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Men's Soccer Coaches

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Head Coach
Phone: (208) 676-7157
Office: PST-104

Ken Thompson enters his sixth season as head coach for the Cardinals, his 10th overall with North Idaho College. As head coach, Thompson has accumulated a record of 45-33-14 and qualified for the playoffs four of the last five years, including an appearance in the NWAC final in 2014. Since joining the NWAC in 2014, the Cardinals are 22-12-6, the best winning percentage for 2014 and 2015 in the NWAC’s East Division. The men have also been recognized in the NSCAA’s national rankings each of the last two years. Coach Thompson attributes the program’s improvement largely to a greater presence from Idaho’s ranks of youth players.

Thompson began his coaching career as a volunteer with Coeur d’Alene High School and later coached as an assistant at Lake City High School. He coached his first club team in 1998 with the Sting Soccer Club. Thompson has 13 years of experience coaching with Sting and served as the club’s director from 2009 to 2011.

Having grown up in Coeur d’Alene, Thompson is a local and a graduate of Coeur d’Alene High School. In 1993, Thompson was the Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year, and went on to play at Seattle Pacific University and Gonzaga University. At Seattle Pacific, Thompson played in the NCAA Division II semifinals in 1994. After transferring to Gonzaga in 1996, Thompson competed for the Bulldogs’ first nationally ranked teams in 1996 and 1997. In the summers, he played in the Premier Development League, the highest level of amateur soccer in the United States, where he competed with and against several future professionals.

Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and a juris doctorate from the American University Washington College of Law.

Vito Higgins

Vito Higgins

Assistant Coach
Phone: (208) 665-4532
Office: Post Hall 106

Vito Higgins enters his inaugural season as men’s soccer assistant coach for the Cardinals. He comes from over a decade of D1 experience as he has spent the past 11 years at Gonzaga University (GU) as an assistant coach for the men’s program.

Higgins began his coaching career at Gonzaga University after a successful student-athlete career at GU from 2003 to 2007. In 2007 he was instrumental in the Bulldogs reaching the NCAA Tournament, posting a 0.71 goals-against-average (GAA) for the season which still ranks second on the single-season list. Higgins also posted a 1.34 career GAA that still ranks third all-time and his 14 career shutouts rank second. He started 70 of his 72 appearances and played more than 6,500 minutes in his career and is second all-time in saves with 305.

After his collegiate career, Higgins signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS in the spring of 2008 following a tryout but decided to forego his professional career in the fall of 2008 when GU offered him a spot on their staff.

Higgins has coached youth soccer locally for the past decade and is currently the Director of Goalkeeping for Timbers-Thorns North FC, a local club in Coeur D’Alene, ID. He is also a part of the West Region Olympic Development Staff.

Higgins has coached several players that have moved onto play professionally, with the most recent being Ben Willis, a goalkeeper who plays for Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in Edinburg, TX. Others are Ben White (Toronto FC), Josh Philips (Portland Timbers 2), Nick Love (Real Salt Lake) and Tye Perdido (Seattle Sounders).

Higgins, a native of Kailua, Hawaii, earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management as well as a master’s degree in Sport and Athletic Administration from Gonzaga University. He also holds a USSF “C” Coaching License.

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