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Fatovic named NMU Men’s Soccer Head Coach

 (NMU Graphic)
(NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:11 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan University has named Alex Fatovic as its new head men’s soccer coach, the second in program history. Fatovic joins the Wildcats from Division I Columbia University in New York City, where he has been an assistant coach with the men’s soccer team since 2019.

”Alex is an exceptional communicator with a wide range of coaching knowledge and a clear vision for moving Northern Michigan men’s soccer forward,” said NMU Director of Athletics Forrest Karr. “Alex is very organized and brings many ideas to partner with the local soccer community. His coaching philosophy is focused on individual well-being and a positive student-athlete experience on and off the field. He made a great impression on search committee members, current student-athletes, and various other groups and individuals involved throughout the search process.”

Among his duties as an assistant coach at Columbia, Fatovic helped carry out daily operations such as planning and executing student-athlete training, film evaluation and breakdown, facilities coordination, travel, administrative tasks, compliance, managing the team budget, admissions and IDP’s, and coordinating camps, fundraisers, and clinics held by the men’s soccer program. Fatovic’s focus was on goalkeeper coaching and defensive and midfield functional groups.

”I would first like to thank my wife Liby and our family for their support and blessing to take on this remarkable opportunity,” Fatovic said. “I would also like to thank Director of Athletics Forrest Karr, Associate AD Bridget Kyle, and the rest of the search committee for the opportunity to present myself and my vision on how to turn NMU men’s soccer into a national championship contender.”I’m excited to bring a distinct style of play to NMU where the demands and standards will be high every day with the goal of creating championship teams and exceptional characters that can represent the values and mission of this great university. I’ve had the pleasure to work for some first-class coaches and mentors, most notably Bobby Gray, Chris Grassie, and Kevin Anderson. It’s through leadership, guidance, and professionalism that I’ve been able to develop my own philosophy, which I look forward to bringing to Marquette. This current group of players is eager to learn and I can’t wait to get to work with them and lead this program.”

In 2020, Fatovic created the Xcel Keeper Club LLC in New York City, with a vision of developing goalkeepers of all levels in and around the NYC metropolitan area. The Xcel Keeper Club offers camps, clinics, and club support, assisting in the development of goalkeepers while providing video analysis and tactical support.

Before Colubmia, Fatovic spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Division I Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia from 2011-19. During his tenure, the Thundering Herd made the Conference USA Tournament five times, reaching the semifinals twice with one championship appearance. At Marshall, Fatovic’s primary responsibility was goalkeeper coaching and recruiting. In 2012, Fatovic coached Daniel Withrow, the Conference USA Player of the Year. That season, Withrow led the country in save percentage (.895) while Marshall led the nation as a team (.898), recording the 12th best save percentage mark in NCAA history. In the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft, Withrow was selected in the second round by the Columbus Crew. In 2014, goalkeeper Dominik Reining also led the nation in save percentage for Marshall (.894).While at Marshall, Fatovic largely influenced the establishment of the West Virginia Football Club in November 2014 as a merger of two smaller clubs. Fatovic operated the club on a daily basis, serving as the executive director and club administrator. Among his many duties were implementing new directives and increasing WVFC’s brand image and awareness throughout West Virginia and the surrounding area.

As a player, Fatovic was a three-year starter in the net for Long Island University, playing from 2004-08. As a freshman, he was part of the Blackbirds’ 2004 NEC championship team. After graduating with honors in 2008, he continued his playing career with the Aegean Hawks (DC) of the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA), helping the team to two U.S. Open Cup appearances and the USASA National Championship in 2009.

Before college, Fatovic won two Virginia High School State Championships in 2002 and 2004, earning the Virginia State Player of the Year honors in the 2004 campaign.A native of Falls Church, Virginia, Fatovic’s coaching education includes a United State Soccer Federation (USSF) National B License, National D License, Grassroots Instructor License, National Youth License, and an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.

What They are Saying About Alex Fatovic

Chris Grassie - Head Men’s Soccer Coach, Marshall University:”I had the pleasure of working with Alex for two seasons here. He is an incredibly hard working coach, with a huge capacity to take on tasks. He’s committed to continually educate himself in the game and has a growth mindset. He’s also a community builder and will put in the work to connect the local soccer community. He will do a top notch job in building the program there. I’m so pleased for him to become a head coach, and I know Northern Michigan will benefit greatly from having him run their program.”

Petsa Ivanovic - Head Men’s Soccer Coach, Barry University:”Alex has always been a coaching mentor and a great resource for everything. His organizational skills and his commitment to creating successful winning environments are incredible. He will be a great head coach and guide his players in an amazing way both on and off the field!”

Randall Coleman - Executive Vice President, West Virginia Soccer Association:”West Virginia Soccer Association is proud to congratulate Alex Fatovic and Northern Michigan University on the announcement of his appointment as the next head coach of their men’s soccer program. Alex was a tremendous influence on both his local club, West Virginia Futbol Club, and the State of WV during his time with us. He not only helped establish the largest and most successful club in our state’s history, but had a profound impact on elevating the game throughout our state. The university, student-athletes, and community of NMU are getting a tremendous soccer coach who will not only produce a quality team, but have equally high impact on the school and community. We wish both Alex and the Wildcat community much success.”

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