You can't have a conversation about men's soccer at Kean University without invoking the name of Head Coach Tony Ochrimenko. For over a quarter-century, the popular "Tony O." has manned the sidelines for the Cougars, turning a competitive, local-level squad into one of the most respected NCAA Division III programs in the nation.
A record-setting All-New Jersey Athletic Conference sweeper during the 1973 and 1974 seasons, Ochrimenko spent one year as an assistant to then-Head Coach Wayne Cunningham before being handed control of the club prior to the 1976 season. Through sheer determination and a love of the game, Ochrimenko was able to nurture his program and develop it into a winner.
In 1978, the club posted an 11-3-2 record, and captured the first of seven New Jersey Athletic Conference championships under Ochrimenko. After qualifying for a remarkable nine NCAA Tournaments since 1980, he reached the zenith of Division III soccer in 1992 when the Cougars captured the NCAA national championship.
A seven-time NJAC Coach of the Year, Ochrimenko has assembled a career record of 450-227-55 in his 36 seasons, to rank 17th in all-time career coaching wins in NCAA history and seventh among NCAA Division III active coaches. His teams have appeared in 14 NCAA Tournaments, captured eight NJAC titles and have earned five Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) playoff berths, winning two titles.
Ochrimenko has had a hand in every NJAC title claimed by Kean, coaching the squad to eight (1978, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1990, 1997, 1998 and 2010), and playing on the 1973 club that shared the title with William Paterson College (now University).
During the fall of 2010 the Cougars knocked off the top three seeds of the NJAC tournament en-route to capturing the program's first NJAC title since 1998, as they also became the first sixth seed to capture a NJAC Championship in any sport. In the title match his squad recorded the game-winner in overtime to advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
In 2000, the Cougars fought to a 17-5-1 record, the fifth-most victories in program history while advancing to the championship game of the NJAC tournament.
During 1998, Ochrimenko's Cougars stormed to their second consecutive unbeaten and untied season in the NJAC (9-0-0), en route to hosting the NCAA Metro Regional for the second straight year. The 16-5 Kean team did not allow a goal in NJAC play, an unprecedented benchmark of defensive prowess.
In 1997, Ochrimenko was named the regional and NJAC Coach of the Year after leading Kean to a school-record 20-2 mark and into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Ochrimenko's 1984 club advanced all the way to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament
Ochrimenko earned his degree from Kean in 1975, and is a 1982 inductee of the Kean University Benisch Athletic Hall of Fame.