Mike Kulas returns for his sixth season as an assistant coach for the University of Hartford’s men’s soccer team in 2016. Kulas, who joined the Hawks in 2011, has worked alongside head coach Tom Poitras for the last 10 years, as he previously served as his top assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He assists with all aspects of the program with an emphasis on recruiting.
Since landing at Hartford with Poitras in 2011, Kulas has piloted the Hawks to 44 wins, the most in a five-year stretch since 1999-2003. The Hawks have made a trio of America East Championship appearances during that stretch, including trips to the conference’s title match in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Kulas’ contributions to player development both on and off the field have been substantial. He has guided 21 student-athletes to All-Conference distinction and nine to NSCAA regional awards. In the classroom, Hawks’ men’s soccer student-athletes have combined for the highest grade point average among its America East peers in three of the last four years. In addition, 15 America East All-Academic Team laurels have been awarded to Hartford men’s soccer players, while Anthony LoBello, a 2016 graduate, became the Hawks’ first CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree since 2009.
While at Green Bay, Kulas helped pilot the team to four-straight Horizon League tournament appearances, including a historic season in 2009 that saw the program earn its first-ever tournament championship coupled with an NCAA Division I Tournament appearance, the first in 26 years. In 2007, his impact aided the Phoenix in returning to the Horizon League championship game as the former college defender helped Green Bay set a team record with 12 shutouts in a single season.
Kulas got his collegiate coaching career started with a stint at Assumption College in 2004. Serving as an assistant women’s soccer coach with the Greyhounds, he helped direct the team to its first-ever berth in the NCAA Division II New England Regional Tournament that season. Following that appointment, Kulas served one season as an assistant to the Hawks’ women’s soccer team under current head coach John Natale before returning to Worcester, Mass., when he was named head coach of Assumption’s men’s soccer program.
Kulas is a 2002 graduate of Southern New Hampshire, where he was a standout defender for the men’s soccer team under Poitras’ watch. He helped the team post a 38-12-8 record as a three-year starter and led the Penmen to a pair of NCAA regional appearances and a Northeast-10 title (2000). Kulas went on to gain professional playing experience in 2002 as a member of the New Hampshire Phantoms, a team that placed fourth in the Northern Division.
Kulas’ hiring also served as a homecoming for the Nutmeg State native, as he was an assistant coach for the Hartford women’s soccer team in 2005. He holds a National ‘B’ License and has also served as a staff coach to the FC Green Bay Boys U15 youth soccer club team as well as Wisconsin’s Olympic Development Program.
Mirza Harambasic enters his second season as a member of the University of Hartford men’s soccer coaching staff in 2016. Harambasic joined the Hawks as an assistant coach after a standout career as a goalkeeper at Davenport University.
Harambasic tended the goal at Davenport for two seasons in 2012 and 2013. A Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) All-Conference First Team selection in 2013, he also earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Region First Team accolades that season.
As a senior in 2013, Harambasic led Davenport to a school record 19 wins, including a perfect 10-0 record during the WHAC slate. During conference play, the Panthers conceded just six goals with Harambasic anchoring the defense, and did not allow more than a single goal in any of their matches. Between the pipes, he posted a goals-against average of 1.26 and had 70 saves.
Prior to landing at Davenport, Harambasic spent two seasons at Calvin College where he helped lead the team to a pair of conference championships, an Elite Eight appearance in 2010, and a Division III national championship match appearance in 2011.
Following graduation, Harambasic served as an assistant goalkeeper coach at South Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Mich. Under his guidance, Emily Blankenspoor became a First Team All-State goalkeeper for the Sailors. He was also a goalkeeping director for the U12 and U16 Boys’ Teams at Vardar West for three years.
Harambasic graduated from Davenport with a B.A. in business management. He holds a USSF National ‘E’ License and NSCAA Goalkeeping Level 3 Diploma.