Transylvania University

Transylvania University Pioneers Athletics
300 North Broadway Lexington, KY 40508
Division 3 Kentucky Midwest
Private Small Developing team


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Matt Vogel

Transylvania alum and former All-American Matt Vogel enters his sixth season at the helm of the Transylvania men’s soccer program for the 2019 season.

Over the course of Vogel’s six-year tenure, the Pioneers men’s soccer program has made a return to glory, a resurgence which hit its latest peak over the past two seasons. In the 2017 season, Vogel’s fourth as head coach, Transylvania won its first HCAC regular season and tournament titles in four years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the Vogel era as well as the first time since 2012.

For an encore, the Pioneers made back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament as they hit their stride at the right time of the season, winning their second straight HCAC Tournament title with the 2018 conference crown.

2017 reaped dividends for the Transylvania men’s soccer program from a foundation Vogel established upon his return to Transy in 2014. Under the leadership of Vogel, the Pioneers produced the HCAC Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Players in Riley Calhoon and Tyler-Joy Brandon.

Vogel designed a back line in 2017 which became a nationally-regarded defensive juggernaut, ranking fifth nationally during the regular season in goals-against average (0.37 GAA) while sophomore goalkeeper Drew Grisham ranked eighth in the country in goals-against average. The Pioneers produced 12 clean sheets in the 2017 season, culminating in Joy-Brandon earning United Soccer Coaches First-Team All-American honors. The Pioneers won their first 11 games of the 2017 season, which eventually led to an 8-1 run through the HCAC slate and a regular-season championship.

The Pioneers continued their streak through the HCAC Tournament, earning a 2-1 victory over Rose-Hulman for their first HCAC Conference Tournament title since 2012. The Pioneers advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, falling 1-0 to Kenyon in a tightly-contested defensive performance. While the Pioneers’ run to the NCAA Tournament ended in the first round last season, their 2017 run has set the tone for the next step in the program’s evolution.

The first four years of his tenure at his alma mater have allowed Vogel to make his own personal imprint upon the program, much in same way he did during his decorated playing days at Transylvania.

The hallmark 2017 campaign built upon a 2016 run that witnessed Transy post its best regular season in four years, finishing 12-3-3 and going 7-1-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. With a young and talented squad boosted by a backbone of a few key upperclassmen, the Pioneers became regionally ranked by the NSCAA for the first time in five years and finished 2nd in HCAC play, just short of another conference title.

Ranked nationally in several offensive and defensive categories, the Pioneers went undefeated at home during the regular season and went their first seven games of the season without defeat. At season’s end, 10 Pioneers earned all-conference honors, including freshman Jason Murillo landing Freshman of the Year honors.

Vogel’s guidance resulted in additional accolades, highlighted by sophomore center back Tyler Joy-Brandon being selected to the NSCAA Great Lakes All-Region Team.

In his first season, Vogel led the Pioneers to a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title and fell just short of an NCAA tournament bid, falling in double overtime in the HCAC championship.

Under Vogel, the Transy offense was the most potent in the conference, averaging 2.5 goals per contest and tallying 31 assists. The Pioneer defense was just as effective, limiting opponents to a mere 0.94 goals per contest. The defensive unit recorded six shutouts, tying an HCAC record.

Seven Pioneers earned all-conference honors following the 2014 season, including freshman Riley Calhoon landing Freshman of the Year honors.

In his second season, the Pioneers compiled a 5-1-3 record in conference play, limiting opponents to 0.68 goals-against average, which was ranked first in the conference. The Pioneers advanced to the HCAC tournament semi-finals while producing five all-conference players during the campaign.

Vogel is a 2008 Transylvania graduate in exercise science and business administration and former Pioneer varsity student-athlete for three seasons. He received the prestigious 2008 Transylvania Male Athlete of the Year award, while also being a two-time All-American selection by NSCAA and, the 2007 Heartland conference Player of the Year, a three-time NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region selection, a three-time All HCAC selection, a three-Time Transylvania Soccer MVP, and led the team to its first-ever NCAA tournament “Sweet 16” appearance in 2007. He also earned a varsity letter in 2004 from the University of Kentucky.

Vogel also excelled in the classroom while at Transylvania, maintaining an overall 3.7 GPA, receiving Dean’s list honors on three separate occasions. Using his knowledge and experience from his time at Transylvania, Vogel went on to earn a Master’s of Education in Health Promotion and Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology) with a perfect 4.0 GPA at the University of Kentucky in 2012.

Vogel possesses a distinguished coaching resume. In his coaching career, Matt has earned such honors as 2012 NSCAA Div. II KY State Coach of the Year, 2012 KHSAA High School Boys Small Schools Coach of the Year, 2011 Region II Boys Competitive Coach of the Year, and the 2011 Kentucky Boys Competitive Coach of the Year. He has earned these honors as the Head Coach at Mercer County High School, Head Coach at Lexington FC, and Staff Coach with the Kentucky Olympic Development Program. In addition, Vogel earned valuable knowledge as a Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Kentucky, overseeing several athletics teams during his time there.

Vogel holds an A-Senior License from US Soccer and the Premier Diploma from United Soccer Coaches.

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Matt Melzer

Matt Melzer, a 2017 graduate of Transylvania, enters his first year as an assistant coach for the Transylvania men’s soccer team for the 2019 season.

“Having Matt back with us is a huge addition for the program,” says Transylvania head coach Matt Vogel. “He was a vital part of our team during his four years here and was an incredible leader, one of the best I’ve ever seen. Matt is someone who knows the program inside and out and knows what it’s like to be in our players’ shoes. He is a great coach and communicator and will be a tremendous asset to me, the players, the program, and the University as a whole.”

Since 2016, Melzer has expanded his coaching rapport while staying active in the Lexington community to bring a multifaceted perspective in his coaching role with Transylvania men’s soccer.

During his time away from Transylvania following graduation, Melzer has served as a head coach for multiple age groups and teams for the Lexington FC club soccer program, leading a U-17 squad to a state championship appearance in 2018. Melzer is currently the head coach of a Lexington FC U-15 team.

Along with his work as a soccer coach in Lexington, Melzer is also a personal trainer at Body Structure Medical Fitness Facility where he guides clients in exercise programs as well as implementing lifestyle modifications for long-term health. Melzer has supplemented his work and coaching experience with a credential as a certified personal trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Melzer’s professional experiences follow a standout playing career at Transylvania from 2013 to 2016, a timespan which embodied leadership, winning, and coincided with the beginning of Vogel’s head coaching tenure at Transylvania.

Melzer began his playing career at Transylvania by receiving the Most Impactful Freshman team award and concluded with a Most Valuable Teammate team award. Melzer was also selected to the All-HCAC Second Team in 2016 in recognition of his high-level play.

During his four years with Transylvania, the Pioneers produced a record of 44 wins against 18 losses and 14 draws. Off the pitch, Melzer was a natural leader on campus as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and served as the SAAC President in his senior year.

In the next step of his soccer evolution, Melzer aims to return to current Pioneer men’s soccer players the lessons and insight he received as a player and in his coaching endeavors; “I want to take my soccer knowledge and experiences to give my perspective for training sessions and matches,” adds Melzer. “Having the opportunity to play at Transylvania has been a major highlight in my life and has positively shaped my character.”

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