A five-year veteran of Major League Soccer and former top assistant at Boston College, Kevin Anderson took the helm of Columbia men's soccer program in January of 2009.
In 2013, the Lions found success that had only been reached once previously in the last decade. With an 8-6-3 team record, Columbia matched the 2011 total for most wins in a season since 2003. The year was highlighted by a seven-game unbeaten streak that saw the Lions go 5-0-2. Columbia's home pitch, dedicated the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium on Oct. 12, gave the Lions an edge all season, losing just once in nine home matches (5-1-3).
A number of Anderson's student-athletes excelled on an individual basis in 2013. First-year Andrew Tinari earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year accolades, while senior David Najem, who joined Tinari on the Ancient Eight first team, was named College Sports Madness Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year. In total, four players were named to All-Ivy League teams.
The 2012 season saw the Lions go 4-8-4, with seven of the eight losses coming by just one tally. Columbia's season was highlighted by five All-Ivy League selections. Senior defender Quentin Grigsby and junior midfielder David Najem were selected to the All-Ivy League second-team, while first-year goalkeeper Kyle Jackson, junior midfielder Henning Sauerbier and first-year defender Antonio Matarazzo garnered honorable mention accolades. Jackson was a star throughout the year, being named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on four occassions.
As a team, the Lions' received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Award for the fourth straight year. Teams across the country must post at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average on a 4.0 scale to receive this honor. The Kevin Anderson coached Columbia men's soccer program, posted a grade point average of 3.42.
In 2011, Anderson led the Lions to their best record since 2003 with an 8-7-2 overall record. A strong contender for the Ivy League title, Columbia took a third place league finish behind a 4-2-1 record, the best since 2002. Under Anderson's direction, the Lions doubled their league wins from the year before and picked up a thrilling 2-1 double overtime victory over regular season league co-champion Brown.
For the first time in seven seasons, six different Columbia players were named All-Ivy League, led by forward Will Stamatis. Stamatis was named to the first team for the first time in his career, while senior defender Ronnie Shaban, senior midfielder Mike Mazzullo, sophomore midfielder David Najem, junior midfielder Nick Scott and sophomore Sauerbier earned second team recognition.
In 2010, Anderson guided the Lions to a 2-0-2 record in its last four Ivy League games, including three straight shutouts to finish out the season. The four-match unbeaten Ivy League streak to close out the year was the longest for a Columbia team since 1997-98, and the team had three consecutive clean sheets for the first time since 1995.
Anderson brought in an impressive group of first-years in his first full recruiting class, led by Ivy League Rookie of the Year Henning Sauerbier. Sauerbier became the first Lion since 1980 to lead the club in scoring as a first-year. Fellow first-year David Najem also made an immediate impact, starting all 17 matches in the midfield en route to All-Ivy League honorable mention honors.
In his first year as head coach at Columbia, Anderson saw his youthful club that featured nine first-years and nine sophomores battle hard against one of the nation's toughest schedules. Six opponents were ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25, and the Lions were within striking distance of winning all of them. Columbia notched its marquee victory of the year on Oct. 25 when it took down then-No. 15 Dartmouth on the road, 2-0.
Anderson joined the Lions after serving as the Eagles assistant coach for three years, earning accolades as one of the nation's Top Assistant Coaches by College Soccer News in in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, he helped guide Boston College to a 15-5-1 record, ACC regular-season and tournament titles and a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
“Kevin has an impressive combination of experience and a passion for Columbia with unrivaled integrity and dedication. He gained invaluable experience at Boston College, an annual national powerhouse.” director of athletics M. Dianne Murphy said. “We are deeply committed to building a winning men’s soccer program here at Columbia. I know that Kevin is the right leader to revitalize the program and take Columbia back to the upper echelon of the Ivy League.”
Anderson is no stranger to Morningside Heights. Immediately after his collegiate soccer career, he served as the Lions assistant coach. After playing professionally, Anderson returned to Columbia as the assistant men’s soccer coach and also as the acting head coach in 2006.
In his two years as assistant coach at Columbia, Anderson was an integral part of numerous aspects of the soccer program, including the team's strength and conditioning, day-to-day operations, academic support, and budgeting. In addition to his coaching duties, Anderson served as an adjunct professor of physical education.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity. I loved my time at Columbia. I am excited to lead the resurgence of a program that I care deeply about and that has unmatched potential,” Anderson said. “I am inspired by the progress of Columbia Athletics over the past four years and I look forward to making the Columbia Men’s Soccer program an integral part of that success.”
Anderson was a highly-decorated high-school athlete who earned All-America honors and New York Player of the Year recognition in his senior season. He began his collegiate career at George Mason University, where he earned Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie honors as a freshman and All-CAA first-team accolades as a sophomore. After transferring to Southern Connecticut State, Anderson captured NSCAA All-America first-team honors while leading the Owls to a national title in his senior season (1992). Additionally, he played for the U.S. National team at the U-16, U-18 and U-20 levels.
He played professionally for 10 years (1993-2003), including two years with the Colorado Rapids and three years with the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer.
In 1998 he was a part of the Minnesota Thunder side that lost the A-League Championship game to the Rochester Raging Rhinos. Before playing for Minnesota, Anderson captured a national championship as a member of the Long Island Rough Riders in 1995.
He spent two years coaching at his alma mater during his professional playing days and helped guide SCSU to back-to-back national titles in 1998 and 1999.
Anderson earned his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Southern Connecticut State University in 1992. He also holds a USSF National "A" Coaching License.