The most successful coach in Wake Forest soccer history, Jay Vidovich is an experienced coach with an incomparable rapport with the student-athletes who play for him. He begins his tenth season as head coach of the Wake Forest men's soccer program.
Last season, Vidovich guided the Wake Forest soccer program to new heights.
For the first time in school history, the Deacons sat atop the national rankings, captured the ACC regular season title, went through the regular season undefeated and earned a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. He guided two players, Brian Carroll and William Hesmer, to All-America status for the first time and Justin Moose became Wake Forest's first ever ACC Rookie of the Year.
For his efforts, Vidovich was named ACC Coach of the Year, the first time a Wake Forest had earned the honor since 1982, and the NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year.
In 2001, the Deacons defeated James Madison to give Vidovich his 78th career win, making him Wake Forest's all-time winningest men's soccer coach.
He passed the legendary Walt Chyzowych, who is universally recognized as the most influential figure in the development of American soccer. Vidovich served as an assistant coach under Chyzowych, his longtime friend and mentor for eight years at WFU before taking over the reins of the program. Both arrived at Wake Forest in 1986 and shared the sidelines until Chyzowych's death just prior to the 1994 season.
Under Chyzowych's guidance, Vidovich gained experience in the international game as well as at the youth and collegiate levels, helping to develop some of the top young players in the country. Several players whom Vidovich has mentored have gone on to achieve success at the national level, including Neil Covone, who played in the 1990 World Cup, and Craig Conger and Craig Johnson, who were members of the Olympic team. Others have gone on to achieve success in the pro soccer ranks, including Eddie Pope, Josh Timbers, Serge Daniv and Ben Stafford.
Since coming to Wake Forest in 1986, Vidovich has coached eight All-Americans including Brian Carroll, Covone, Daniv, William Hesmer, Timbers, Todd Renner, Aaron Thomas and Jeremiah White, plus 19 All-South selections and 31 All-ACC selections.
After taking over as head coach of the Deacons in 1994, Vidovich has developed a nationally competitive program that consistently ranks in the top 25 against a tough schedules.
Entering the 2003 season, Vidovich has an overall record of 105-58-17 in his nine years, never enduring a losing season as a head coach.
In 2001, Wake Forest finished 13-6-2, ranked tenth nationally by Soccer America. The team reached the NCAA Tournament for the second time in a three-year span.
In 2000, the Demon Deacons posted their tenth straight 10-win season and earned a berth in the ACC tournament semifinals. One of the wins came at eventual national champion, Connecticut. The first night game in Morrone Stadium history, the Deacons spoiled the party with a 2-1 overtime victory. The team finished with a 10-7-2 mark.
Vidovich guided the 1999 Deacons to one of the best seasons in school history with a 13-3-5 record. The team's .738 winning percentage was a new school record and the team was ranked as high as third. Wake finished third in the regular season ACC standings and reached the ACC tournament semifinals and advanced to the NCAA Tourney for the second straight season.
In 1998, a young and talented Deacon squad turned in an 11-7-1 campaign and was ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation. High points of the season included a 2-1 upset of top-ranked Washington, a 2-1 win over No. 10 South Carolina, and a 2-2 tie with No. 4 Virginia and its first NCAA berth since 1991.
The 1997 Deacs weathered an up-and-down season to finish with a 10-10 record.
In 1996, Wake was picked to place seventh in the ACC but finished second, posting a 12-7-1 record. The 1995 Deacons battled a difficult schedule, ending 11-8-1. In 1994, Vidovich led Wake to a 10-8-1 record through a mentally and physically demanding season.
Born in Detroit, Mich., Vidovich attended New Canaan High School in Connecticut, where he earned all-state accolades. He then played for Indiana on their nationally-ranked 1978 team before transferring to Ohio Wesleyan, where he was a three-year starter. In 1982, he served as captain while leading OWU to the NCAA semifinals.
In 1982, Vidovich received a bachelor's degree in physical education from Ohio Wesleyan, then proceeded to the University of Denver, where he received a master's degree in sports sciences in 1983.
While a graduate student at Denver, Vidovich began his coaching career as an assistant on the Pioneers' 1982 team, which won the NAIA Division II district and regional championships. Vidovich coached two NAIA All-Americans and six NAIA All-West players on that squad.
In 1983, Vidovich moved on to Regis College. As an assistant, Vidovich again helped a standout team, which included two NAIA All-Americans and three All-West players.
In his final stop before Wake Forest, Vidovich returned to his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan, as an assistant coach. In his two years there the team posted a combined 30-8-2 record, ranking among the top 10 teams in the nation. Vidovich had another opportunity to work with athletes of national caliber there, coaching three All-Americans and nine All-Mideast players who led the team to two showings in the NCAA Tournament.
Vidovich has been active in a number of youth soccer programs, a coach on North Carolina's Olympic Development Team staff. His credentials include a USSF "A" license and a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
Vidovich and his wife, Julie, have a 5 1/2-year-old daughter, Zoe. They reside in Winston-Salem.