Prior to Ohio State…
At Fresno State, Bluem averaged 14 wins per season and qualified for NCAA postseason play in four of his six years as mentor. His 1996 squad posted a 17-5-1 record, won the first Western Athletic Conference title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, ending the season with a No. 7 national ranking.
After his collegiate career as a fullback at traditional soccer power Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., Bluem was drafted by Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League, a team that went 16-6 and won the Soccer Bowl his first year. He played for two seasons with Tampa Bay.
Bluem earned his master of arts in physical education from the University of Akron in 1984. He received his bachelor of science in secondary education from Ohio State in 1980 after completing a bachelor of arts degree in history from Hartwick College in 1975.
Buckeye Greats look back on Bluem’s remarkable coaching career…
“I am forever grateful to John Bluem for making me an Ohio State Buckeye. Without him, this would have never been possible for me and being a Buckeye was the greatest experience of my life. Together we helped Ohio State men’s soccer win its first Big Ten regular season and tournament championship, first NCAA Tournament appearance and first NCAA Tournament victory. John was like a father to me; guiding me to be the best student-athlete I could be while simultaneously teaching me how to be a good man, husband and father. It is truly a sad day for Ohio State men’s soccer as we say goodbye to the greatest coach this program has seen. There is no way to truly express my thanks and gratitude for everything John has done for myself, the men’s soccer program and The Ohio State University. I wish him all the best in his retirement; no one has earned it more!”
– Justin Cook, 1999-04, 2015 Ohio State Hall of Fame Inductee, South Carolina men’s soccer assistant coach
“John guided the program into new territory posting unprecedented accomplishments not seen before and as a proud alum, former assistant coach on his staff and on behalf all Buckeyes, I say thank you.”
– Jon Lowery, 1996-98, St. Thomas men’s soccer head coach
“Congratulations to John on a tremendous coaching career and all the success he’s had over the years. I would like to thank him for taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to play for him at Ohio State. There are moments in my life that I know were critical to getting me to where I am today, and him asking me to play at Ohio State was one of those moments. I know am just one of many who will be forever grateful for being able to call you coach.”
– Tony Earp, 1999-02, member of 2000 Big Ten championship team
“Bluem’s tenure at Ohio State has left behind some of the best years in the program’s history. He understood what it took to be successful in the gritty yet technical Big Ten Conference that continues to improve each year. He should be proud to pass the torch on to the next generation of leadership of the men’s soccer program and I’m excited to see how future programs build on his accomplishments. I’m always thankful for the relationships developed during my four years as a player and two years a volunteer coach and my hope is that future coaches continue to support the culture that created a family and drove success on and off the field.”
– Matt Gold, 2007-10, member of four straight NCAA Tournament Teams, including 2007 College Cup
“Coach Bluem took a chance on me when very few others would. I would not be where I am today without him. His record and reputation within college soccer speak for themselves. I wish Coach Bluem the very best and a happy and healthy life. He will be a Buckeye for life for good reason. Thank you, John.”
– Matt Lampson, 2009-12, Minnesota United FC goalkeeper
“Coach Bluem certainly had a great career as the head coach of Ohio State men’s soccer. He taught me some invaluable lessons during my time in the program and led us to some great successes. He left his mark on Ohio State and college soccer in general, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of it.”
– Zach Mason, 2012-2015, 2015 Senior CLASS Award Winner, Bowling Green men’s soccer assistant coach