The UVU men’s soccer program has far exceeded expectations under head coach Greg Maas, amassing 38 wins over its first three seasons of existence. Maas has already accumulated a 38-17-5 (.675) record, taken UVU to the NCAA Tournament, and won a WAC regular season title. He also earned his first WAC Coach of the Year after leading the Wolverines to the conference championship in 2016, following an 8-1-1 WAC season.
The team finished 9-7-2 in its inaugural season in 2014 and improved on that by going 14-6-2 in 2015. That season was punctuated by an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. The program’s early success led to Utah Valley extending Maas’ contract five seasons, keeping him in Orem through at least the 2020 season. A good decision by the University following the team's success and national recognition, which included Maas being named one of the Top 10 coaches in Division I soccer by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Ranked by both TopDrawerSoccer.com (24) and College Soccer News (28) in the preseason, UVU opened the 2016 season with a 2-1 win over No. 20 Washington, a team that earned a national seed in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the regular season. The win garnered national attention for the Wolverines, who found themselves in all four national polls following the win over the Huskies.
A week later, Utah Valley jumped to No. 8 in the Top Drawer poll and 12th in the NSCAA Coaches Poll, both program highs. Throughout all 11 weeks of the regular season, the Wolverines were ranked in at least two of the four major polls. The season also included a 1-0 win over then-No. 20 Gonzaga and an eight-game winning streak during the WAC season en route to the conference championship.
In addition to Maas' Coach of the Year award, the Wolverines placed four players on the All-WAC first team (Paul Hoffmeister, Skyler Milne, Alex Neff, and Mitch Jensen) and two more on the second team (Aaron Meyer and Karson Payton). It marked the third straight year that Neff was named to first-team All-Conference.
Hoffmeister, Payton and Neff also joined Chandler Baddley on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team with Hoffmeister eventually earning CoSIDA Academic All-America second team honors. Hoffmeister's honor was a first for the program and just the third time in Utah Valley's NCAA Division I era a Wolverine student-athlete received the distinction.
Utah Valley began the 2015 season with five straight wins, eventually starting the season with a 10-2-0. The start helped the team earn a historic national ranking on Sept. 29, coming in as the 25th-ranked team in the country in the NSCAA Coaches Poll and a No. 2 ranking in the West Region. The Wolverines climbed to No. 23 the following week before an upset loss saw them fall from the rankings.
UVU finished second in the WAC and led late over No. 15 Seattle University before a late PK tied the game before the Redhawks won the tournament title on PKs. Despite that, the Wolverines were still selected as one of the 48 to advance to the NCAA Tournament, where they traveled to No. 11 SMU. UVU fell 2-0 to the Mustangs in its first-ever NCAA Tournament.
Five Wolverines were named All-WAC, led by first-team defender Alex Neff. Neff, Aaron Meyer and Skyler Milne were also named NSCAA All-West Region. Meyer, one of the top freshmen in the country, was named to Top Drawer Soccer’s Division I Men’s Soccer Freshman Best XI Team and to the College Soccer News All-Freshman First Team.
Academically, Utah Valley received the NSCAA Academic Award with Neff earning Scholar All-America honors. Milne and Paul Hoffmeister – both All-WAC performers – also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. In addition, nine players earned Academic All-WAC.
In February of 2016, Maas added another national ranking to Utah Valley’s resume when the team had its fall signing class ranked No. 12 in the country by the Top Drawer Soccer.
In UVU's inaugural campaign, the team went 1-1-1 against ranked opponents and held a 5-1-2 mark at home where the team ranked 14th in the country in average attendance with 1,750 fans per game.
Following the season, sophomore Alex Neff was named to the All-WAC first team as a defender while freshmen Karson Payton and Matt Gay received NSCAA West All-Region third team recognition. Maas also coached 15 players who received Academic All-WAC honors in 2014-15 while, as a team, the Wolverines received a Team Academic Award from the NSCAA.
