Rob Czlonka has served as the head men’s soccer at Northeastern State University for nine seasons, and has a career record of 107-49-14.
The 2019 season saw some changes with the RiverHawks playing in an expanded conference slate with the MIAA having a joint schedule with the Great American Conference. The season was highlighted with Czlonka earning his 100th career win on Sept. 26 against Southern Nazarene. Northeastern State would finish the season with a 9-5 GAC mark and made the leagues' postseason tournament.
Northeastern State would have five student-athletes earn GAC weekly honors and nine named as All-Conference. Defender Ben Watson, Midfielder Ryan McCully, and Forward Flynn Semmerling represented the RiverHawks on the CoSIDA District 7 First Team. The program paced the region with seven D2CCA All-Region selections with the United Soccer Coaches tapping James Doyle, Semmerling, and Aaron Ugbah and All-Central region selections.
On the heels of a run to the NCAA Elite 8, the RiverHawks spent the entirety of the 2018 season in the United Soccer Coaches Top-25 and closed the regular season with five straight shutouts. For the second straight season, NSU had an All-American with Joe Garcia being and by both the coaches and media. Garcia shattered an MIAA and NSU record with a goal in 11 straight contests, which is tied for fourth-longest in the history of NCAA Division II soccer. In the postseason, the RiverHawks scored eight in the All-MIAA list, with four honored as All-Region. Trevor Reed and Ben Watson both earned academic honors by the United Soccer Coaches as All-American. The RiverHawks finished the season with a 15-3-1 record and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second straight season.
In 2017, the RiverHawks returned to the NCAA Division II tournament captured the NCAA Central Region Title with a 2-1 victory over MIAA foe Fort Hays State. NSU advanced to the program’s second Elite 8 where they fell in overtime to Rockhurst University 1-0. NSU finished with a 14-6 mark and 6-2 in MIAA play. NSU had nine players named All-Conference, three All-Region and one All-American. The RiverHawks were ranked 18th in the final United Soccer Coaches poll. He has led NSU to winning seasons in each of his first six years with the program. The only other time the RiverHawks had at least five-straight campaigns with a winning record was a six-year stretch from 1993-98.
Northeastern State has netted at least 50 goals in each of the last four seasons (217 total), which is the most prolific offensive stretch in school history. During that same time, NSU has conceded 20 goals or fewer in all four seasons (75 total). Never in NSU history had a team allowed fewer than 22 goals prior to Czlonka's arrival.
The 2015 side boasted a 12-6 mark and a 5-3 effort in the MIAA. The RiverHawks finished second in the league, while scoring the third-most goals in school history (58) and conceding the second-fewest goals in school history (19). Northeastern State was ranked throughout the season and leapt to a season-best mark of No. 15 late in the campaign. The RiverHawks also had one match where they broke two conference records and one school record by netting 15 goals and tallying 13 assists. The total was the most by any Division II team since 2011 and was just the 18th such occurrences in the entire history of NCAA Division II. NSU also boasted three wins over ranked foes, including a season sweep over arch rival Fort Hays State.
The 2014 campaign saw NSU win both the MIAA Regular Season and MIAA Tournament Championships. The RiverHawks finished 16-3-2, and the 16 victories were the most since 2004 and the second-most in school history. NSU finished the season ranked No. 12 in the nation and reached as high as No. 7 after defeating then-No. 4 Rockhurst. The team broke the school record for fewest goals allowed in a single campaign for the third-straight season, conceding just 17 markers all year. Northeastern State advanced to the NCAA Championship Round of 16 and served as hosts of the NCAA Super Region 3 Championship for the second time in three years. Czlonka was honored as both the NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year and the MIAA Coach of the Year. NSU also boasted two All-Americans in Jordan Schmoker and Crosby Lee. Schmoker was honored as the Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year.
In 2013, the RiverHawks posted a 10-3-4 record and added a second-straight trip to the MIAA Championship tournament. The squad finished runners-up in the conference with a 6-1-2 league mark, and the team ascended to a school-record national ranking of No. 5 midway through the campaign. NSU was ranked the entire season and posted a victory over No. 6 Rockhurst early in the year. The RiverHawks also broke the then-school record for fewest amount of goals allowed (19).
NSU had a banner year in 2012, advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time in program history and setting the then-school record for least amount of goals allowed (20). Northeastern State finished 13-5-3 overall and went 7-1-2 in its first year as members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Assocation. The 13 wins were third-most in school history, and the team finished runner-up in both the regular season and the conference tournament. NSU topped Fort Hays State by a 6-3 margin in the NCAA Championship Round of 16. The victory over the Tigers was the first in school history in the national tournament. The RiverHawks scored 54 goals on the season, which was fifth-most in school history and the most since 2004. For his efforts, Czlonka was honored as both the 2012 MIAA Coach of the Year and the 2012 NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year. The RiverHawks were ranked or receiving votes in all 11 polls released by the NSCAA coaches, which included a season-high mark of No. 14.
Czlonka led NSU to a 9-6-3 mark in 2011, which was the first winning season since 2006. The RiverHawks also gave up the third fewest goals in the 30-year history of the program. The RiverHawks received national rankings by the NSCAA coaches’ poll for three different weekly rankings during the season, including a season-best position of No. 14 midway through the year.
Czlonka came to Northeastern State after serving as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I University of Rhode Island for three seasons. The Rhody Rams reached the A-10 conference tournament twice.
Prior to his time at Rhode Island, Czlonka spent a two-year stint as the assistant at NCAA Division III Carnegie Mellon University where he helped the team to two ECAC tournament appearances and one ECAC championship.
Czlonka made his college coaching start as an assistant coach for one year at NCAA Division III Oberlin College, where he helped the team to its first conference tournament appearance.
Czlonka was co-captain of the soccer squad at Chowan (N.C.) University where he earned his bachelor of science degree in science in 1997. He also received a master of science degree in sports leadership in 2010 from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Czlonka holds a Premier Diploma from the NSCAA and a “B” coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children (Gabriel, Ke’alohilani, Konaihilani and Mikah).