Oglethorpe University

Oglethorpe University Athletics
4484 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30319
Division 3 Georgia Southeast
Private Small National competitor


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Jon Akin

Akin has rewritten the record book since he arrived at Oglethorpe 15 seasons ago as a young head coach at the age of 25. Since his arrival, he has become the winningest coach in the 50-plus years of the program, compiling a 127-103-20 mark.

He has coached the team to the program’s first-ever conference championship, taking the SCAC championship in 2011 and earning the program’s first-ever NCAA berth after a 17-4 season. That same season, he was named SCAC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career and saw player Mark Lavery named SCAC Defensive Player of the Year and NSCAA First Team All-America. There have only been two All-Americas in the history of the program and Akin has coached them both, with St. Louis’ David Mueller receiving the honor in 2005. In 2013 Akin led the team to its second overall conference title and first SAA title and was named conference coach of the year for the third time. The 2013 team also secured the SAA Offensive Player of the Year award for senior Nick Williamson and the SAA Defensive Player of the Year honor for senior Clemson transfer Nikos Papanikolopolous. The team finished 11-3-3 and lost just once over their final 15 games.

In 2015, he led the Petrels to a 10-3-3 record, the program's first-ever regular season conference championship and it's third conference championship of any type during his tenure. Akin earned the fourth conference coach of the year award of his tenure and his second SAA Coach of the Year honor. The 2015 team saw goalkeeper Vaughn Moore earn SAA Defensive Player of the Year honors, while midfielder Topher Marshall won the SAA Newcomer of the Year award. The Petrels also put eight players on All-SAA teams in 2015, while midfielder Nick Muntean was named to the All-South Atlantic Region Second Team and the Scholar All-South Region Team by the NSCAA.

The 2016 season saw the Petrels pick up where the left off the year before, as they went undefeated in SAA play to win their second consecutive SAA regular season title and their fourth conference trophy overall. Marshall again picked up some impressive postseason hardware, this time winning the SAA Offensive Player of the Year award. Team captain Micah Akin won SAA Defensive Player of the Year honors, while Coach Akin earned SAA Coach of the Year for the second straight campaign, marking the fifth conference coach of the year award of his career. The Petrels put nine total players on All-SAA teams in 2016, while Marshall earned All-South Atlantic honors and midfielders Josh Hoeft and Erik Marquez took Scholar All-South accolades.

Akin has brought in some of the best Division III soccer talent in the country with several all-conference and all-region players and multiple freshmen and players of the year. Oglethorpe has also received several transfer students from prestigious Division I programs.

Akin's staff has also seen several recent coaches moving on to full-time positions in pro soccer and various programs all over the ranks of college soccer, from Division I to NAIA and former assistant Keylor Reyes is on the international stage as an assistant with the Costa Rican national team.

Under Akin, the team plays a very attractive style, with possession-oriented soccer, building from the back and playing quickly through the lines. This style has helped greatly in recruiting, as it’s a system that players love to play in. The coaching staff focuses on technique, work ethic and player improvement and looks for players who have the ability to play in and will improve within the system.

Akin also works with the U.S. Soccer Federation as a national team scout and Development Academy evaluator. He holds the U.S. Soccer "A" coaching license, the NSCAA "Premier" license (in which he received the highest rating with a "Distinguished Pass"), and the U.S. Soccer National "Youth" license.

Playing Bio

Akin grew up in Pensacola, Fla., where he attended Pensacola Catholic High School. In 1995, he attended Saint Leo University as a freshman. Jon was named First-Team All-Conference and All-South. In 1996, he scored 28 goals and had 16 assists to lead the nation in scoring. He was All-American, All-South, and the Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year. In 1997, Akin was First-Team All-American, All-South, and All-Sunshine State Conference. In 1998, he ended his career at Saint Leo finishing second all-time in career goals with 61 and first in assists with 45. In 1998, he spent three months with Independiente of the Argentinian First Division.

