Eight Illinois natives set to join Flames' program
In his second stint on the UIC men's soccer coaching staff is former Indiana University All-American and Major League Soccer standout Aleksey Korol. Korol was elevated to associate head coach in January 2016.
Korol rejoined the Flames as the top assistant coach prior to the 2010 campaign after spending a year as an assistant at Indiana. Over the last three seasons, Korol has helped UIC capture the Horizon League regular season title twice in addition to setting a slew of program records in 2013, including winningest regular season (15-3-0) and first perfect conference record (7-0-0).
Korol served as the second assistant coach at UIC in his first stint at the school from 2006-2008, helping the Flames advance to the NCAA tournament each year. While Korol was on the Flames' staff, UIC compiled a record of 38-13-17 and made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Sweet 16, including an unprecedented Elite Eight run in 2007.
Along with the 2009 Round of 16 appearance with Indiana, Korol has been on the staff of three consecutive Sweet 16 sides.
In his first stint with the Flames, Korol was charged with the development of UIC's attacking players, and his tutelage was evident each season.
In 2008, UIC featured one of the nation's best offensive players in Baggio Husidic, who grew into a play-making force while Korol was on staff during his entire three-year college career. Husidic posted 24 points, including nine goals, en route to NSCAA/adidas First Team All-American honors. He was also named Horizon League Player of the Year, Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year and an All-Horizon League First Team pick.
UIC had four players scored five or more goals and three with five or more assists as the Flames won the league regular season title and advanced to the Round of 16 in 2008.
2007 was a season to remember for the Flames, and Korol assisted in making that campaign historic. The Flames won the league tournament title and eliminated three ranked teams on the road to finish one match shy of a berth to the NCAA College Cup. Leading the charge was All-American Pavle Dundjer and league tournament MVP Cesar Zambrano, both offensive standouts under Korol's watch.
Led by All-American striker Tonci Skroce, the Flames entered the national soccer scene during Korol's first season in 2006 by catapulting up the national rankings and capturing the league regular season title for the first trip to the NCAA tournament in six seasons. UIC advanced to the Round of 32 and set the stage for the Flames' rise as an NCAA soccer power.
Korol concluded his collegiate career at Indiana in 1999 as the leading point scorer in NCAA Tournament history and the fourth-highest point scorer in the illustrious history of IU soccer.
A 1999 All-American and Soccer America's Player of the Year that season, Korol scored 57 goals and assisted on 35 others for a career point total of 149, the fourth-most in Indiana history.
During his All-American season in 1999 he scored a career-high 20 goals and posted 10 assists to become the first IU player in a decade to score 50 points, garnering All-Region and Big Ten Player of the Year honors along the way.
At Indiana Korol made three College Cup appearances with the Hoosiers, guiding IU to back-to-back National Championships as a junior and senior.
Korol posted 29 points on 12 goals and five helpers in 17 NCAA postseason matches from 1996 through 1999, good for the most points in NCAA Tournament history.
He was an All-Big Ten selection in each of his four seasons, winning Big Ten Championships every year he was at Indiana.
Drafted by Dallas with the fifth pick in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft, Korol played two seasons for the Burn, playing in 36 matches and scoring seven goals, and appeared in one game for the Chicago Fire before injury hampered his MLS career. He played in the United Soccer League in 2003 and 2004 before moving to the coaching ranks.
Korol has extensive experience coaching in the youth ranks. His experiences in youth coaching range from starting youth academy programs in New York and Indiana as well as training competitive youth travel teams. Korol has also worked the Indiana Soccer Camps and the UIC Soccer Camps.