Elmar Bolowich enters his fourth season at the helm of Creighton men’s soccer after leading the Bluejays to their 21st NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 22 seasons.
After three seasons at Creighton, Bolowich owns a 47-15-6 (.735) overall record. He boasts two NCAA College Cups appearances and has already climbed into third overall for most wins in Omaha.
In 2013 he guided the Jays through their inaugural season in the BIG EAST Conference and a tough non-conference slate. Creighton finished the season with a 9-9-2 overall record and a 4-4-1 mark in league play. All nine of CU’s downfalls were decided by a single goal.
After battling through a difficult schedule, Creighton came into Selection Monday at No. 29 nationally in the NCAA RPI. As a result, the Jays claimed an at-large NCAA tournament bid for the first time since 2010.
The Bluejays finished 7-2-1 at home in 2013. CU compiled a 4-5-2 mark against Top 50 RPI teams and did not play a match against a team with an RPI below 127.
Seven Jays claimed spots on 2013 All-BIG EAST Teams. Upperclassmen Eric Miller and Zach Barnes earned NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region honors and later were drafted in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
The Jays’ back-to-back College Cup runs in 2011 and 2012 capped five consecutive College Cup appearances for Bolowich as a head coach.
In 2012 he guided the Bluejays to a 17-4-3 record and their second consecutive appearance in a College Cup. CU entered the 2012 College Cup on a 14-match unbeaten streak before falling 1-0 to eventual national champion Indiana in a national semifinal.
Creighton also won the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular-season and tournament titles for a second straight season. Along the way the Bluejays tied the MVC record for the fewest goals allowed (one) in a Valley season set by CU in 2011.
CU finished the season ranked among the top 20 in four NCAA statistical categories including team goals against average (0.8 - No. 18), shutout percentage (0.46 - No. 18), total goals (39 - No. 19) and save percentage (0.831 - No. 20). MAC Hermann Trophy finalist Jose Gomez and Andrew Ribeiro were NSCAA All-America selections and CU placed six student-athletes on All-MVC teams.
In 2011, Bolowich put together one of the most successful single-seasons in program history, earning a trip to the NCAA College Cup and posting a 21-2-1 record. Bolowich picked up three coaching honors following his work in 2011, earning the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Midwest Region Coach of the Year, the Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year and the MLSSoccer.com Coach of the Year, leading Creighton to its first College Cup in nine years.
The Bluejays had four players earn All-America honors at the end of 2011, with Andrew Duran, Ethan Finlay and Brian Holt named to the First Team and Greg Jordan earning a Second Team nod. Ten of 11 Bluejay starters earned MVC honors, as Creighton shared the regular-season title with a 5-1-0 mark, avenging the lone conference regular-season loss to Missouri State in the finals of the MVC Tournament.
Creighton’s 21 wins in 2011 marked the second most in a single season, just one win behind the 2000 squad’s 22 wins, while making Bolowich the winningest Creighton coach in his first year on the bench.
Creighton Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen announced the hiring of Bolowich on Feb. 9, 2011. Bolowich joined the Bluejays following an amazing 22-year run at North Carolina, during which he helped the Tar Heels to their first national title in program history to conclude the 2001 season. He guided UNC to 15 NCAA Tournament appearances and four College Cups, including three straight trips to college soccer’s Final Four in his final three seasons in Chapel Hill. Six of his UNC teams advanced to at least the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament and three teams captured at least a share of the ACC regular-season title in addition to winning the 2000 ACC Tournament championship.
Bolowich is the winningest coach in UNC men’s soccer history, posting a 280-144-40 (.647) record during his 22 seasons in Chapel Hill. His 2001 NCAA title team finished 21-4-0; defeating Indiana in the title match. The only national title in program history was good enough to earn him National Coach of the Year honors from the NSCAA.
He has led his teams to a top-three finish in at least one national poll six times since 2000 and a top-10 finish nine times in the last 13 seasons, including a No. 3 ranking in the final 2010 NSCAA poll while at North Carolina, and a pair of No. 4 final rankings in both 2011 and 2012 while at Creighton.
Bolowich, a two-time ACC Coach of the Year (2000, 2010), led his teams to ACC regular-season titles in 2000, 2009 and 2010, putting together an unbeaten mark (7-0-1) in the nation’s strongest soccer conference in 2010. He is one of only a handful of coaches in NCAA Division I soccer to lead his program to six College Cup appearances.
Over his final three years at UNC, the Tar Heels played in the College Cup each season, posting a 47-14-9 (.736) record in that span. His 2008 team finished as the national runner-up, while the 2009 and 2010 teams fell in the national semifinals. His teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals six times in his final 11 years at North Carolina.
In both 2000 and 2001, he was named the NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year, and in 1999, he was given the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association National Merit award, which is given annually to one college coach whose reputation is recognized by soccer officials as praiseworthy and reflective of the highest standards of professional and ethical behavior.
His remarkable run at North Carolina included 20 NCAA Tournament wins, 16 more than the program had in the 42 years of soccer before his arrival. He coached 14 individuals who earned a combined 21 NSCAA All-America honors, including a trio of All-Americans in 2010. His players garnered 28 ACC First-Team honors and he coached five ACC Rookies of the Year.
In addition to excelling on the field, Bolowich’s teams have also put together a sparkling resumé in the classroom. In his last full season at UNC, nine Tar Heels earned a spot on the ACC Academic Honor Roll. The cumulative grade point average of the men’s soccer team at UNC annually ranked among the highest of any men’s team on the Carolina campus during his tenure. From 2005 to 2010, 11 different men’s soccer student-athletes were named Academic All-ACC, including a school-record four on the 2010 squad.
Bolowich not only produces winning collegiate teams, but he has a proven track record of developing young men into international and professional players. Twenty-one players who were coached by Bolowich at UNC played professionally in 2010, including 11 in Major League Soccer and three abroad. In total, Bolowich has coached 41 players who have been selected in MLS drafts since 1996, including a school-record tying four from Creighton in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
Bolowich arrived at North Carolina as a part-time assistant coach in 1986, before becoming a full-time assistant one year later. He was named head coach at UNC in March of 1989, as just the fourth head coach in the history of Tar Heel men’s soccer.
A native of Edenkoben, Germany, Bolowich played and coached at the semi-professional level in his native country at Wiesbaden, Mainz and Cuxhaven. He played collegiately and graduated from the University of Mainz (Germany) in 1981 with a diploma in sports education. Prior to his stint at Mainz, he served two years in the German Luftwaffe (Air Force).
In addition to holding a USSF A-License, Bolowich received his coaching license from the German Football Federation in 1981. Bolowich was active in youth soccer in North Carolina, serving as a regional staff coach with the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Olympic Development Program for Region III and as Director of Coaching for the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association. He coached the Durham-Chapel Hill Strikers U-19 club team to the 1990 Maguire Cup Final Four and, starting in 2007, he coached the Triangle United Soccer Association’s boys Gold team, leading them to three state and regional championships. Triangle United also advanced to two national finals under his guidance.
Bolowich and his wife of more than 26 years, Nina, have a daughter, Alya, and a son, Alex. Alex is a goalkeeper for the Bluejays.