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.