New women’s soccer head coach selected

Following a comprehensive nationwide search, UIC Director of Athletics Garrett Klassy announced today that he has selected Tom Anagnost to lead the women’s soccer program, pending approval by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

Anagnost possesses head coaching experience at Mississippi State University, University of Miami and Central Michigan University. In six seasons as a full-time head coach, he has guided his teams to the NCAA Tournament five times, and twice to the second round.

“At University of Illinois at Chicago, we are committed to hiring the very best talent in the country to provide the best student-athlete experience possible,” Klassy said. “By bringing in a revered head coach with Tom Anagnost’s accomplishments, we have shown that we’re able to attract the very best personnel at UIC. I would like to thank him for believing in the Flames, recognizing our growth, and realizing the potential that we possess at UIC.

“From a deep pool of highly qualified candidates, Coach Anagnost emerged to the top as the leader who can immediately invigorate our UIC women’s soccer program,” Klassy said. “He embodies our department’s mission of winning championships and changing lives. His credentials speak for themselves as Tom has instantly elevated every program he has touched to consistently get the very best out of his student-athletes, both in the classroom and in competition. I have no doubt that he will do that with our Flames.

“As we constantly work to strengthen the culture of our department, I know that Tom will be someone who can engage everyone from our student-athletes, to administrators to the other coaches within the department and draw out their very best on a daily basis. I am thrilled that he is on our team now.

“I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of my life at UIC and with the women’s soccer program,” Anagnost said. “The timing of this move is best for me as it addresses my current needs personally. I am very grateful and blessed to be closer to friends and family at home, and Chicago has always been my favorite city.

“I want to thank [Director of Athletics] Garrett Klassy, [UIC Deputy Athletic Director] Farrah Manthei and [Associate Athletic Director] Mike Gilmartin for meeting with me. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with each of them and I trust and believe in their leadership and vision for UIC,” Anagnost said. “I am extremely appreciative and thankful for this opportunity.

“The University of Illinois at Chicago and this vibrant city is a great selling point for any student-athlete from anywhere in the world,” noted Anagnost. “I look forward to getting to know the current Flames and working closely with them to improve this program day by day.”

Anagnost most recently spent two seasons as the head coach of the women’s soccer program at Mississippi State. Playing in the Southeastern Conference, which is regarded as the top RPI league in the country, the Bulldogs qualified for the first NCAA Tournament in school history in 2018. Anagnost’s club received the first top-25 rankings in program history and finished the campaign ranked No. 17 in the RPI. The 2018 Bulldogs set multiple program records including shots allowed per game (11.6), shots per game (18.4) and fewest goals allowed (17).

In his first season at MSU, Anagnost led the Bulldogs to their highest winning percentage in 16 years, a mark of .611 (9-5-4). They also finished inside the top 50 in the RPI rankings for the first time ever, closing the season at No. 39. That season goalkeeper Catalina Perez, recruited by Anagnost, was the first player in MSU history to garner All-America status. Mallory Eubancks became the program’s first SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and she was selected 16th overall by the Washington Spirit in the National Women’s Soccer League draft.

Mississippi State set single-game (1,402) and single-season (8,246) attendance records during Anagnost’s tenure. The Bulldogs dominated in the classroom, as well, posting a record-high 3.69 grade-point average in fall 2017.

In 2016, Anagnost was an assistant coach at North Carolina State. There, he helped the Wolfpack secure their first NCAA Tournament bid in 10 years and reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1995. NC State executed a tremendous turnaround as it won 11 times in 2016 after collecting six victories in 2014 and 2015 combined. In 2014 and 2015, Anagnost served as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Michigan.

Anagnost was the head coach at Miami from 2011-2013. In his second time leading a program, he helped the Hurricanes to two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances while winning 19 matches over the two-year span. His club knocked off three top-10 teams, including top-ranked Florida State, and set program records for fewest goals against (19), most shutouts in a season (11) and most shutouts in ACC play (6).

The Saginaw, Mich., native’s first head coaching stint came in his home state at Central Michigan, where he served on an interim basis in 2008 and as the full-time leader in 2009-10. Anagnost compiled a record of 45-12-7. The Chippewas went 17-4-3 in 2009 under his leadership, a mark that remains the highest win total in CMU history. He was named the Mid-American Conference’s Coach of the Year in all three seasons while leading the Chips to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2010 after becoming the first program in MAC history to win back-to-back regular season and tournament championships. The team also recorded the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory and CMU’s streak of 13 consecutive shutouts under Anagnost was the second longest in NCAA history.

During his three years at Central Michigan, the women’s soccer program won three NSCAA Academic National Championships as it proudly boasted the top GPA in the country for both genders in all divisions.

From 1999-2007, Anagnost coached both girls and boys at the high school level in Michigan with stops at Bay City John Glenn, Heritage and Flint Powers Catholic.

Anagnost played professional soccer in 1995-96, including a stint with the Chicago Power of the National Premier Soccer League in 1995. That year he played under the tutelage of Alkis Panagoulias, former national team coach in Greece and the United States.

Anagnost starred at Kalamazoo College from 1992-95. He was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American and a four-time All-Midwest Region and All-MIAA selection. The 1994 MIAA Player of the Year was the first player in the conference’s history to collect three straight All-America awards and four straight All-Region nods. In 2006, he was inducted into the Kalamazoo College Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions over his successful four-year career with the Hornets.

Anagnost graduated from Kalamazoo in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He also minored in history with a Spanish concentration. Later, in 2003, he received a teaching certificate from Saginaw Valley State University.