Cleveland State University Director of Athletics Scott Garrett announced the hiring of Sinisa Ubiparipovic as head men's soccer coach in May 2019.
Ubiparipovic, who attended high school and college in Northeast Ohio, was elevated into the permanent position with Garrett’s announcement after serving as Acting Head Coach during the spring season.
“Coach Ubiparipovic has done an excellent job managing our men’s soccer program this spring,” Garrett said at the time of the hiring. “After having spent some time getting to know Sinisa, visiting with our student-athletes and evaluating the type of leadership our men’s soccer program needs at this time, the decision was clear.”
Ubiparipovic was elevated from his previous role as the program’s top assistant. During the 2018 campaign, he helped the Vikings to a pair of wins over Power Five programs, the first such occurrence for the program in over 25 years. He also guided CSU to a win over eventual Horizon League champion UIC, one of just two defeats for the Flames in their last 19 matches against league opponents as of the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Ubiparipovic appeared in over 200 professional soccer matches, including an even 100 in the Major League Soccer (MLS) ranks with New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.
Ubiparipovic was drafted by the New York Red Bulls in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and went on to play four seasons with the club. He played in 12 MLS matches in his debut season and helped the Red Bulls qualify for the playoffs, where he featured in both matches his side played.
Ubiparipovic was a key piece to the Red Bulls' run to the 2008 MLS Cup Final under head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, the former Mexican national team manager. He started all four postseason matches in helping the squad to the first Cup final in franchise history. Ubiparipovic went on to play in 18 matches during a 2010 campaign that saw the Red Bulls finish in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Ubiparipovic moved to the Montreal Impact for the 2011 season and was recognized as the club's newcomer of the year. He then helped the side transition into the MLS during the 2012 campaign.
Ubiparipovic competed for the Ottawa Fury in 2014 and 2015, posting nine goals across 48 fixtures over the two campaigns. He helped the team to the Fall season title in 2015 by posting five goals and six assists in the campaign. The squad only lost once in the fall season and subsequently earned a berth in Soccer Bowl 2015.
Ubiparipovic finished his playing career with the Indy Eleven, seeing action in 34 matches. He helped the Eleven to an undefeated record in the 2016 Spring season and a berth in Soccer Bowl 2016, the second time in as many seasons he helped a team to its first Soccer Bowl appearance in franchise history.
Prior to joining the CSU staff as an assistant, Ubiparipovic was a member of the coaching staff for the U-17 and U-18 teams at Cleveland Soccer Academy Impact United. He also helped train high-level youth players when he assisted with the Fury FC Academy while playing for Ottawa.
“Sinisa’s performance since March, his familiarity with Cleveland and northeast Ohio and his background and achievements as a player, both collegiately and professionally, are characteristics that provide great value to our program,” Garrett said. “What means even more though is how much he is invested in our student-athletes’ growth and development, not only as soccer players, but as students and people as well. I am confident that Sinisa will be a role model for delivering a transformational student-athlete experience while competing for Horizon League championships.”
The first-ever player from Akron to be drafted in the MLS SuperDraft, Ubiparipovic began his collegiate career at fellow Horizon League member UIC before transferring to the Zips program after one season. Ubiparipovic was a two-time All-American for Akron and was named the 2006 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year under then head coach Caleb Porter. Ubiparipovic scored 42 goals as a collegian, including a career-high 17 during his junior season. He was inducted into Akron’s Sports Hall of Fame in the fall of 2018.
Among the numerous teammates Ubiparipovic had in his professional career were former France national team captain Thierry Henry, former Mexico national team captain Rafael Marquez and former United States national team captain Claudio Reyna.
Ubiparipovic’s brother, Slavisa, was a two-time All-Horizon League First Team honoree at Cleveland State in 2008-09.
A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ubiparipovic earned a Bachelor's degree from Akron in sociology and criminology in 2006.