Rivero joins Flames following decorated career at Trinidad State Junior College
Vlamakis becomes first coach to win national coach of the year at youth and adult levels
Vlamakis collects honor following success at the helm of Raiders FC
Raiders FC holds a 52-7-7 record under direction of Vlamakis
Eight Illinois natives set to join Flames' program
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 as well helping the team earn Horizon League Championships in 2013 and 2015. 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 since 2004 and is the first coach in US Soccer history to win National Coach of the Year at the Adult (2007) and Youth (2013) levels. In the build-up towards those national accolades, Vlamakis was also named Illinois and Midwest Coach of the Year in 2007 (Adult) and 2013 (Youth).
His most recent endeavor includes serving as a staff coach for the Chicago Fire Academy since 2014 and helping their U18s win the USSDA U18 National Championship in July 2015. Working under the guidance of Academy Director and head coach Larry Sunderland, Vlamakis helped the U18s win the Mid-America Championship as well as clinching 1st place in their group during the 2015 USSDA U18 Playoffs. The team went on to defeat the Houston Dynamo in the quarterfinals before defeating the Montreal Impact in the semifinals en route to clinching their first-ever USSDA National Championship at the U18 age group when they defeated Real Salt Lake in the final. Every player who was in their last year of the Academy went on to play collegiate soccer, while one player signed a professional contract with the Chicago Fire’s first team.
Prior to joining the Chicago Fire Academy, Vlamakis was 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), he 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 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. Vlamakis was rewarded for his work with Raiders FC when he was named the 2013 Illinois Youth Soccer Coach of the Year and 2013 US Youth Soccer Midwest Region Coach of the Year as well as the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Coach of the Year.
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 League 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 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 with his wife Noreen.