Highlights from the celebration of the NIU men's soccer team's 1-0 win over Western Michigan
Mike Boland joined the NIU staff prior to the 2010 season following one season as an assistant coach at William Penn University. Boland reunites with NIU head coach Eric Luzzi, who coached Boland at St. Mary's University (Minnesota).
"I am excited to have Mike as a part of our staff," said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. "Having been his college coach, I know how hard he will work to help make our program better. He's got a good eye for the game, and will do great things for us in the area of marketing our team. He is a young coach with a ton of energy who adds a lot to the dynamic of our staff."
A native of Lake Zurich, Ill., Boland began his coaching career as an assistant at his former high school, Carmel Catholic High School. Boland worked with both the men's and women's teams at Carmel Catholic, helping the men with back-to-back regional championships. In three seasons with the Carmel Catholic women, Boland helped the team compile a 57-11-1 record, winning three conference championships, two sectional championships and finishing as state runner-up in 2008.
In 2010, Bolland helped NIU to a 9-6-2 record, including a perfect record against the Big Ten with victories over Northwestern and Wisconsin, as well as a Lewang Cup victory over Milwaukee.
The Huskies had one of the best season's in program history in 2011, posting a 15-6-0 record, tying the program-record for wins, en route to a Mid-American Conference championship and a bid to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. NIU defeated Western Illinois 3-0 in the first round of the tournament before bowing out to second-seeded Creighton. Northern Illinois was ranked as high as No. 13 in the adidas/NSCAA national ranking and No. 16 in the RPI during the 2011 campaign, finishing with a program-best RPI of 24.
The 2012 season saw the Huskies play one of the most difficult schedules in the country, with five foes that were ranked in the top-five in the country. After winning just one of its first eight games, the Huskies rallied to reach the MAC Championship game for the second-straight season. Along the way, NIU earned quality wins against Big Ten champion Northwestern and MAC newcomer West Virginia, beating the Mountaineers twice, including in the MAC Tournament semifinals.
In four seasons as a player at St. Mary's (Minn.), Boland excelled on both ends of the field, being named the team's Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman in 2002 and earning team MVP honors and Defensive MVP recognition as a senior in 2005. Boland earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from St. Mary's.
Boland holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Advanced National Coaching Diploma and is the Boys Director of Coaching for the local youth club, Northern Illinois FC. Boland is currently pursuing his master's degree in business leadership at William Penn University.