Golden Grizzlies host Western Illinois Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. followed by SIUE Sunday, Aug. 30 at 3 p.m.
Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. from FirstEnergy Stadium
Joining the staff are Armen Tonianse, Steve Seargeant and Joey Tinnion
Armen Tonianse looks to bring his knowledge and experience in his second season as Goalkeeper and Assistant Coach under Head Coach Eric Pogue and Associate Head Coach Steve Gorton. He currently holds USSF National 'C' Coaching License bringing with him experience at the youth, collegiate and semi-professional levels.
At the semi-professional level, Tonianse served as head coach for three seasons, assistant coach for six seasons and goalkeeper coach for four seasons with the Springfield Demize PDL team (rebranded to Springfield Synergy FC in 2015). With the Springfield Demize, he had the pleasure in developing and coaching players such as Nikola Katic (Pittsburg Riverhounds-USL Pro), Peter Higgins (Waterford United Football Club-Ireland), Ben Griffiths (Tindastoll-Iceland) and Trevor Spangenberg (New England Revolution-MLS).
At the collegiate level, Tonianse served as a graduate assistant/goalkeeper coach at Western Illinois University under Head Coach Eric Johnson helping the Leathernecks win their third straight conference championship and third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament Championship.
Tonianse has also trained and coached men and women high school level players developing them for the collegiate level while assisting and preparing them for collegiate searches and the recruitment processes. During this time, Tonianse has also served as the goalkeeper instructor at the 2013-2015 Oakland University High School Boys Elite Camp, head goalkeeper coach for the Canadian Valley Futbol Club (training keepers from U9-U18) and assistant coach for the Yukon HS girls soccer program.
At the youth level, Tonianse has served as head pro coach with the Total Demize Soccer Club focusing on developing base skills needed for youth to excel as they mature and develop.
Tonianse also brings with him an extensive playing experience. At the age of 17, he trained with Division II professional side Club Regates Brazil in Maceio, Brazil. He returned to Oklahoma to finish his high school education and was granted a scholarship to Western Illinois University competing at the NCAA Division I level. As a player at WIU, he helped the Leathernecks make several conference tournaments appearances including their first conference championship and NCAA Championship Tournament berth in 2004.
In the summer months, Tonianse continued playing in Canada with United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premiere Development League (PDL) side Thunder Bay Chill. As a goalkeeper, Tonianse helped the Chill set records for most wins in a season in 2003 and 2004 and he currently ranks third in most goalkeeper minutes played in franchise history. He has also made appearances with the Springfield Demize in the PDL and Premiere Arena Soccer League (PASL).
Tonianse earned a Master of Science Degree in RPTA with emphasis on sport and facility management in 2006 and Bachelors of Science Degree in RPTA with emphasis on youth sports programming in 2004 both from Western Illinois.