Chris Traina begins his 10th season at the helm of the Nichols men’s soccer program in 2014. The Bison have made the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) playoffs each of the past six years and captured the 2010 tournament championship.
This past season, Traina guided the Bison to a 12-2-5 record and a berth in the CCC Semifinals, where they lost a double-OT match to eventual conference champion and NCAA participant Western New England. Six of Traina’s student-athletes earned all-conference honors, including First Team selection Pat Gaumond. The 12 wins marked the second-highest total in program history while the team goals against average (GAA) of 0.79 established a new program record.
The first win of the 2012 season for the Bison – a 3-0 shutout of local rival Clark (MA) – marked the 100th collegiate victory for Traina. The Bison earned the No. 4 seed in the CCC tournament and knocked off Western New England and Roger Williams in overtime in the quarterfinal and semifinal round, respectively, before falling to Salve Regina in the finals. Four of Traina’s student-athletes earned CCC postseason honors – including three First Team selections – while Scott Coderre earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division III All-New England honors.
The 2011 campaign saw Traina lead Nichols to a 12-5-2 overall record and the No. 3 seed in the CCC tournament where the Bison made their third title match appearance in four years. Nichols took home CCC Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors and six student-athletes were named All-CCC as three went on to be named to an NSCAA NCAA D-III All-New England squad.
In 2010, Traina was awarded the CCC Coach of the Year for leading the Bison to the conference championship while coaching the CCC Rookie of the Year and seven All-CCC team members - one of which earned a spot on both the All New England Regional West First Team and NSCAA NCAA D-III All-American First Team. Nichols was also selected to host the NCAA Tournament first round matchup.
Overall, Traina’s clubs have set or reset eight different records during his tenure as head coach, including five in 2010: wins (15), shutouts (13), consecutive shutouts (five), goals allowed (11) and goals against average (.490). In 2008, Nichols advanced to the CCC Championship game for the first time in 20 years and was selected to participate in the ECAC tournament.
Traina previously coached the women’s soccer team at Nichols for four seasons, leading the Bison into post-season play every year. In 2002, he guided the team to the CCC championship title and to the first NCAA Tournament appearance by any team at Nichols.
Prior to coming to Nichols, Traina spent four years as the varsity soccer coach at Shrewsbury High School, winning two league titles and a district tournament championship. He has over 14 years of high school and college coaching experience, and was also the coach of Juventus U-14 in the Massachusetts Premier League, where his team won seven tournament championships.
Traina attended Keene State College and his playing experience spans from Auburn High School to Keene State and Worcester State Colleges, finally to the South Florida Semi-Pro League. In addition to his coaching duties, he also serves as the Nichols Recreation and Athletic Center Manager. He currently holds an NSCAA Advanced National Coaching License.