Ike Ofoje begins his 22nd season at the helm of the USC Aiken men's soccer program and the 14th year in which he will solely coach just one team.
Ofoje started the women’s program at USC Aiken in 1997 and served as its head coach for eight seasons, compiling a record of 51-77-10. In 2005, however, Sue Vodicka was hired as the program’s first full-time women’s soccer coach.
With the addition of Vodicka, Ofoje took on the role of Director of Soccer Operations. In his 21 seasons at the helm of the Pacers, he has a 121-221-32 overall record.
Sporting an extremely young team in 2016 while dealing with a rash of injuries, the squad was competitive throughout the year but finished 4-13. However, the team won its last two regular-season matches in strong fashion, earning a berth in the PBC Tournament.
In 2015, his team suffered numerous injuries throughout the course of the year. When his team was fully healthy, the squad went 5-1-1. Ofoje led the squad to a berth in the PBC Tournament and led it to a winning record for the second straight season. Andre Bernardini picked up first-team all-conference honors while Andre Simmond garnered second-team accolades.
The 2014 campaign was a banner year for Ofoje. He guided the team to a school-record 14 victories and the team’s first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament. Ofoje’s squad finished second in the Peach Belt Conference regular season and was the runner-up in the PBC Tournament. Ofoje was named PBC Coach of the Year and his squad featured five all-conference performers, including the PBC Freshman of the Year in Jordan Misiri. The Pacers had three all-tournament team selections as well.
Despite having one of the youngest teams in the region in 2013, Ofoje's team was one of the most competitive although the record may not reflect it. He led the Pacers to a 4-11-2 mark, but the squad dropped six one-goal games. USC Aiken pushed No. 1 Young Harris to a 3-2 contest and was tied with the top-rated team late in the second half.
USC Aiken registered a huge 3-1 win on Senior Day over North Georgia. Ofoje had two student-athletes earn Goalkeeper of the Week honors by the PBC.
The Pacers closed out the 2012 season with a 6-6-6 record due to NCAA rules, but two of USC Aiken’s six ties included penalty kick shootout wins over nationally sixth-ranked Lander and Young Harris in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. With the wins, USC Aiken would advance to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship game. The Pacers fell to Montevallo in the Tournament Championship match.
The 2011 Pacer men’s soccer team ended their campaign with a record of 3-10-4. The Pacers owned a record of 1-5-2 in Peach Belt Conference action.
The 2010 USC Aiken men’s soccer team advanced to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament before losing to Clayton State in the first round of the championship. USC Aiken concluded the year overall with a 2-11-2 record. Brett Van Pelt was chosen to the league’s All-Conference first team.
The 2009 USC Aiken men’s soccer team closed out their regular season with three consecutive victories, capped off by a 3-2 upset win over 13th-ranked Anderson at the Pacer Pit. USC Aiken outscored their opponents 11-3 during the three-game winning streak.
Overall, the Pacers finished the 2009 campaign 7-11-1 (2-6 PBC), earning a trip to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. The Pacers concluded their season with a 2-0 loss to league rival Lander in the quarterfinals of the 2009 Peach Belt Conference Men’s Soccer Championships.
Ofoje guided the Pacers to a 5-11-1 record in the 2008 campaign. One season earlier he led the Pacers to a 7-9-2 record in 2007, including a 4-2 mark in Peach Belt play which left them in a three-way tie for second place. The squad was led by junior Kofi Akyere, who was the first player under Ofoje to win PBC co-Player of the Year honors and be named an Honorable Mention All-American.
Playing at "Pacer Pit" has become a specialty of Ofoje's teams. In 2007, USC Aiken went 6-2 on their home field with the Pacers at one point running their home unbeaten streak to 14.
In 2006, Ofoje guided the Pacers to their most successful season in the program’s history. After being picked to finish seventh in the Peach Belt Conference, USC Aiken had fewer losses than any other PBC team and fell just one point short of the league title. The Pacers set school records in both overall and conference wins, finishing the season with a 12-6-2 record (4-1-2 in the PBC), including a 2-1 win over Lander on October 4.
The Pacers also achieved their first-ever national ranking and appeared in the PBC Tournament Championship game. The rest of the league’s coaches took notice, naming Ofoje the 2006 PBC Coach of the Year.
The 2001 campaign, in which the Pacers finished 10-9-0 in Ofoje’s sixth season on the USC Aiken sideline, marked the program’s first winning season since 1994 and only its second winning record since joining the NCAA Division II in 1990.
Ofoje’s 2002 team reached another milestone. The Pacers entered that year’s Peach Belt Conference Tournament as the seventh seed, but Andre Joseph’s game winner with four minutes to play lifted USC Aiken to a stunning 2-1 upset over eighth-ranked and second seeded North Florida and gave the program its first-ever PBC Tournament victory.
On the women’s side, after struggling through a 1-14-1 inaugural season in 1997, Ofoje led the Pacers to a 45-39-7 record over the next five seasons.
In 2002, the Pacers scored the program’s first-ever win over a top-10 team, a 2-1 overtime victory over ninth-ranked Francis Marion University.
Ofoje, a 1991 graduate of New Hampshire College, was a two-time NCAA Division II All-American and was named Most Valuable Player for his 1989 NCAA National Championship team.
As a player at New Hampshire College, Ofoje led his teams to a 72-15-4 record and four NCAA Tournament appearances. He totaled 58 goals, 36 assists, and 152 points in 75 career matches.
He owns the school record for most career points, is tied for most career assists and is a member of the New Hampshire College Hall of Fame.
After graduation, Ofoje played professionally in the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues for the Boston Storm for two seasons.
Ofoje also played on his native country of Nigeria’s junior and senior national teams.
While coaching at St. Joseph’s High School in Huntington, W.Va., Ofoje earned his Master’s degree in Sports Management at Marshall University.
Ofoje, who holds a USSF “A” coaching license, served as assistant women’s soccer coach at Illinois State University before arriving at USC Aiken.