Head Coach, Oz Bakirdan, is in his 19th 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, and 2019. The ICC men’s team has been the dominant team in Region 24 compiling an impressive record. Illinois Central College won the Central District Championship to advance to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2019. Coach Bakirdan, his staff, and players 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, studied at Illinois State University in 1868-69 as a math major with a physical education minor. Smith played on the ISU intramural soccer team (ISU only had intramural soccer at the time). His 40 Years of Coaching experience includes: 1979-99 Peoria Parochial League coordinator/coach (approx. 1400 players); 1992-93 Illinois Central College Intramural Coach; 1993-96 Peoria Soccer and Peoria Sports Varian Club Coach; 1996-99 Illinois Central College (ICC) Intramural Assistant Coach; 1999-2019 ICC Associate Coach. Head Coach Oz Bakirdan and Smith have been coaching together since 1993 with many success stories. ICC has been the toughest experience and the most gratifying.