In 1999, Akin was drafted by the Charleston Battery in the first round of the A-League draft. In 2000, he played in all 32 games for the Battery, who lost in the second round of the playoffs to the eventual-champion Rochester Raging Rhinos. During the 2000 offseason, Akin played with Kilkenny City of the Irish Premier League.

In 2001, Akin played 26 games for the Battery before losing to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the playoffs. He began the 2002 season with the Charleston Battery before being traded to the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he played 20 games.

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Joe Baia

Joe Baia joined the Oglethorpe University men's soccer program for his first season in 2016 as full-time assistant. Prior to joining the OU staff, Coach Baia spent two years as the head coach at Southern Vermont College. In his first year at the helm of the program, the Mountaineers decreased their total goals against by 25, decreased their goals against average by 1.51, and increased their save percentage by over 16 percentage points. Baia then helped guide the team to their most goals (29), assists (21), and points (79) in a season since the 2011 campaign. The 2015 Mountaineer squad also went on its first 3-game winning streak since 2011 and accumulated their fewest yellow cards (7) since 2009. Additionally, he saw a pair of first-year players earn their way to All-NECC Second Team honors.

Coach Baia also served as the assistant coach for the University of Rochester men’s soccer team in 2013, being part of the University Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Coaching Staff of the Year. At Rochester, Baia worked with players on technical and strength & conditioning training, assisted in recruiting and scouting, and facilitated camps and clinics in addition to day-to-day operations. He helped lead the team to a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2013 NCAA tournament with a 15-3-2 overall record.

In addition to his coaching experience at Rochester, Baia was a graduate assistant at SUNY Brockport for two years. Baia worked in the areas of technical training, recruiting, scouting, and daily operations with Brockport, and in 2011 the Golden Eagles earned a SUNYAC finals appearance and a second-round NCAA Tournament appearance, finishing 13-4-2 on the year.

Going into Baia's fourth season with the Petrels, the program has been tremendously successful during his time at Oglethorpe. They improved by 10 wins from the 2016 to the 2017 season, winning the program's third conference championship and second NCAA tournament appearance in 2017. In 2018, the team completed their third straight undefeated SAA regular season en route to earning their fourth SAA regular-season title in a row.

Baia implements all strength and conditioning training for the men's soccer program, and handles all facets of program operation, travel, recruiting, scouting and team training.

Coach Baia graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in movement and sports studies from Springfield College in 2011 before moving on to Brockport, where he earned his master’s degree in athletic administration, graduating in 2013. Baia holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “C” license and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

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Reed Norton

The Oglethorpe men's soccer team is proud to announce the hiring of Reed Norton as their assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Norton comes to the Stormy Petrels from Georgia Southern University, where he served as an assistant coach after playing there for the first three years of his college career.

In his first year back in Statesboro as an assistant, Georgia Southern claimed a share of the Sun Belt regular season championship, marking the first men's soccer conference title for the Eagles. At the conclusion of that season, four members of the Eagles squad were named to the All-Sun Belt team.

This past season, Georgia Southern put up a record of 9-8-1 while the team once more put four players on the All-Sun Belt team.

Norton graduated from North Carolina State University, where he transferred after two seasons at Georgia Southern. While at N.C. State, he played in a total of 33 matches and scored three goals, including a pair of game-winners, one of which came against then-No. 5 Louisville. With Georgia Southern over the first two years of his college career, he earned All-Southern Conference First Team honors his sophomore year while leading the team to the conference semifinals, and earned a spot on the SoCon All-Freshman Team his first year.

Norton was a member of the Seattle Sounders' United Soccer League team after his collegiate playing career was finished, and was a highly-decorated high school player and a member of the United States Under-17 National Team Residency Program. He played for Concorde Fire in the Atlanta area, and was a member of the 2011-12 U.S. Soccer Development Academy South Conference Starting XI.

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