On April 9th, Kalamazoo College introduced Lumumba Shabazz as the new Men’s Head Soccer Coach.
Shabazz hails from Trinidad and Tobago, where he played professionally at the senior and junior level national teams. He brings 25 years of international experience to K after playing and coaching soccer around the world.
When asked about what drew him to K, Shabazz responded, “K is a unique college with a fantastic soccer history, having achieved a great deal of success under Dr. Fuchs.”
He was also impressed by K’s investment in its new field house, noting that it “speaks volumes to the college’s mission of holistic student development.”
The new coach sees academics as an important part of his coaching. “I grew up in a household and family that valued education and learning…the quest and thirst for knowledge represents a fundamental part of who I am.
In the long run, the odds are stacked against any of our players becoming professionals in sport… it is part of my responsibility to constantly remind the team how important it is that they excel in the classroom.”
Shabazz’s extensive international experience is evident in his coaching technique. In each different place he played soccer, Shabazz says he learned a new element of the sport, from the organization taught by his coaches in Germany to the, “artistry, entertainment and inventiveness” of soccer in Brazil.
Shabazz wants to make K soccer “the type of soccer that emphasizes creative attacking, individual spontaneity and disciplined defensive organization.”
As a result of his varied experiences, Shabazz developed a unique training program for his athletes. Instead of separating the different components of soccer, Shabazz seeks to combine them. “The principal idea is to mimic and replicate all of the scenarios the players can expect to face in the game in the training environment.”
Shabazz is still in the process of creating an official mission statement with his team. However, Shabazz makes it clear that his goal will be to make “our games fun and exciting to play in, and to watch” as well as “restoring K back to a position of MIAA and NCAA dominance.” Shabazz promises, “We will work very hard towards this goal. Very hard.”