Lumumba Shabazz was formally introduced as Kalamazoo College’s Head Men’s Soccer Coach on April 9, 2012.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Shabazz brought over 25 years of international soccer experience to Kalamazoo College. Prior to entering the coaching profession, Shabazz enjoyed a twenty-year amateur, collegiate, and professional playing career with teams in Germany, the USA, and the Caribbean.
Shabazz took the Hornets to the MIAA conference tournament in each of his first four seasons. He guided the 2019 team to the NCAA III Championships, the program's first national appearance in 18 years. His winningest season came in 2014 with Kalamazoo finishing 12-6-3 overall.
“I am very excited about joining the Kalamazoo College community because the academic mission of the college and its quest for excellence in the classroom and in the athletic arena really appealed to me,” Shabazz said at the time of his hire. “The prestigious academics, along with the articulated vision for Kalamazoo College men's soccer were both huge draws for me. In addition, the intimate, personal nature of the campus and the supportive camaraderie that I've already experienced made me feel that this college would be the perfect fit. I look forward to contributing to the further success of Kalamazoo College, both in the classroom and on the soccer field, as well as the challenge of taking Kalamazoo College men's soccer back to a position of prominence within the MIAA and NCAA."
Along with his position at Kalamazoo College, Shabazz was the Kalamazoo FC head coach in 2016 and 2017. A member of the National Premier Soccer League, the fourth-tier of US Soccer, Kalamazoo FC competes with the likes of Detroit City FC, Lansing United, AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, and the Michigan Stars FC along with others in the Midwest Region.
Shabazz came to Kalamazoo College from Ann Arbor (Mich.) Pioneer High School where he coached the past six seasons. After entering the program as junior varsity boys and freshmen girls coach, Shabazz took over both varsity programs in 2008. Shabazz amassed a combined record of 68-33-20 with three district championships, two District Coach of the Year awards, one Washtenaw County Coach of the Year award, and finished his career by advancing both teams to the final eight of MHSAA Division 1 soccer tournament, the joint highest-ever finish in school history.
Shabazz’s 14 years of coaching experience prior to Kalamazoo includes stops at the club, high school, and collegiate levels in New York, Miami, and Michigan. He previously coached at G. Holmes Braddock High in Miami, Fla. where the team won numerous sportsmanship and fair play awards while consistently challenging for league, district, and state titles. During his time at Braddock, Shabazz graduated several top players to the collegiate and professional ranks, including star forward Juan Gonzalez of Real Cartagena in the Colombian First Division, Pedro Power, formerly of Miami FC and current Venezuelan international midfielder and former Conference USA collegiate player of the year, Juan Guerra.
Shabazz was also a U.S. Region II staff coach where he supervised teams and players within the Olympic Development Program for possible selection to the U.S. national teams.
Additionally, Shabazz served as the assistant collegiate coach at Pratt Institute (N.Y.) for two seasons in both the men’s and women's programs under Head Coach Ian Williams.
Coach Shabazz currently holds the USSF A license, the prestigious (USSF) National Youth license, the NSCAA Premier Diploma, NSCAA National Goalkeeper Instructor Diploma, in addition to several coaching certificates on Fitness, Speed and Agility and Soccer Camp administration from the English FA. A few years ago, he was awarded the prestigious SAQ Advanced International license from Alan Pearson, the world’s foremost authority on Speed and Agility for elite soccer performance, who pioneered SAQ programs for Arsenal FC, Tottenham FC, and Bayern Munich FC, amongst many others. In doing so, Coach Shabazz has become only the fourth such recipient of this award in the United States and has developed an excellent national reputation for position-specific training that integrates the physical, technical-tactical and psychological components. In addition, Coach Shabazz holds the prestigious, Rene Meulensteen Skills trainer certification and also holds the NSCAA Director of Coaching diploma.
In a further bid to continue his commitment to professional coaching development, Coach Shabazz completed a two-week internship in both 2008 and 2009 at West Ham United in London under the tutelage and watchful eye of legendary master coach, Professor Tony Carr, studying the latest trends in technique and tactics, player development and applied sports science. West Ham United is one of the most prestigious professional soccer clubs in the world, and their Youth Academy, where Coach Shabazz spent most of his time, is world-renowned for developing superstars like Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Frank Lampard, and Jermain Defoe.
In addition, in March 2010, Coach Shabazz traveled to Madrid, Spain for an extended coaching study visit with Real Madrid FC, Getafe FC, Atletico Madrid FC, and was a featured guest of the Spanish Football Federation, where he took part in lectures, seminars and field sessions around the topic of youth and professional development with many of Spain’s top coaches. In March 2011, Coach Shabazz traveled to Brazil with US Soccer as part of a contingent of coaches who studied the Brazilian approach to soccer and player development at Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminese and Vasco da Gama football clubs.
More recently, Coach Shabazz has become an ardent student of the Periodization approach to soccer conditioning as pioneered by the world-renowned Dutch coach, Raymond Verheijen and the World Football Academy. In June 2015, he spent a week in Barcelona under Raymond’s mentorship studying the latest in soccer training, tactics, leadership and management, as well as having the opportunity to observe and hear from the best coaches at Barcelona FC. In June 2016, Coach Shabazz was again selected to be amongst 50 coaches worldwide to study and then prepare the Feyenoord U19 team for competitive play in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In his time on the sidelines, he had the opportunity to learn from master coaches like Pim Verbeek, Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat, amongst many others. In this respect, Coach Shabazz’s educational efforts best exemplify the values of continued growth and excellence that is demanded of every student and student-athlete at Kalamazoo College.
Lastly, Coach Shabazz holds an undergraduate degree in history from Florida International University and an MBA from the Real Madrid International Graduate School.
In all, Coach Shabazz brings a great deal of knowledge and practical experience to Kalamazoo College and relishes the opportunity to help the Hornets once again challenge for MIAA conference and national NCAA Division III honors.
Coach Shabazz's Overall Record
Overall Winning Percentage: .540
Getting to know Coach Shabazz
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, travel, theatre and martial arts
Favorite Part about Coaching: Seeing someone whom you coach succeed beyond their wildest imagination.
Hero: Bob Marley, Malcolm X and my parents
Favorite Sports Team (besides Kalamazoo): NY Yankees, NY Knicks, FSU Seminoles football and the mighty, Manchester United
Favorite Song: I have tons of favorite songs across a wide spectrum. Here's a sampling: Possessed by Machel Montano, Differentology by Bunji Garlin, Love is Blindness by Cassandra Wilson, Love Languages by Talib Kweli, The Message by Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel and the Furious Five.
Favorite Music Artist: Too many to mention: Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Nina Simone, Jill Scott, Lennon and Maisy, Lord Kitchener, Rhea Olivacce
Favorite Movie: Anything with Denzel Washington or Anthony Hopkins
Favorite Food: Anything my mother cooks. She is simply the world's best chef.
Did you know?
1) My favorite audition pieces when I was active in theater was Reb Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof and a woman character called Topsy Turvy from the play, The Colored Museum.