Southern Tier Director of Coaching
Soutnern Tier Director of Programing
Staff coach - P.J. Gondek
In his fourth year leading Southern Tier area of the Club. He also serves on the NY West ODP staff as the U12 Head Coach.
As a college coach P.J. Gondek has guided the Fredonia State Blue Devils for the past 13 seasons. His teams are (141-93-21). In addition, his teams have a 66.0 SUNYAC winning percentage (72-40-3). The 141 total wins and 72 SUNYAC wins are most ever by a Blue Devil men's soccer coach.
Three seasons during Gondek's coaching tenure stand among the finest in program history.
For sheer drama, the 2005 season will forever rank near the top of any Blue Devil all-time list. Following a penalty kick shootout loss to Brockport in the SUNYAC semi-final game, the Blue Devils were awarded an NCAA at-large bid -- the start of an improbable run on the strength of three straight overtime wins. First came a 4-3 victory over Carnegie Melon at the John Carroll Regional, then a 1-0 win over regional host John Carroll. Next up was another Regional host, Calvin College, in snowy Grand Rapids, Mich. The teams play scoreless soccer through two overtimes before the Blue Devils claimed a 3-2 victory in penalty kicks and advance to the national quarterfinals, where they fell 2-0 to to eventual NCAA finalist Gustavus Adolphus. The Blue Devils finished with an 17-4-4 record, the third time the men have reached the 17-win plateau. At the conclusion of the tournament Fredonia State was named as the #15 team in the final regular season poll.
Despite losing the SUNYAC championship game in 2006, that season also will be remembered for another penalty-kick victory. It came in the 2006 ECAC Upstate New York championship game against host Oneonta (which was playing its first season at the NCAA Division III level after several seasons as a Division I team). The Blue Devils outperformed the Red Dragons in the PK-round, 3-0, to reclaim the ECAC Upstate title for the first time since 1999.
The 2007 season saw the Blue Devils post a 9-1-1 SUNYAC regular season record (12-7-2 overall and earn the tournament's top seed and a first-round bye. The Blue Devils edged Cortland 1-0 in the semifinals and moved on to meet Plattsburgh for the title, the Blue Devils' second straight SUNYAC championship game appearance and the fourth during Gondek's nine-year tenure. The Blue Devils and Cardinals battled to a scoreless tie after 110 minutes. Fredonia State then claimed the SUNYAC title with a 4-2 advantage in the penalty-kick round and earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. But unlike their phenomenal NCAA run two years prior, the Blue Devils were ousted by Hobart, 3-0, in the University of Rochester Regional. SUNYAC awards rained down nonetheless. Gondek being named 2007 SUNYAC Coach of the Year while six players were chosen to the All SUNYAC Team. Three of the six -- seniors Lee Wilson, Trevor Ianni, and Rob Esposito -- were All-Northeast Region selections.
Gondek has received coaching licenses from two organizations. He has a national diploma and an advanced national diploma from the National Soccer Coaches of America. He also holds a prestigious Class A license from the United States Soccer Federation. This past summer he recieved his USSF National Youth License. Gondek has coached for Western Region in the men's open division of the Empire State Games and won gold medals in 2005 and 2006. He teaches classes in the Fredonia State Department of Sport Management and Exercise Science, and resides in Fredonia with his wife, Alison, the director of guidance at Silver Creek Central School, and their daughter Annie.