March 5, 2009
DeKALB - Northern Illinois head men's soccer coach Steve Simmons promoted third-year goalkeepers coach Eric Luzzi to associate head coach, Thursday.
"I consider Eric one of the top assistants in the country" Simmons said. "His value to our program is immeasurable. His ability to help shape the experience of our student-athletes is felt in so many ways."
Luzzi has been with the Huskies since 2006, when he helped guide Northern Illinois to the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament championships. That year, under the tutelage of Luzzi, goalkeeper Joe Zimka set an NCAA record for goals allowed average, and the Huskies set the NIU record for shutouts in a season with 14. In 2008, Luzzi was part of the staff that coached the Huskies to eight shutouts, and a trip to the MAC Championship game for the second time in three years.
A Chicago native, Luzzi followed up a stellar prep goalkeeping career at St. Ignatius High School as a four-year letterman and starting keeper at Saint Mary's. His résumé includes two campaigns as head coach for Schaumburg High School prior to his return to his alma mater, where he spent five seasons guiding the Division III Cardinals, who were 26-48-9 during that timespan.
The son of Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association (IHSSCA) Hall of Famer and long-time St. Ignatius head coach Jim Luzzi, the NIU assistant has also logged seven summers working with the Olympic Development Program (ODP), including the United States Soccer Federation's Region II. In the winter of 2006, Luzzi was named head goalkeepers coach for USSF Region II ODP. During the summer of 2007, Luzzi traveled to France with the U-18 ODP squad as an assistant coach.
Luzzi holds a USSF National "A" License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and Level III National Goalkeeping License, a USSF Youth License and a Dutch Soccer Federation Youth Coaching Certificate. A 1997 graduate of Saint Mary's, Luzzi earned a bachelor of arts in social science education and is pursuing a master's in human development from SMU.