Men's Soccer Coaching Staff
Head Men's Soccer Coach
The Hilbert College men's soccer program enters the 2012 season under the direction of second year head coach Jeff Panik.
Panik, a former Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) and Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) professional player, brought over ten years of coaching experience and was a great fit for the newly created full-time soccer coach and Athletic Facilities Coordinator position. “With a well-rounded background in coaching and facility management, the search committee felt Jeff was an ideal fit for the new position and a strong addition to our staff”, said Viscomi. “His commitment to earning several NSCAA National Diplomas is a true testament to Jeff’s passion for coaching soccer. A tireless recruiter, we look forward to growing our program and being a perennial contender in the AMCC.”
Panik previously served as the head men’s soccer coach at North Country Community College (Saranac Lake, NY) for one season. His 2010 team posted a 10-6-3 record with a play-off win during his only season at the helm. Panik coached two All-Region Players and three All-Conference Players with one of those young men receiving a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Player of the Week honor during the season. In addition to his coaching duties, the Parma Heights, OH native served as an Adjunct Instructor in the Physical Education Department and NCCC’s Athletics Facility Manager/Events Coordinator. This position oversaw all sporting events on campus and managed the indoor and outdoor facilities.
Panik began his coaching career as a staff coach with the Samba Soccer Club while he was still a student at Cuyahoga Community College (Parma, OH) in 2000. For a total of seven summers, he directed boys and girls club teams ranging in ages from U-8 up to U-18. Two of his teams traveled to Sweden and Jamaica for international competition and, in 2006, his U-15 boys’ team brought home the Dalecarlia Cup. In 2004, Panik joined the college coaching ranks as an assistant coach at Cuyahoga Community College before he moved to Great Falls, MT to become the men’s assistant at the University of Great Falls (2008-2010). At both institutions, Panik assisted in the athletic recruitment as much as he designed and implemented training sessions for his players.
Not one to give up on his playing days, Panik squeezed in time for a professional playing career while coaching at the college level. In 2007 he played in every game for the Cleveland North Coast semi-professional indoor team of the PASL and served as a reserve/practice player for the professional indoor MISL’s Cleveland Force team in 2004. He maintained his spot on his German Central FC team in the USSF sanctioned Men’s Club league from 2001-2007 after his graduation from Cuyahoga Community College in 2001 and Walsh University in 2003.
Panik carries several awards and certifications with him to Western New York. He was named First Team in the Great Lakes Region (XII) and the Ohio CC Athletic Conference both seasons at Cuyahoga. In 2001, he earned NSCAA All-American status as a NJCAA athlete at Cuyahoga. And during his two seasons at Walsh University, Panik earned American Mideast All-Conference honors at the NAIA school located in Canton, OH. As a coach, Panik earned NSCAA State and Regional Goalkeeping Diplomas, as well as NSCAA National and Advanced National Diplomas.
Panik completed his Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Great Falls in 2009 after earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Walsh University (2004). He holds a Montana Class 2 Standard Teacher Certification, Secondary Ed, Socials Studies Broad field and English FA individual course certifications, many pertaining to soccer education.
Assistant Men's Soccer Coach
The men’s soccer program welcomes Rick Couell to the sidelines as Jeff Panik’s assistant coach in 2012. Couell returns to Hilbert with a full resume, having served previously as a college head and a college assistant coach in addition to double-digit years associated with the West Seneca Soccer Club in varying capacities.
The Orchard Park native was Hilbert College’s head coach (2005-07), and assistant coach (2004 & 2008), but most recently, he served as an assistant coach at Daemen College in 2009. He also brings ten years of youth travel soccer coaching experience (U10-U19) and was the Travel Coordinator for West Seneca Soccer Club from 1998-2006.
Currently, Couell plays for Lykan FC in the Premier Division of Buffalo District Soccer and carries with him over fifteen years of playing experience.