High Point University

High Point University Dept of Athletics
833 Montlieu Avenue High Point, NC 27262
Division 1 North Carolina Southeast
Private Small National competitor


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EJ O'Keeffe

EJ O’Keeffe has been at the helm of the HPU men’s soccer program for three years and has spent eight seasons overall with the Panthers. O’Keeffe has posted a 29-15-15 record in three years as head coach, guiding the team to a Big South regular season championship in 2017 and two appearances in the Big South championship game.

HPU secured its fifth double-digit win campaign in the last eight seasons in 2017, going 10-5-4 and winning the second regular season title in program history. The Panthers also advanced to their second Big South title contest in the last three years. O'Keeffe was named the Big South Coach of the Year for his efforts, becoming just the second coach in program history to earn the honor. Led by Big South co-Defensive Player of the Year Rashid Tetteh, High Point set a new program record with a 0.75 GAA and led the Big South with eight shutouts.

The Panthers posted 11 wins in 2016, earning the No. 2 seed in the Big South Tournament. Siggi Benonysson was named a freshman All-American after leading the team with 10 goals and 24 points in his first collegiate season. High Point continued its trend of strong defensive play under O’Keeffe, posting a 1.04 goals-against average and five shutouts on the season.

In his first year as head coach in 2015, O’Keeffe led High Point to an 8-6-7 finish, the program’s ninth straight finish of .500 or better, and an appearance in the Big South Championship game. The Panthers set a then-program single-season record with a 0.83 goals-against average, allowing 19 goals in 21 contests.

O’Keeffe was named the third HPU men’s soccer coach in the progam’s Div. I hisrory in July 2015. O’Keeffe ascended to the head coach position after five years with the Panthers in which he rose from the Volunteer Assistant position to Associate Head Coach.

Since his arrival in 2010, the High Point University men’s soccer program has achieved unprecedented success. The team has posted a combined 84-49-27 record (.609), including an impressive 44-15-11 (.707) mark in Big South play. The Purple & White have set the top-five single-season program win marks during that time, including a 2010 season in which the team became the first in Big South history to post a perfect 8-0-0 mark in league play. The Panthers also have recorded seven of the top eight single-season point totals in program history while registering school records for shutouts in 2010 and 2012.

Over the course of O’Keeffe’s eight seasons, the program has churned out 43 All-Big South selections while 14 student-athletes have earned United Soccer Coaches all-region accolades. Karo Okiomah earned NSCAA All-America honors for the Panthers in 2010 and is one of four players to be drafted into Major League Soccer during the eight-year span.

In the classroom, two Panthers have garnered Academic All-America accolades while the team has been selected for an NSCAA Team Academic Award six times.

O’Keeffe has been a stalwart on the recruiting circuit for the Panthers and was instrumental in inking HPU’s top-25 recruiting class in 2013. The Panthers are the only Big South team to accomplish the feat since 2010. In addition, O’Keeffe has recruited three HPU Freshman All-Americans and was responsible for signing High Point’s all-time leading scorer, Mamadee Nyepon, in 2011.

O’Keeffe played for three seasons as a defender for UNCG. He appeared in 61 games in his three seasons, compiling nine points on three goals and three assists. He was named to the All-Southern Conference team in 2008 and was a team captain in 2009. During his time at UNCG, the Spartans appeared in two Southern Conference championship games, winning in 2008 and advancing to the NCAA “Sweet 16.”

O’Keeffe graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from UNCG in 2010. He played for the Carolina Dynamo PDL team from 2007-10.

O’Keeffe holds a USSF National “A” Coaching License and a National “Youth” Coaching License. He is both a native and current resident of Greensboro, N.C.

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Josh Gillon

Josh Gillon rejoined the High Point University men's soccer coaching staff in May of 2017 after previously serving as an assistant coach with the Panthers from 2013-2015.

Gillon helped guide the Panthers to the 2015 Big South Conference championship game and he played a key role in the team turning in their best season defensively in program history. HPU recorded nine shutouts last year and only allowed 18 total goals for a 0.82 goals against average on the season.

In November of 2016, Gillon was called into the U14 United States National Team as an assistant coach for head coach Clint Peay. Gillon still serves as the Goalkeeper Coach at a United States Soccer Federation Scout. He also spent three seasons as the Goalkeeper Director for North Carolina Fusion of the US Development Academy.

Gillon last came to HPU after a three-year stint at Catawba College as an assistant coach and goalkeeping coach. He led the charge in recruiting for the Indians and after his first recruiting class saw Catawba improve from 5-12-1 to 11-8-1 in his first year. During his time at Catawba, the Indians posted a .543 winning percentage, winning more games in his first season than the previous three seasons combined.

Gillon began his collegiate coaching career at Saint Leo University, serving as an assistant for two seasons. He also has been the Director of Goalkeeping at the North Carolina Soccer Fusion since 2013. He was the Burke Soccer Association Director of Coaching from 2006-08.

During his coaching career, Gillon has coached several players that have gone on to play professionally. Jonathan Glenn of Saint Leo University led the Icelandic Premier League in goals in 2014 with IBV and was called into the Trinidad & Tobago Men’s National Team for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Goalkeeper Erik Mozzo has represented the US Virgin Islands in World Cup Qualifiers and is currently playing at Southport in England. Gillon also coached recent HPU grad Renato Punyed who has signed to play professionally with IBV.

In addition to coaching, Gillon also works for ESPN on the sidelines during US National Team, MLS, five NCAA College Cups and several International Friendlies that have included the Brazilian National Team, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Liverpool and others.

A native of Morganton, N.C. and former All-State Goalkeeper at Freedom High School, Gillon now resides with his wife, Lauren, in High Point, N.C.

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Travis Morris

Travis Morris joined the High Point University men's soccer staff in March of 2017. He came to HPU after a three-year stint at Belmont University.

Morris served as the goalkeeper coach at Belmont for three seasons from 2014-16. He helped to plan day-to-day training sessions for the team and planned all goalkeeper training sessions. His other duties included coordinating travel, recruiting and video work. Morris also organized and ran Belmont’s residential soccer camp.

Prior to his time at Belmont, Morris served as a graduate assistant and volunteer assistant over two seasons at VCU. He helped guide the Rams to back-to-back at-large NCAA Tournament bids in 2012 and 2013.

Morris graduated from Bridgewater College with a Bachelors in Health and Physical Education in 2012 after a four-year playing career with the Eagles. He holds an USSF National “D” Coaching License and an NSCAA Level II Goalkeeping Coaching Diploma.

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