EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University announced Tuesday the hiring of Joe Ahearn as assistant men's soccer coach. Ahearn replaces Cale Wassermann who became the head coach at SIUE.
“We are really excited to bring Joe, Katie, and their kids into the MSU soccer family. When looking for a top assistant, Joe really checked all the boxes. He is very experienced having been an assistant at several strong programs and also serving as a successful Division II head coach. Joe brings a strong soccer background, a great work ethic and a positive energy that our student-athletes will feed off of in their quest both academically and athletically. On top of everything, Joe is just a very good person,” Rensing said.
A graduate of DePaul in 2000, Ahearn was promoted to Associate Head Coach for Northwestern in 2016 and in his six seasons played a key role in recruiting and player development. Ahearn was a key recruiter for Northwestern’s No. 25-ranked recruiting class in 2018 (by Top Drawer Soccer) and coached multiple Wildcats to Big Ten Conference postseason honors, including five players to All-Big Ten selections and seven players to All-Freshman Team selections.
"I will always be grateful to the Northwestern community specifically Dr. Phillips and Coach Lenahan for my personal growth, professional growth and all the great memories,” Ahearn said. “Coach Rensing has been a mentor of mine for a long time. I have always been impressed with his teams on and off the field, his passion for the game and his commitment to his student athletes. I want to thank Bill Beekman, Stephen Anthony and Coach Rensing for providing me this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the best college soccer programs in the country! I can’t wait to get started!"
Prior to his arrival in Evanston, Ahearn served for six years as the head men's soccer coach at NCAA Division II Missouri S&T and worked for five years on the coaching staffs at Colgate and DePaul.
While at Missouri S&T, Ahearn led the Miners to the NCAA Division II Tournament. In 2010, the Miners were Great Lakes Valley Conference regular season co-champions and he was honored as a finalist for the Division II National Coach of the Year award, while also earning the distinction of GLVC Coach of the Year.
Ahearn began his coaching career at his alma mater, DePaul, spending three seasons with the Blue Demons. Aside from his coaching duties, he served as the primary recruiting coordinator and liaison between the student-athletes and athletic academic counseling. The Blue Demons received the Conference USA Academic Excellence Award in 2003 and six players were named to the Conference USA Commissioners Honor Roll during his tenure.
During his playing career at DePaul (1996-99), Ahearn appeared in 67 games over his four-year career and started every game his last three seasons. He was selected to the Conference USA all-league team as a third-team selection following the 1999 season and was chosen as his team's most valuable player.
“I have had a lot of respect for what Tim (Lenahan) has done and is doing at Northwestern. Over the years, I have learned a lot from him through competition, observation and conversation. Having Joe come to MSU with experience not just in the Big Ten but at Northwestern will be invaluable,” Rensing added.
Michigan State ended a historic season 14-5-4 record, tying the record for single-season wins and reaching the NCAA College Cup for the first time in 50 years.