Eight Illinois natives set to join Flames' program
Minos Vlamakis, one of the Chicago's most successful and well-respected young coaches, returns for his eighth season with the UIC Men's Soccer coaching staff and fifth as a full-time assistant coach.
Vlamakis has played a huge role with the Flames since 2007, serving on the staff that directed back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 runs and an unprecedented Elite Eight run in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Vlamakis played a key part in the team's preparation throughout each season, and most recently his role has been centered on recruiting, training and video analysis of UIC and their opponents.
Vlamakis brings a wide array of award-winning experience that he has accomplished over a short period of time, and is one of the most successful coaches to ever come out of Chicago. Most recently, he is the first coach in Illinois Soccer history to win Illinois Coach of the Year at the Youth (2013) and Amateur (2006, 2007) levels.
His most recent endeavor includes serving as the head coach of Raiders FC U17/18 Premier, one of the most successful youth teams in recent history. In his first season with the team (2011-2012), Vlamakis led the Raiders to a 2nd place finish in the prestigious USYS National League while also finishing as runners-up in the IYSA State Cup. The team went on to win the Midwest Regional League as well as the USYS Region II Championship, earning them a place at the 2012 USYS National Championships, where they finished 2nd in the country.
The 2012-2013 season with Raiders FC was even more successful as the team would go on to win the USYS National League and IYSA State Cup as well as dominating their local NISL Premiership, capturing 1st place in the U19 Division. The Raiders would go on to reach the USYS Region II Semifinals and were the only team to win every group match at the 2013 USYS National Championships before narrowly losing in the National Championship match in penalty kicks. After just two seasons with Raiders FC, Vlamakis captured League, State, Regional and National League trophies while helping 26 players move on to play at the collegiate level.
Prior to signing with Raiders FC, Vlamakis built the highly-successful Chicago United High School Academy from the ground up in his first youth coaching position. In just three years, CUFC's high school program grew from one team to eight teams and was the largest and most successful high school program the city has ever seen. Upon leaving in July 2011, Vlamakis had won numerous NISL championships while also capturing one State Championship and one Regional Championship, and over 20 players that he worked with from 2009-2011 went on to play soccer at the collegiate level.
Before entering the world of youth soccer, Vlamakis had already established himself as one of the most successful amateur coaches in the United States, as he was named the 2006/07 Midwest Region II Coach of the Year and the 2006/07 USASA National Coach of the Year . In April 2006, Vlamakis was named the head coach of RWB Adria of the prestigious National Soccer League based out of Chicago, Illinois. In three seasons with the Croatian club, Vlamakis won three NSL Championships, three Illinois State Cups, two Illinois Open Cups, one Illinois Amateur Cup and two Midwest Open Cups, guiding the club to the 2007 and 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the oldest and most prestigious tournament in the United States. Adria were named Illinois Team of the Year in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and Vlamakis was named NSL and Illinois Coach of the Year during those dates as well.
While coaching at RWB Adria, Vlamakis was also the head coach of the Illinois State Select Team, lifting that squad and the Illinois State Soccer Association to unprecedented heights. After working with the late Samir Youkhanna and helping Winged Bull win the 2004 USASA National Amateur Championship, the two signed on to coach the Illinois State Select Team. Vlamakis coached the squad to Regional Championships in 2004 and 2005 before taking over full-time and guiding the team to their third and fourth Regional Championships in a row in 2006 and 2007, as well as winning the much-coveted George F. Donnelly Cup (USASA National Select Team National Championship) in 2007 and 2008. Those trophies were the first in the ISSA's 90+ year history.
Before joining UIC in 2007, Vlamakis spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons as an Assistant Coach at Oakton College, one of the top NJCAA teams in the Midwest. The Oakton Raiders reached the Regional Semifinals in both of his seasons there, while eight players were named to the All-Conference team and two players were named NSCAA All-Americans.
Vlamakis, a native of Elmwood Park, graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2004 and currently resides in Chicago.