UC's John Liersemann: Around the World and On the Ball

Many people hope to graduate from the University of Cincinnati into a job using the skills they’ve learned.

For some, it means hitting the books. For some, it means hitting the road. For some, it means hitting a ball. For graduating senior John Liersemann, it meant all three — except he’s kicking the ball, to be more specific.

“I liked the College of Business and its strong corporate connections,” says John. “P&G, co-op, study abroad — it has a lot to offer.”


So is that what brought John all the way to Cincinnati from Dallas?

“Well, yeah,” he says, smiling. “And I got a full-ride scholarship for soccer.”

John making a play in the game against Bradley.

John making a play in the game against Bradley.

“I started playing competitive soccer around the age of 12 or 13,” John says. “I followed in my big brother’s footsteps.” Cleat prints would be more accurate.

John continued to specialize in soccer throughout high school, contrary to many other boys in Texas. “Football and basketball rule in Texas. There’s a lot of pressure.” In fact, one friend of John’s signed with the Seattle Mariners right out of high school.

John started for the Bearcats his entire UC career. He scored seven goals and accounted for 30 points. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) and played for them during the spring and summer of 2005.

John made sure, however, that he returned to UC to finish his degree. In December 2005, he graduates with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business. After that, he’ll be sticking around at least another year — he’s been drafted by the Cincinnati Kings (USL).

John Liersemann in front of Lindner Hall.

John Liersemann in front of Lindner Hall.

John has experienced some professional stardom, to a small degree. His picture is one of those featured at the local Arby’s, on McMillan. “It was weird to see a big picture of me with two people sitting there eating under it,” says John. He admits that he found it pretty cool, once he got over his initial shock.

Because of the soccer season’s running February through July, many soccer players find additional employment as coaches. John is doing likewise. He coached the junior varsity team for Princeton High School. He also coaches 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds at the Ohio Elite Academy. He enjoys coaching the young ones especially.

“I teach them dribbling skills, for example. I love soccer — what could be better than to teach someone else?” he says. “At the end of the day I feel like I accomplished something.”

John’s capstone course in marketing involved working with students from Montreal. Part of the course required the Canadians to travel here; part of the course required the Americans to go to Canada. John also took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in Nantes, France.

 I ve been blessed,  says John.

 I ve been blessed, says John.

With graduation looming, John is interviewing for part-time jobs that can fit around his playing and coaching schedule. His dream job would be to combine international business and marketing and soccer.  Like in Europe, perhaps?

"Absolutely! UC and soccer have taken me halfway around the world,” says John. “I’ve been blessed.”

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