University of New Mexico Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein enters his 14th season at the helm of the Lobo Soccer program. Fishbein is the program's all-time winningest coach and has built New Mexico into a perennial power in college soccer. During his tenure, UNM has made ten NCAA Tournament appearances. Those appearances include five trips to Sweet 16 and a pair of NCAA College Cup appearances in 2005 and 2013. The 2005 Lobos advanced to the national championship match.
The Jeremy Fishbein Dossier (2002-Present):
Fishbein and the Lobos renewed their play as one of the top programs in the nation in 2013 by advancing to the program's second Final Four appearance in eight seasons. New Mexico finished the season ranked fourth in the nation with a mark of 14-6-2 after winning the regular season conference title in their first season in Conference USA. En route to their appearance in the 2013 NCAA College Cup in Philadelphia, UNM became one of only three programs in the nation to advance to the Sweet 16 in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCAA Tournaments.
The 2012 season saw Fishbein surpass his predecessor, Klaus Weber, as the program's all-time winningest coach. That season also saw the Lobos tie a program record for the most wins in a two-year span as the 2011 and 2012 Lobos combined to win 35 matches.
Fishbein's Lobos shattered school records with their historic 2011 season. The team recorded its first undefeated season in program history with an 18-0-4 record, capturing both the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season and tournament championship titles. Over the course of the season, the team set a new program record for consecutive games won in a single season with 13, as well as a new record for consecutive games unbeaten (20). The Lobos finished the final five weeks of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation across all three national polls. It marked the first time since 2005 that the Lobos earned the No. 1 spot, and longest time spent ranked at No. 1 in history. In addition to the MPSF Tournament title, the Lobos were inducted into the City of Albuquerque's Sports Hall of Fame as the 2011 Team of the Year.
The Jeremy Fishbein era (2002-Present) by the numbers:
While the on-the-field accolades and awards are impressive, Coach Fishbein's academic record is just as impressive:
Fishbein spent the 2001 season as the associate head coach under longtime head coach Klaus Weber. There he learned the ins and outs of running a Division I program. He also helped guide the Lobos to their first ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title and their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
When Weber decided to retire in the summer of 2002, the only choice for his replacement was Fishbein. He was named head coach of the Lobo men's soccer team in July of 2002.
From the start, Fishbein dedicated himself to improving on the team's 7-12-2 record from the 2001 season. He set a goal to build UNM into one of the top programs in the country and has worked toward that goal ever since.
Each year, Fishbein and the Lobos have taken steps forward. In 2002, UNM posted a school record 18-4-0 mark, winning the MPSF Tournament for the second year in a row, and returning to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. The 9.5-game improvement from 2001 to 2002 was the 10th best single-season turnaround in NCAA history.
The 2003 season may not have looked like progress due to the 8-9-3 record, but facing seven ranked teams in the regular season gave New Mexico an idea of what it took to be a top program. UNM was one goal away from returning to the NCAA Tournament, but fell 3-2 in the MPSF Championship game to San Jose State.
In 2004, Fishbein and his staff put together the 15th best recruiting class in the nation, according to CollegeSoccerNews.com, and meshed it with a very talented group of returning players into one of the best teams in school history. UNM amassed a 17-1-2 record, defeated No. 1 Indiana in the regular season, won the MPSF title for the third time in four years and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. For his efforts, Fishbein was recognized as the 2004 National Coach of the Year by Soccer America Magazine.
As good as 2004 was 2005 was even better. The Lobos tied the school record for wins with an 18-2-3 mark, won the MPSF title again and were ranked No. 1 in the nation for parts of the season. UNM was the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced all the way to the NCAA Finals. The Lobos also set an NCAA record for attendance with 3,629 fans per game, including a sold out crowd against Cal in the NCAA Tournament. Again Fishbein was honored with 2005 Far West Region Coach of the Year and 2005 MPSF co-Coach of the Year awards.
The strong run has continued since that championship game appearance. In 2006, the Lobos went 14-4-3, and in 2007, UNM went 12-5-2, both years winning the MPSF titles, the fifth and sixth times that the Lobos were crowned champions.
2008 saw a rare blip in the radar as despite an 11-6-2 record and a 7-3 conference mark, the Lobos missed the NCAA College Cup for the first time in five years, but that didn't last long. Over the last two years, UNM has won 21 games, including a 12-7-1 record in 2009, and 9-6-5 in 2010 after a brutal schedule that saw UNM go 3-3-2 against ranked foes. Both seasons culminated in NCAA College Cup appearances.
The past season, Fishbein's crew rallied around one of their own, turning an alumni scrimmage in April of 2010 into an ALS fundraiser for Pat Grange, who played under Fishbein in the mid-2000s. The Lobos raised over $40,000 for ALS on Grange's behalf.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Fishbein played college soccer at both the University of Richmond (1984-85) and the University of Cincinnati (1986). His post-collegiate playing experience included stints with teams in New Zealand, Australia and California. He earned a bachelor's degree in Economics from UC Santa Barbara and a master's degree in Sport Administration from the University of New Mexico.
His wife, Alicia Meraz, is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and was an all-conference tennis player for the Lobos from 1993-96. The couple has two daughters, Alisa and Gabriela.