John Bluem was born April 17th, 1953 in Syracuse, New York. He was drafted in the fourth round from Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY.
Eddie Firmani said at the time, "raw talent." Had an uncompromising attitude towards the game, he used natural athletic ability to compensate for his late start in the sport.
Was a member of the 1975 indoor team, but with sheer determination and durability made the '75 outdoor squad. Started in the opening game of '75, in a 2-1 win against the Rochester Lancers at Tampa Stadium, April 26th. Would also make a substitute appearance against the Washington Diplomats, May, 9th during the 1975 season.
Played right-back during the 1976 Haitian tour and was part of the 1976 NASL indoor Tournament Championship. Would appear in 13 games during '76.
After his playing career, he became one of the sports highly rated coaches. John earned his master of arts in physical education from the University of Akron in 1984. He received his bachelor of science in secondary education from Ohio State in 1980 after completing a bachelor of arts degree in history from Hartwick College in 1975.
In 1996, at Fresno State, John averaged 14 wins per season and qualified for NCAA postseason play in four of his six years as mentor. His squad posted a 17-5-1 record, won the first Western Athletic Conference title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, ending the season with a No. 7 national ranking.
In 1997, he became the ninth head soccer coach at Ohio State and wasted no time in recharging the Scarlet and Gray program. He guided one of the youngest teams in school history to an 11-7-2 (3-1-1 in Big Ten) record and the Buckeyes made it to the championship game of the Big Ten tournament for the first time, coming away with a runner-up finish.
In 1999, John guided the Buckeyes to an 11-8-0 record and a second-place regular season tie with Penn State in the Big Ten at 3-2. The winning ways of 1999 erased an 8-9-3 finish in 1998, when Ohio State finished third in the regular-season standings. Senior goalkeeper Jon Lowery, who had been the Buckeyes’ first first-team All-Big Ten selection, repeated the honor along with three of his teammates.
The 2000 campaign was one of many firsts for OSU soccer—its first Top 25 national ranking, first Big Ten championship and first trip to the NCAA tournament. Ohio State was ranked as high as No. 12 in the NSCAA Top 25 poll and No. 1 in the NSCAA Great Lakes region poll, landing a spot among the Top 25 for an impressive seven consecutive weeks and finished the year at No. 18. The Buckeyes finished 12-5-4 overall and earned Ohio Team of the Year accolades.
In 2001, the Buckeyes earned their second-consecutive bid to the NCAA tournament with their first-ever at-large berth as OSU finished with a 10-7-2 overall record. That season he also led his team to its then-highest ranking in program history, a No. 10 ranking in the NSCAA poll.
The 2002 season also was highlighted by a prestigious personal achievement for him, John was inducted into the Hartwick College Hall of Fame. A starting stopper for Hartwick from 1972-74, he helped the Hawks compile a 30-9-7 overall record and make three trips to the NCAA tournament, including a third-place finish in 1974.
In 2002, his Buckeyes narrowly missed what would have been their third-consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. Ohio State went 11-7-1 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten. The season was highlighted by a six-game winning streak, while six of OSU’s seven losses were decided by just one goal.
The 2004 season was one of Ohio State’s best in the 56 years of the program. The Buckeyes won a share of the Big Ten regular-season title with a 5-1-0 record and went three rounds deep in the NCAA tournament, hosting and beating No. 11 Memphis in the first round and winning at No. 9 Notre Dame in the second round. In the MLS supplemental draft, Big Ten Player of the Year Justin Cook was selected by Chicago and teammate Sammy Tamporello was picked by Dallas.
In 2005, the Buckeyes were 11-8-2 overall and finished second in the Big Ten regular-season standings, ahead of two-time defending national champion Indiana. Ohio State was sent to No. 18 Santa Clara for the first round of the NCAA tournament, where the Buckeyes’ season ended with a hard-fought 1-0 loss. During the season, OSU was ranked as high as No. 11 in the nation and No. 3 in the region.
John’s 2006 Ohio State squad finished with a final RPI of No. 28 and advanced to the Big Ten championship game, but the Buckeyes were surprisingly not selected for the NCAA tournament. As usual, he had Ohio State playing its best soccer at the end of the season, as the Buckeyes went 8-2-1 in their last 11 games on their way to the league title game at home in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.