On the pitch, the team's success included a 2-1 victory over No. 21 Denver, a 1-1 draw against No. 24 Seattle U. UVU also nearly pulled off an upset of No. 4 UC Irvine before a late goal in regulation forced overtime and a goal in the second overtime ended the Wolverines' hopes of a win or a draw. Utah Valley finished its first season in the WAC at 5-3-2 and qualified for the conference tournament before seeing the season cut short in a 1-0 loss to CSU Bakersfield.
Prior to coming to Utah Valley University, Maas served as the Technical Director for the Utah Youth Soccer Association (UYSA) and as head coach of the Real Salt Lake Utah U-17 team.
He brings with him a thorough understanding of all levels of competitive soccer and a deep insight into the development and cultivation of amateur players and student-athletes. Maas has held tremendous influence within the sphere of Utah state soccer for more than a decade in his capacity as Technical Director for the UYSA -- the governing body for youth soccer within the state of Utah.
Since filling the position in 2001, he has helped to develop and implement playing opportunities to youth players of all ages and ability levels, seeing the number of registered members rise from 25,000 to 45,000 participants during his tenure. He is also responsible for directing the Olympic Development Program -- Utah's premier soccer program which highlights some of the most talented and ambitious players in Utah and U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV. In 2014, Coach Maas led the '99 boys ODP team to Utah's first and only US Youth Soccer ODP National Championship.
For the last five summers as the RSL U-17 head coach, not to mention his previous decade-long tenure as the Region IV Olympic Development Program Staff and Age Group Coach, Maas has had a steady hand in the development of some of Utah's top amateur players. His 2008 U-17 squad claimed the MLS U-17 Cup Championship while his 2009 and 2010 teams finished in third and second place, respectively.
Maas has also held instructor positions with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (National Goalkeeper Staff Instructor), the United States Soccer Federation (National Staff Instructor) and with United States Youth Soccer (National Staff Instructor). Maas holds a U.S. Soccer `A' License, U.S. Soccer National Goalkeeper License, U.S. National Youth License, and the NSCAA International Premier Diploma.
Prior to his move to Utah, Maas kicked off his coaching career in his home state of Oregon. There, he served as the Director of Coaching for the Lake Oswego Soccer Club for over six years.
A 1988 graduate of the University of Portland, Maas was a two-sport athlete. He was a four-year, standout goalkeeper for the Pilots, playing his final two seasons under legendary coach Clive Charles. Maas made history at his alma mater when he became the first goalkeeper out of the University of Portland to sign a professional contract. But his athletic endeavors extended from the soccer pitch to the pitching mound where he also threw for the Portland baseball team. He also played with FC Portland of the Western Soccer Alliance and the Portland Timbers of the American Professional Soccer League.
Maas presently resides in Sandy, Utah, with his wife Angie and two sons, Cody and Zach.
Head coach Greg Maas named Matt Ellinger Associate Head Coach of Wolverine men's soccer on May 8, 2013. He is entering his second season with UVU in 2015.
Ellinger comes to UVU from the University of Utah where he was the head coach of the men's soccer club team. During his tenure, the Utes were regional finalists during both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Local fans might already be acquainted with the Ellinger name when it comes to soccer in the state of Utah. Matt's father, John Ellinger, was the first head coach of Real Salt Lake, piloting the organization through its initial years in Major League Soccer. The younger Ellinger also spent significant time with RSL. He held stints as the Creative Services Manager as well as the head coach of the U16 and U17 teams, helping to establish RSL's youth development programs in Arizona and Florida.
From there, Ellinger accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Central Arkansas, an NCAA Division I member that competes in the Missouri Valley Conference. While there, he spearheaded the Bears' recruiting efforts through his strong ties to the state of Utah. The current UCA roster features four student-athletes from the Beehive State.
After two seasons with the Bears, Ellinger returned to Utah to take on his most recent role with the Utes. He has also held positions with the Arkansas Rush and Sparta United, two nationally recognized, youth soccer clubs. Ellinger holds his U.S. Soccer 'A' License.
Ellinger played collegiately for two seasons at Winthrop University before transferring to Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. There, he completed his bachelor's degree in graphic design and marketing. Ellinger presently resides in Draper, Utah, with his wife Lori and two children, Avery and Alice.