Mark Plakorus

Mark Plakorus

Player Profile

Head Coach

3rd year in 2013


Project 1,000 :: Kailey Norman


Griz signee named Gatorade Player of the Year

Maddy Emerick, who signed an NLI two weeks ago, is a senior at Billings Senior High


Griz soccer signs 13 to National Letters of Intent

Coach Mark Plakorus adds players from eight states across the West


Griz make it 17 straight semesters above 3.0


Griz earn NSCAA Team Academic Award


Montana vs. Southern Utah (10/27/13)

Montana vs. Southern Utah (10/27/13)


Montana vs. Eastern Washington (10/18/13)

Montana vs. Eastern Washington (10/18/13)


Montana vs. Houston Baptist (9/5/13)

Montana vs. Houston Baptist (9/5/13)


2013 Montana soccer photo day

2013 Montana soccer photo day


Montana vs. Air Force/Wyoming (8/23,25/13)

Montana vs. Air Force/Wyoming (8/23,25/13)

The 2013 season is Mark Plakorus's third year as head coach at the University of Montana and his 15th year as a coach at the NCAA Division I level. He was hired in January 2011 after previously serving as the associate head coach at TCU.

Plakorus is just the third coach in the history of the Montana soccer program, following Betsy Duerksen (1994-2003) and Neil Sedgwick (2004-10).

Plakorus was hired to return a program that had slipped from among the Big Sky Conference's elite teams back to a championship level. He did so in short order.

In Plakorus's first year, Montana doubled its wins total from three to six and more than tripled its goal output from 8 to 27. In 2012, the Grizzlies upped their win total to 12, the most wins in a season in more than a decade.

Montana's spot on the NCAA's season-ending RPI experienced a jump that's been just as dramatic. When Plakorus took over, the Grizzlies ranked No. 288. Following the 2012 season Montana was up to No. 147.

In his first two seasons Plakorus has led Montana to back-to-back Big Sky championships. In 2011 it was a tournament championship; in 2012 a regular-season title.

Playing as the No. 4 seed in the 2011 tournament, Montana upset No. 1 Northern Colorado and No. 3 Weber State to advance to its first NCAA tournament since 2000. The Grizzlies lost a competitive first-round match to eventual national champion Stanford.

A year later Montana shared the regular-season title, its first since 2000, and lost in the tournament championship match in a shootout to Idaho State. The Grizzlies ended their season on an eight-match unbeaten streak and matched a program record with a dozen shutouts.

The team tied for 11th nationally in shutout percentage (.571).

Plakorus coached Lauren Costa, Erin Craig and India Watne to first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors in 2011, the most first-team selections for the program since 2006.

Costa and Craig were first-team repeats in 2012, with Costa being named the Big Sky Defensive MVP and Craig the co-Offensive MVP.

Montana has also excelled academically under Plakorus. The Grizzlies earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award in both 2011 and 2012 and placed 13 athletes on the 2011 Academic All-Big Sky Conference team and 17 on the 2012 squad.

Montana's 2011 and 2012 success at a glance:

2011 NSCAA Team Academic Award (3.23 GPA)
2012 NSCAA Team Academic Award (3.26 GPA)

2011: 13 Academic All-Big Sky Conference selections
2012: 17 Academic All-Big Sky Conference selections

2011 Big Sky Conference Offensive Players of the Week: 3
2012 Big Sky Conference Offensive Players of the Week: 2
2012 Big Sky Conference Defensive Players of the Week: 3

2011 Big Sky Conference All-Tournament team: 5 (including MVP India Watne)
2012 Big sky Conference All-Tournament team: 4

2011 All- Big Sky Conference: 3 first team, 2 honorable mention
2012 All- Big Sky Conference: 2 first team, 1 second team, 6 honorable mention
2012 Big Sky Conference individual awards: Lauren Costa (Defensive MVP), Erin Craig (co-Offensive MVP)

2012 Senior CLASS Award finalist: Lauren Costa

Team Highlights
* 2011 team made first Big Sky Conference tournament since 2008
* 2011 team won first Big Sky Conference tournament championship since 2000
* 2011 team advanced to first NCAA tournament since 2000
* 2012 team advanced to Big Sky Conference tournament, first back-to-back appearances since 2003-04
* 2011 team doubled wins total from 3 (in 2010) to 6; 2012 team doubled that again to 12
* 2011 team more than tripled goal output from 8 (in 2010) to 27
* 2012 team decreased goals allowed from 42 (in 2011) to 18
* 2012 team won first Big Sky Conference regular-season championship since 2000
* Kristen Hoon's 10 shutouts in 2012 set new program record
* 2012 team's 12 shutouts matched program record
* 2012 team finished season on an eight-match unbeaten streak; seven of those eight matches were shutouts

Big Sky Conference statistical leaders
* 2011 team: 1st in corner kicks (107)
* 2011 individual: Erin Craig 1st in shots (3.86/g), points (1.10/g) and goals (10), India Watne 1st in assists (8)
* 2012 team: 1st in assists (23), goals against average (0.82), shutouts (12), corner kicks (123, 35 more than any other league team)
* 2012 individual: Erin Craig 1st in shots (3.71/g), Kristen Hoon 1st in goals against average (0.84), shutouts (10)

Plakorus spent three seasons (1999-2001) at Air Force, two at Iowa (2002-03) and one at Tulsa (2004) before joining the TCU staff. He finished his sixth season with the Horned Frogs in 2010 before joining the Grizzlies.

TCU had had four straight losing seasons prior to the arrival of head coach Dan Abdalla and Plakorus in 2005. By 2008 the Horned Frogs were 14-4-2, had become a nationally ranked program and had set a program record with 47 goals in 20 matches, making TCU the 18th most prolific offense in the nation.

Plakorus, who spent 11 years in the Air Force, has ties to Montana that date back nearly two decades.

He was stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls from 1994 to 1999 and has been one of the directors of the Flathead Soccer Camp in Kalispell since 1998.

In addition to his Air Force duties at Malmstrom, Plakorus became the director of coaching and player development for the Electric City Soccer Club, started the boys soccer program at Great Falls High School and rose to the role of director of the Montana girls Olympic Development Program.

In those roles, Plakorus saw a number of his former players go on to play for the Grizzlies, who at the time were being coached by Duerksen.

Plakorus graduated from Kansas in 1990 with a degree in computer science. He played club soccer at KU and was a member of the ROTC. He added a master's degree in sport administration from Western Kentucky in 2012

Montana year-by-year under Plakorus
2012 ... 12-6-3, 6-2-1 BSC (t-1st) ... Big Sky Conference regular-season co-champions
2011 ... 6-12-4, 3-3-1 BSC (4th) ... Big Sky Conference tournament champions, NCAA tournament

Plakorus's coaching resume
2011-present: Head coach, Montana
2005-10: Assistant/associate head coach, TCU
2004: Assistant coach, Tulsa
2002-03: Assistant coach, Iowa
1999-2001: Assistant coach, Air Force

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