Leamy discusses MVC preseason poll, preseason all-conference selection Andrew Turner
Jon Leamy begins his 23rd season as Bears' head coach in 2014, making him the longest tenured men's soccer head coach in the program's NCAA history. At Missouri State, he has accumulated an overall record of 220-158-44.
The veteran coach has transformed the Bears into a nationally-recognized program and has maintained a standard for success as the MSU men have been .500 or above in 17 of his 22 seasons at the helm.
Leamy, the winningest coach in school history, sits atop the record books in both total wins (220) and winning percentage (.582). He has hit several coaching plateaus including the 150-win mark in 2005 and most recently, the 200-win plateau in 2011. On October 15, 2011, Leamy recorded his 200th victory at Missouri State with a 3-0 blanking of Evansville on the road.
During his tenure, the Bears have been nationally-ranked on six different occasions and have made the NCAA Tournament three times (1997, 1999, 2009). His resume also includes five MVC Tournament finals appearances and one Valley crown.
The five-time MVC Coach of the Year and three-time Midwest Region Coach of the Year has produced 124 all-conference selections and 65 MVC Scholar-Athlete picks. He is also the winningest MVC coach with 77 career victories in league play and 220 overall wins as a MVC head coach.
In addition to teaching a group of quality athletes on the pitch, Leamy has coached five players who have received CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition. In 1996, MSU goalkeeper Brad Barnes became the first Bear to earn All-America first team honors after receiving second team recognition in 1995. Springfield, Mo. native Heath Melugin became the second MSU soccer player to garner first team accolades during the 2011 campaign. Like Barnes, Melugin was a second team honoree the previous season. Others that have been named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans include Quentin James (2000), Doug Lascody (2004) and Justin Douglass (2005).
The Bears broke several school records in 2013, including leading the nation in goals against average (8 goals allowed in 18 games) for the first time in program history. The Bears allowed just one goal in conference play and recorded 10 shutouts (including 7 consecutive) on the season. Leamy's fifth regular-season MVC championship and fifth Coaching Staff of the Year honor brings Missouri State to the top of the list for active Valley schools in both categories.
Leamy and the MSU coaching staff orchestrated an imposing defensive product in 2012, limiting opponents to 14 goals, which tied a school record for fewest goals allowed in a single season. Additionally, the Bears' defense recorded six shutouts and allowed just three multi-goal games through 17 matches.
In 2011, Leamy's squad bounced back from an 0-4-1 start to finish above .500 and secure the top seed in the MVC Tournament. The Bears went 5-1 in league play and clinched a share of the regular-season title with NCAA semifinalist Creighton. Another highlight of the 2011 season came when Missouri State registered its first-ever win over a top-five opponent, shutting out the No. 4-ranked Creighton Bluejays, 1-0, at Plaster Field on Oct. 12.
The 2009 campaign proved to be successful as the Bears finished the season 12-5-2 (7-1-1 MVC) and were crowned MVC regular-season champs. Despite an early exit from the MVC Tournament semifinals, Missouri State still received a bid to the NCAA Tournament. For the second time in three NCAA appearances, the Bears drew Saint Louis, but found the back of the net just once on 22 shots in the 2-1 loss to the Billikens.
Leamy and his group of Bears had a terrific year in 2005, reeling off a 10-match unbeaten streak to start the season, culminating in a No. 9 national ranking by the NSCAA. The team improved to 12-1-2 before dropping its final three matches of the season to finish 12-4-2. Highlights of the season included a school-record five-match shutout streak from Sept. 9-23 and an offensive attack that ranked atop the conference in goals and points for much of the season.
Forward Ryan Anderson became the first player in school history to earn conference player of the year honors, sharing the award with Drake's Jesse Baker in 2005. Anderson was also the first player in school history to be voted to the NSCAA/adidas All-America team, earning second-team honors.
In 2004, the Bears flew out of the gate with the nation's second-longest unbeaten streak (11 matches), dating back to the 2003 season. The streak resumed in 2004 with a tie against Loyola Marymount before the Bears rattled off seven straight victories. MSU finished at 11-6-2 on the season and was 4-4-1 in the MVC to tie for fifth place. Leamy saw two players drafted, Lascody (35th overall) by the Kansas City Wizards, and Jim Levesque by the St. Louis Steamers of the MISL. Lascody was the fourth MSU player in three years to be drafted into Major League Soccer.
In 2003, the Bears finished 9-7-3 overall and knocked off the MVC Tournament top seed and 18th-ranked Creighton Bluejays, 1-0 on the Bluejays' home field in the tournament quarterfinals. The Bears then battled 19th-ranked Bradley to a 1-1 tie in the semifinals, only to lose the contest on penalty kicks.
Leamy took the Bears to new heights in 2000, as they climbed as high as third in the national polls. Leamy picked up career win number 100 in a 2-1 victory over then eighth-ranked and eventual NCAA national finalist Creighton on September 29. The Bears finished the season 9-7-3 after injuries saw the team drop five one-goal matches.
In 1999, the Bears finished the season 17-1-3 overall, were outright Valley regular season and tournament champions and earned the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament seeding. While accumulating a 20-match unbeaten streak, MSU was ranked in the nation's top 10 for seven consecutive weeks. For his efforts, Leamy earned both the Valley and Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors and was an NSCAA National Coach of the Year finalist.
Leamy led the Bears to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1997, as the Bears went 13-5-3 and 6-0-1 in MVC play and won the Valley regular season championship.
A native of Ipswich, Mass., Leamy graduated from Roanoke (Va.) College in 1982. He captained the nationally-ranked Maroons for two years and earned all-conference honors as a defender.
Leamy's coaching career began in 1982 as an assistant at his alma mater. He was an assistant at Dartmouth College for one season before becoming a graduate assistant at Illinois State University in 1984. He spent three seasons with the Redbirds before taking over as head coach at Columbia (Mo.) College in 1987, where he started the soccer program. He also served as a coach for Blue Springs (Mo.) High in 1989. Leamy returned to the Illinois State soccer program in 1989 and helped guide the 1990 team to a school-record 14-win season and its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
In addition to his decorated collegiate experience, Leamy has spent extensive time working with youth soccer programs. He has served as director of the Illinois Youth Soccer Association Boys Olympic Development Program, and is currently the director of the Missouri State Soccer School. Leamy also served as a Midwest Olympic Development Regional staff coach.
Leamy earned his master's degree in athletic administration from Illinois State in 1986. He holds both NSCAA and Advanced National coaching diplomas and is licensed by the U. S. Soccer Federation and the Football Association of Ireland.
Leamy and his wife, Diane, have two sons, Cody and Colton.