is in education and I yearn to teach. The relationships I have been able to forge with my players is especially rewarding. To be a part of their lives and watch them develop from boys to men is a privilege.
Koskis love of soccer can be traced back to his collegiate days where he played at West Chester University, which was a Division I program at that time. An Honorable Mention All-American, Koski was one of the top goal scorers in the East Coast Conference and served as the team captain. During his sophomore year, Koski helped lead the Rams to an ECC Championship with a win over American University. Koski continued to play 20 years of amateur soccer in Southern New Jersey and Bethlehem. He just recently retired from the Sunburst Soccer Club, one of the top mens amateur teams in the country.
Koski says that he recruits players that exhibit the same type of characteristics that he displayed during his career.
I want a Lehigh soccer player to be passionate, fiercely competitive and committed to being the best player, best student and best person that he can be.
A native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Koski taught in grades kindergarten through 12, has coached soccer, basketball and baseball and served as director of athletics at Moorestown (New Jersey) Friends School for seven years. It is this vast range of experience that has led Koski to his well-rounded approach at Lehigh.
We now have a program at Lehigh that places a great value on relationships, commitment, family and competition, Koski says. I think the involvement in the game of soccer is just one part of the overall experience that a student-athlete gets when he enrolls at Lehigh. We have players that love to play and come here wanting to play.
Since arriving at Lehigh, Koski has signed team contracts with Nike and has established one of the most successful soccer camps regionally, drawing over 700 campers each summer.
Koski and his wife Lisa, a first grade teacher at Calypso Elementary School, reside in Bethlehem with their four sons, Alec, Trevor, Spencer, and Blake.
Koski has a bachelors degree from West Chester University in health and physical education and a masters degree in special education from Bloomsburg University.