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COACHING STAFF

Josh Alford
Assistant Coach

Josh Alford joined UNI in July 2018 after coaching at the University of South Carolina Aiken. He has served as an assistant for Illinois Futbol Club in Urbana, Illinois, and the head coach at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois.

A two-time MWAC Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2015, he also earned Region 24 Coach of the Year honors in 2011.

Alford is a graduate of Eastern Illinois. He and his wife, Ricki, have a daughter, NicoElla and two sons, Hawke and Caspian.


Chris Kowalski
Assistant Coach

Kowalski joined the UNI Women’s Soccer staff in 2017.  During that campaign, the Panthers set records for a season in victories (14), goals (34), assists (29), shots (309) and shutouts (11).  The Panthers also advanced to the MVC Championship match for the first time in the program’s history. 

From 2015-2017, Kowalski served as the Head Coach for the Cedar Falls High School Women’s Soccer team.  His teams went to three substate finals and finished the 2017 season ranked in the Top 15 for the state of Iowa for the first time in school history. 

From 2004-2012, he served as the Director of Operations for FC Midwest Soccer Academy, as well as the Head Coach for the U13, U17 and U18 Girls Teams.  During his tenure with FC Midwest, Kowalski coached over 30 players who subsequently competed as collegiate student-athletes at the NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA levels.

Kowalski also serves as an Associate Professor in the Leisure, Youth & Human Services Division at UNI.  He has spent 20 years teaching in the Division, and his research involves topics related to youth development and success in athletics, including coaching efficacy, leadership, and hazing/bullying prevention.  He has co-authored or written chapters for nine books as well as published over 50 articles and presentations at the state, national, and international levels.    

Kowalski holds NSCAA Regional, Goalkeeping I, and Zonal Defending diplomas.  He also has his USSF “D” License.  He earned his Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Youth Development from the University of Northern Iowa, his Master’s degree in Recreation Management from the University of Idaho, and his bachelor’s degrees in psychology, sociology, and criminal justice from Creighton University.  He resides in Cedar Falls with his wife, Crystal, and their two children, Norah (4) and Lukas (2).