Josh Oswald enters his first season as the Assistant Men's Soccer Coach at Blackburn College. The Highland, Illinois native is an alum of Blackburn College. Oswald comes to Blackburn after serving as the Head Boys and Girls Soccer Coach at Highland High School.
As a senior at Highland High School (HHS), “Oz” boasted a .53 GAA in 22 matches, 19 of which he allowed one goal or fewer, and 13 of which he recorded shutouts, a school record at the time that now ranks 2nd. Oswald helped carry his team to the school’s first ever sectional championship appearance and would later do so again as a coach at HHS. His senior season was filled with accolades including, team captain, team MVP, 1st team Mississippi Valley All-Conference, 1st team All-Sectional, 1st team All-Metro and 1st team Belleville News-Democrat All-Area.
Oswald would get his coaching career started right away and would learn from two of the absolute best and well-known teachers of the game of soccer. In 2006, as a student assistant, Oswald would join his former coach’s staff as an assistant for Coach Baker. Upon Coach Baker’s retirement, new Coach Aydin Gonsulen would take over the program and retain Oswald as his assistant. After learning under Baker and Gonulsen, Oswald would join the workforce and start his career as a team sales rep for Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods. After three years at Johnny Mac’s the HHS boys soccer program was looking to hire a new coach and Oswald ultimately would step in and fill that position. In his first season at the reigns of the boys program, the Bulldogs would go on to win a regional championship before falling 1-0 in Sectionals to eventual state qualifier and conference rival, Waterloo. Two seasons later the boys would record another regional championship. Then in 2016, along with winning the MVC conference championship, Oswald and his team would record their 3rd regional championship while boasting a 14-5-3 record before falling 2-1 in double overtime to another state qualifying team in Jacksonville. Oswald’s players’ hard work would not go unnoticed as his team helped him win the recognition of 2016 IHSA Coach of the Year. Oswald also achieved success with the Highland girls team in his tenure guiding the girls program. He was fortunate enough to coach the school’s career points leader and all-time leading scorer, along with coaching two different goaltenders to the school’s shutout record of 14 in a season, one being Blackburn’s own, Morgan Zobrist. Oswald was able to guide the girls program to their only postseason victories to date. The boys and girls programs won multiple tournaments in his time at HHS including the CYC tournament, the Metro-Cup tournament, the Mater Dei tournament and the Carbondale tournament. Oswald had been at the helm of the HHS boys program for the previous ten years and had been behind the bench for the girls program for the last six seasons.
After high school, Oswald decided to attend Blackburn College and play for the legendary coach, Gene Baker. Oswald would start between the pipes in game one to help the Beavers earn a 2-1 win over Lincoln Christian, however, Carlinville’s own, senior Steve Foster, would return from an injury and handle most of the goalkeeping duties that season while Oswald would spend some time at forward. He finished his freshman campaign with 3 goals and 6 assists. His sophomore, junior, and senior seasons Oswald would return to his comfortable home at goalkeeper. In 2003, Blackburn would tie its last game finishing with a 10-2-2 conference record and just missed advancing to the NCAA tournament. As a senior at Blackburn, Oswaldwas a team captain and team MVP. After his soccer eligibility had expired, Oswald would join the basketball team and was an integral part of the Beavers’ 2005 SLIAC championship season.