ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Weeks after the New Mexico Lobos’ second NCAA College Cup appearance in eight years, Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein has filled a key position on his coaching staff with a crucial cog from New Mexico’s first College Cup run in 2005. Mike Graczyk, a former record-setting UNM goalkeeper and Albuquerque native, has been hired as assistant coach to replace Brandon Moss who is pursuing local career opportunities outside of coaching.
“I'm very grateful to Coach Fishbein for giving me an opportunity to come back and coach at a place that's really close to my heart. I’m looking forward to working with such a tremendous group of guys and a great staff. Lobo Soccer’s future is bright, and I'm very excited to be a part of it,” Graczyk said.
Graczyk joins his alma mater after spending the previous three seasons as a member of Stanford Cardinal coaching staff. The Cardinal underwent a five-win improvement in Graczyk’s short time in Palo Alto. Stanford advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season before falling to PAC-12 rival Washington.
“It’s always bittersweet to replace a coach. Brandon Moss will be missed, but he will still be in Albuquerque and a member of our tremendous group of supporters. However, we are getting another Lobo in Mike Graczyk,,” said Fishbein. "He’s from Albuquerque and a Lobo Soccer alum who embodies what our program is all about. Mike represented exactly what this program stands for when he played, and he will help continue this program’s excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
The Albuquerque native was a member of the Lobo Soccer program from 2003 to 2007 and has cemented himself in the New Mexico record books. Graczyk is in second place in program history in career appearances (66), career wins (44) and career goals against average (0.68). He is the UNM goalkeeping record holder in career shutouts (30), wins in a season (18) and shutouts in a season (13). Graczyk was the starting goalkeeper for the 2005 season that saw the Lobos advance all the way to the national championship match.
He earned NSCAA Academic All-District and Academic All-MPSF honors during his career as well. After his senior season in 2007, Graczyk was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the MLS Draft. He spent time with the Rapids, FC Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
“The addition of Mike Graczyk to Coach Fishbein’s staff is a testament to the level of excellence of the New Mexico men’s soccer program. By hiring a former student-athlete and Albuquerque native, it shows the importance and value New Mexico Athletics and the Lobo Men’s Soccer program have in its alumni,” noted Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs. “Mike will continue to be an ambassador for the program, the University of New Mexico and the Albuquerque community while being a vital coaching asset as well.”
Graczyk was the Albuquerque Tribune Player of the Year and the Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year in 2002 after propelling La Cueva High School to a state championship. He was a First Team All-State selection with a state-best 0.41 goals allowed average for the Bears.
The 2014 New Mexico Lobos have already begun offseason strength and conditioning training in preparation for their spring exhibition schedule.