Men's & Women's Soccer Head Coach
John Klein began his tenure as head men's soccer coach at Columbia College on February 11, 2000. In his first season at the helm, Klein led the Cougars to American Midwest Conference regular season and postseason tournament titles. The squad finished with a record of 16-5-1. In his second campaign, the Cougars completed a 14-6-1 season, winning the American Midwest Conference tournament title and advancing to the NAIA Region V Playoffs for the second consecutive year. In 2002, the Cougars again prevailed as AMC regular season champs, finishing with a mark of 13-8.
In 2003, the Cougars made the program's first appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. Columbia finished the AMC regular season with a mark of 7-0. Despite falling to Lindenwood University in the Region V final, the squad secured Columbia an at-large berth into the national playoff. In 2004, the Cougars again scored the AMC regular season title, finishing with a record of 14-3-2. In 2005, the Cougars took a defeat in the AMC play-in tournament. In 2006, the Cougars advanced to the Region V semifinals and ended the season with an overall record of 11-7-1.
The past four seasons have been among the most successful in Cougar soccer history. After winning the American Midwest Conference regular season title in 2009, the Cougars went on to win the postseason championship and advance to the Opening Round of the NAIA National Tournament. Columbia defeated Midland Lutheran College 3-0 to advance to the tournament in Fresno, Calif. The Cougars finished the season with a 16-5-1 record. In 2010, Klein led his team to an AMC Tournament title after defeating Park University in overtime. They would move on to play in the opening round of the NAIA National Championships, before falling in overtime and recording a 12-6-3 record. Just last season, Klein led the Cougars to a 15-3-1 mark, the best single-season winning percentage in program history. They finished AMC play with a 6-1 record, good for second in the league, before falling in the postseason conference tournament. Columbia enjoyed a historic year in 2012, earning a No. 4 national ranking and finishing the regular season undefeated for the first time in program history at 13-0-5. The Cougars finished as the AMC tournament runner-up and received an at-large bid to the NAIA national tournament, where they advanced to the second round. Columbia finished the season year with an overall record of 14-2-6 and ranked No. 12 in the NAIA Postseason Poll. Heading into the 2013 season, Klein is currently the winningest soccer coach in Cougar history with a career record of 164-75-24 (.669).
Klein served as the assistant coach at Columbia College during the 1995 and 1996 seasons while pursuing a master's degree in business administration from the University of Missouri. Prior to his arrival at Columbia, he spent three years as a manager of warehousing for IMC Salt in Overland Park, Kan.
A native of St. Louis, John played two seasons at Duke University (1983-84) before returning to complete his career at St. Louis University (1985-86).
Upon graduation from SLU, Klein played eight years professionally. He played outdoor (American Professional Soccer League) for the Colorado Foxes (1990-91) and the Miami Freedom (1992). His professional indoor experience includes time with the St. Louis Ambush (1992-96, National Professional Soccer League), the Kansas City Comets (1990-91, Major Soccer League), and two stints with the St. Louis Storm (1989-90, 1991-92, Major Soccer League).
John's wife, Julie, and their son John D Klein III and daughters Molly and Emily, reside in Columbia. Klein enjoys golfing and spending time with his family in his spare time.