Men's Soccer
Men’s Soccer Announces Staffing Changes for 2023

Men’s Soccer Announces Staffing Changes for 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s soccer has added Ryan Hulings and promoted Ryan Zinkhan and Stanton Smith, head coach Johan Cedergren announced Thursday ahead of the upcoming 2023 season.

“I am excited to announce staff changes for the 2023 season,” head coach Johan Cedergren said. “We are looking forward to the addition of Ryan Hulings, as well as the promotions of Ryan Zinkhan and Stanton Smith.”

Ryan Zinkhan – Associate Head Coach

Zinkhan, in his second season with UK men’s soccer, has been elevated from assistant coach to associate head coach ahead of the 2023 season. Originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, Zinkhan came to Kentucky in February 2022 after spending four seasons at Oregon State. He served as an assistant coach before getting promoted to associate head coach in 2022.

While coaching the Beavers, Zinkhan played a critical role in the success of the program which grew significantly during his time on staff. With an immediate rebuild looming at the start of his tenure, he recruited notable individuals who won the 2020 MAC Hermann Trophy, Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. He assisted in leading the Beavers to four consecutive NCAA tournaments, the first Elite 8 appearance in program history, first No. 1 seed ever, as well as consistent top-25 rankings. Zinkhan and his fellow staff members were awarded the NCAA DI Far West Region Staff of the Year in 2021.

Prior to his time at Oregon State, Zinkhan was the assistant women’s soccer coach at William and Mary, as well as the General Manager of the Fredericksburg Football Club. Zinkhan graduated from the University of Virginia where he played on the men’s soccer team from 2011-2014. He was an integral contributor and leader of the 2013 NCAA DI Final Four and 2014 National Championship teams. With 5,269 minutes on the pitch, Zinkhan had 12 NCAA tournament appearances, recorded 11 career goals and was the Atlantic Coast Conference’s (ACC) Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 before receiving an invitation to the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.

Ryan Hulings – Assistant Coach – Goalkeepers

Hulings joins the Kentucky soccer staff after spending the last season in Birmingham, Ala. He was a key component in the success of the University of Birmingham-Alabama’s (UAB) goalkeepers as his assistant coaching role was focused on the position in the net. Due to his strong recruiting efforts at UAB, Hulings set an all-time best for the program as the 2023 incoming class was ranked No. 30 by TopDrawerSoccer. The 2022 Green & Golden Globes Award nominee for best supporting role, produced the lowest goals against average since 2018 (1.375) with only 22 goals against, and the most shutouts (4) since 2018. Keeper Jack Hudson was ranked No. 1 in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) in total saves and No. 2 in saves per game (4.29) and save percentage (.759). Under Hulings’ direction, Hudson earned second team all-conference honors and keeper of the week during the 2022 season.

Prior to UAB, Hulings served as assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Massachusetts where he coached the Minutemen to NCAA Tournament appearances, Atlantic-10 playoffs, numerous shutouts, low goals against averages, individual weekly awards and consecutive winning records. Under his guidance, the keepers also helped the team to accomplish RPI’s ranked in the top-15. Hulings was awarded the United Soccer Coaches Award of Distinction in 2021.

In addition to Hulings’ experience at both UAB and Massachusetts, he has served as the director of goalkeeping and assistant coach with Blackrock FC – North Region, assistant coach at Virginia Tech, travel coach and director of goalkeeping with New River United SC, and assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh among other roles. Hulings also played on the professional circuit for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Tampa Bay Rowdies upon graduation from Baldwin Wallace University.

Stanton Smith – Assistant Coach

Smith, in his second season with Kentucky men’s soccer, has been elevated from director of operations to assistant coach in the program’s recent staff changes. Serving as a critical part of the daily operations of the organization, Smith has proved to be efficient, organized, and excellent in his work. Originally from Paris, Ky., Smith came to UK after serving as the assistant coach of Georgetown College’s soccer program. His role with the Tigers was the perfect segway to his role with the Wildcats.

While at Georgetown, Smith played an integral role in recruiting efforts, developing player-specific strategies, inventorying equipment, and game strategy. He also maintained an organized operation which involved meticulous detail in scheduling and planning.

Prior to his role at Georgetown, Smith served as an assistant coach at Transylvania University and head coach of Barça Academy in Charlotte, N.C. He graduated from Johnson University in Knoxville, Tenn. where he was a dual-sport athlete playing soccer and basketball. He is currently completing his master’s in High Performance in Football through MBP School of Coaches in Barcelona, Spain.

“I look forward to working alongside Ryan, Ryan and Stanton as we share a vision of continuing a standard of excellence for Kentucky men’s soccer,” expressed Cedergren.

For the latest on Kentucky Men’s Soccer, follow @UKMensSoccer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as on the web at

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