MEQUON, Wis. – After 26 years; which included 324 victories, nine conference titles and two trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament, Tom Saleska has announced he is stepping down as the head coach of the Concordia Wisconsin men's soccer program.
"After a great deal of thought and prayer, I've decided to step down from my head coaching position and from the day to day operation of the soccer program here at CUW," Tom Saleska said. "I can't thank Athletic Director Dr. Barnhill, as well as President Ferry enough for allowing me to pursue my two passions (coaching and teaching) for the past 26 years. I've thoroughly enjoyed both the highs and the lows of my profession, and will truly miss the excitement and challenge of coaching and competing at the collegiate level. My intent is to stay involved in the soccer program in various ways and to assist the new head coach as needed."
Saleska began his tenure as head coach in 1993 and led the team in the Lake Michigan Conference and Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. In a span from 1996 to 2004, he guided the program to six LMC regular season titles, three LMC Tournament Championships and two bids to the NCAA Division III Championship. In addition, they won two of the last four NACC regular season titles.
"It is with profound sadness that I have accepted Tom's resignation, but I do so with a great deal of reverence and respect," Barnhill stated. "Tom has built the CUW soccer program into a perennial conference championship contender and has done it with strict adherence to the CUW mission. He has been and will continue to be a shining example of what it means to be a Concordian. On behalf of the countless number of student-athletes that Tom has touched, our athletic staff, and Falcon fans everywhere I would like to thank Tom for all of his hard work, dedication and love of all things CUW."
The Falcons had a great deal of success under Saleska; with 119 players earning all-conference honors, 46 named all-region and two earning All-America status. As well, five student-athletes were named Scholar All-America and the team twice earned a team academic award from the national soccer coaches organization.
"I hope that the young men I've had the opportunity to train and to lead have enjoyed their CUW experience," Saleska expressed. "My best memories are more about the outstanding young men I've coached and mentored than the victories and championships we've won together. What an exciting and memorable experience my coaching career has been and what a tremendous blessing for both me and my family! I will always be very proud and so thankful to be a Falcon."
During his 26 years at the helm of the men's soccer program, they won double-digit games in 24 of those seasons, including a program record 18 wins during the 1996 season. His teams compiled a 324-156-6 overall record and a 185-55-17 record during conference play.
He has also been named conference Coach of the Year five times, three of those coming in the LMC. Concordia Wisconsin's soccer program also has an excellent reputation around the central part of the country, demonstrated by its regional ranking in the coaches' poll in eight of the past 16 seasons.
Saleska will continue as a full-time professor teaching in the science department at Concordia Wisconsin.