Kevin Kalish, a Saint Louis University alumnus and Billiken All-American, is in his fifth season at the helm of the Billikens’ men’s soccer program in 2022.
Announced as just the seventh head coach in Billiken men’s soccer history in January of 2018, Kalish is 41-17-11 in his four years at SLU. Including six seasons as head coach at SIUE, Kalish’s 10-year career coaching records stands at 90-63-25 entering the 2022 campaign.
Kalish guided SLU to a magical season in 2021 and was named the A-10 Coach of the Year. The Billikens went undefeated in the regular season for the first time in 50 years and finished with a 16-1-4 overall record. Additionally, SLU went undefeated in A-10 play with a 8-0 record, the first perfect record by an A-10 team since 1993. The 2021 Billikens won the A-10 Championships and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, the Bills’ deepest run in the NCAAs since 2003.
A Hermann Stadium record crowd of 6,815 witnessed the Billikens’ second-round NCAA matchup against LIU. The Billikens led the nation in attendance in 2021.
Major League Soccer, and the nation, took notice of the talent on the Billikens’ roster. SLU had an unprecedented three Generation adidas signees in Kipp Keller, Isaiah Parker and Patrick Schulte. Three more Billikens (Simon Becher, Chandler Vaughn and Chase Niece) were selected in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, giving SLU six draft picks, the most from a college team since 2011.
Kalish has led the Billikens to winning records in each of his four seasons as head coach. The 2020 season, which was played in the spring of 2021 due to COVID-19, saw the Billikens enter the year as the A-10 favorites. They would go on to finish 9-5 and receive a bye into the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship.
In 2019, Kalish’s second year as head coach, the Billikens reached 10 wins (10-7) for the first time since 2014. They did so with a group of young, local standouts including Kipp Keller and Patrick Schulte, who would go on to play major roles in their careers before being drafted by Major League Soccer.
In his first season at the helm in 2018, Kalish's Billikens registered a 6-4-7 overall record and a 3-1-4 mark in conference play. Kalish coached MLS draft pick Lennart Hein (Portland Timbers) as well as A-10 Rookie of the Year John Klein that season.
Kalish sent another player into the MLS in 2021. Patrick Weah, who signed to play at SLU in the summer of 2020, signed a free agent contract with his hometown Minnesota United after appearing in the Billikens' first two games in the spring of 2021.
Prior to taking the head coaching job at his alma mater, Kalish served as Vice President and Missouri Boys Club Director for St. Louis Scott Gallagher.
"I would like to thank Chris May, Dr. Kent Porterfield, Dr. Fred Pestello and the search committee for their trust in me to lead this historic program," Kalish said at the time of his hire. "Saint Louis University has been such an integral part of my development as a person, and I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to this amazing institution.
“I look forward to working with the entire University and athletics department staff to build a culture of excellence where we educate our student-athletes, compete for championships regularly and build community. It’s an exciting time for Saint Louis University men’s soccer, and I am looking forward to getting started with the players.”
“It is great to have Kevin Kalish coming back to campus to lead the Billikens,” SLU Director of Athletics Chris May said at the time of Kalish's hire. "I have confidence that Kevin will be able to execute our objectives of education, competition and community. Kevin’s strengths as a coach and values as a person align perfectly for where we want our program to grow. As a scholar-athlete and a tremendous player on the field for the Billikens, Kevin will be an outstanding role model for all Billiken student-athletes.”
During his playing days, Kalish transferred to Saint Louis University in 1997 after spending two seasons at Connecticut. At SLU, he was a member of the 1997 NCAA semifinal team. Kalish was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and an NSCAA All-American his senior season in 1998. Kalish earned Academic All-America honors in 1997 and 1998. He also served as an assistant coach at SLU following his graduation from the University.
In 2007, Kalish was inducted into the Billiken Hall of Fame. He was named to the Billiken Half-Century Team in 2009 during the celebration of 50 years of Saint Louis University soccer.
In addition to serving as Vice President and Club Director at St. Louis Scott Gallagher, one of the most successful youth clubs in the country, Kalish was the head coach of the U19 Saint Louis Academy FC team.
Kalish spent 13 seasons at SIUE – seven as an assistant coach from 2001-07 and six as a head coach from 2008-13. He successfully transitioned the men’s soccer program from NCAA Division II to Division I. While he was an assistant coach at the Division II level, the Cougars made six NCAA Tournament appearances and two NCAA semifinal appearances. In his six years at SIUE, the Cougars posted a 49-46-12 record. In 2012, Kalish was named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and the NSCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year after the Cougars posted a 13-7 overall record.