The 2016 season was Coach Smolens' 27th year at the helm of the men’s soccer program at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
In addition to his coaching duties, Smolens serves as the Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations, where he has overseen compliance, scheduling and academic affairs.
He boasts an overall record of 316-157-39. The winningest coach in USMMA soccer history, Coach Smolens earned his 300th career win on September 22, 2015, with a 4-1 victory over NYU. From 1991-2012, he led the Mariners to 21 consecutive winning seasons – all with 10 wins or more – as well as nine conference championships and five NCAA Tournament bids.
Smolens led to the 2014 Mariner squad to a 10-7-3 record before falling in the Landmark Conference Championship in penalty kicks.
Under Smolens, 2011 marked the third consecutive time the Mariners reached the NCAA Tournament. USMMA also snagged their first championship in the Landmark Conference by defeating two-time defending champs Catholic University of America 1-0 in the Landmark Championship game.
In 2010 the Mariners advanced to the “Elite 8” in the NCAA championship, before losing to eventual national champion Messiah. The “Elite 8” run marked the furthest that any team in USMMA history had advanced in NCAA play in any sport.
In 2009, Smolens led his club to its third NCAA Tournament appearance during his tenure with a 15-4 overall record and a 6-1 mark in the Landmark Conference.
In 2007, Smolens guided the Mariners to the first Landmark Conference regular season title, finishing the season 11-6 (6-1). Smolens and his staff were named the Landmark Conference Coaching Staff of the Year in 2007.
He has also been named the NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 2002, 2004 and 2017 and the Skyline Coach of the Year on 10 occasions.
The 2002 club was ranked as high as sixth nationally and the 2004 campaign finished the fall ranked No. 17 in the NSCAA National Poll.
Coach Smolens has also worked with numerous soccer programs, including the New York State Olympic Development squads and Coaching License Clinics.
Smolens earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Springfield College in 1984 and was also a three-year starter for the Chiefs’ soccer team. He earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Adelphi University in 1990. Smolens also holds a USSF “B” coaching license and an NSCAA advanced national coaching diploma.
He currently resides in Great Neck, N.Y. with his wife, Patti, and daughters, Kate and Diana.