Soccer (Men) – Coaching Staff
Head Coach Oz Bakirdan is in his 13th season at Illinois Central College. Since starting as the head coach for the ICC men’s soccer program, Coach Bakirdan has built the ICC program into a regional and national powerhouse.
ICC men’s soccer has been consistently ranked in the top ten over the last seven years reaching as high as third in the nation in 2006, 2007, and 2009. The ICC men’s team has been the dominant team in Region 24 compiling an impressive record of 61-5-2 . Illinois Central College won the Central District Championship to advance to the NJCAA Division I national tournament in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. Coach Bakirdan, his staff, and players help develop young soccer talent in Central Illinois by helping with both the East Peoria United Soccer Club and the Morton Blaze Soccer Club.
Associate Coach Ron Smith enters his 13th season as an FIFA licensed coach of the ICC Cougars. Since starting as the associate coach for the ICC Men’s Soccer program, he has helped build the ICC men’s program into a powerhouse with four national tournament visits. Prior to his arrival at ICC, Smith was the head soccer coach with the Peoria Soccer Club and Sporting Futbol Club (Peoria). He served as head coach for a premiere traveling soccer club from 2000-2002 and was assistant coach from 1991-2000. He also coached and administrated the Parochial Soccer Program from 1980 to 2000.
Assistant Coach Dwain Barker is in his sixth season on staff for Illinois Central College Men’s Soccer. Dwain played soccer and graduated from both Illinois Central College and Western Illinois University. Dwain was a two-year starter for Illinois Central College back in 2005 and 2006 leading the rise to national prominence and the NJCAA Division I national tournament. In 2005, Dwain was ranked third in the nation for scoring and was on the All-American First Team; in 2006 he made the All-American Tournament Team. Dwain is the all-time leading scorer and assist leader at Illinois Central College with 47 goals and 24 assists in his two seasons at ICC. Dwain is originally from Barbados and played on that country’s national U-23 team back in 2003-04. Dwain brings his experience and knowledge of the game to help Illinois Central College remain one of the top programs in the nation.
Assistant Coach Stefan King joins the Cougars for his fourth season after coming from Western Illinois University. King spent three years coaching the Leathernecks as an assistant coach for the men’s Division I program where his primary roles included training the field players and assisting with all conditioning exercises. Stefan first joined the Leatherneck program in 2006 as a player on full scholarship after being scouted playing for the Barbados national team in Central American and Caribbean games played in Columbia. In his two years at Western, King was a regular member of the starting lineup and was name co-captain of the team in his final year. Apart from coaching at Western, Stefan is also a member of the Nike coaching staff where he conducts training sessions for highly recruited soccer players in central Illinois.