James WhitakerHead Coach
Office Phone: 803-807-5247
James Whitaker has completed 4 seasons at the helm of the CIU men's soccer program and has been responsible for building the CIU program from the beginning. Under his leadership, CIU has steadily improved, with a program record of 37-30-6 over 4 seasons. In 2014, Coach Whitaker was named NCCAA South Region Coach of the Year following a program record 12 win season. Whitaker also serves in a leadership role within the the NCCAA as National Vice-Chair for Men’s Soccer.
Coach Whitaker came to Columbia International University after a highly successful stint as head coach at Clearwater Christian College in Clearwater, Florida where he led the men’s soccer team to two NCCAA National Championships. He was twice named National Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and also by the NCCAA.
His goal for the men's soccer program is to build a championship-level program made up of Christ-focused young men who are committed to using soccer as a tool to glorify God. This is reflected in the men's soccer mission statement: "The mission of the men's soccer program at Columbia International University is to make an impact for Christ while competing with excellence at the highest level by using soccer as a tool to minister to others and to develop relationships where we can challenge each other in our walk with Christ.”
Following college, Coach Whitaker played professional soccer for the South Carolina Shamrocks of the USL D3 Pro League. Coach Whitaker holds the Premier Diploma from the NSCAA. He also earned his master's degree in health and exercise science from Furman University and his master's degree in educational leadership and undergraduate degree in math education from Bob Jones University.
In addition to his coaching duties at CIU, he also serves as assistant athletic director. James and his wife Beth live in Columbia and have 5 children: Jillian, Madeline, Davis, Ellison, and Jackson.
College Coaching Record: 85 wins / 55 losses / 15 ties
NCCAA II National Champions: 2009, 2010
- NSCAA Premier Diploma
- NSCAA Advance National Diploma
- NSCAA National Diploma
NSCAA National Coach of the Year: 2009, 2010
NCCAA National Coach of the Year: 2009, 2010
NCCAA South Region Coach of the Year: 2014
Tyler SpraulAssistant Coach
Tyler Spraul enters his 4th season on the men’s soccer coaching staff at CIU after joining the program for the inaugural season. Tyler comes to CIU following a stellar playing career at Clearwater Christian College where he played for Coach Whitaker and was inducted into the CCC Hall of Fame as the most decorated soccer player in program history. Tyler served as team captain for the Clearwater men's soccer team as they won the NCCAA D2 National Championship in 2009 and 2010, scoring the game winning goal in sudden death overtime to win the first championship. During his senior season, he was named NCCAA National Player of the Year. He was also named 1st Team All-American in his junior and senior seasons and was a 2nd team All-American as a sophomore. He was also selected as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player at the 2010 NCCAA National Tournament, and was a 2-time Scholar Athlete as well.
Tyler is originally from Waupaca, Wisconsin and graduated in 2011 with a pre-med degree. As assistant coach at CIU, Tyler will oversee much of the team's offensive attack and will help to coordinate all set pieces and restarts. Tyler lives in Columbia with his wife Whitney after being recently married.
Daniel MallardAssistant Coach
Sal FontanaGoalkeeper Coach
Sal Fontana enters his 1st season on the men's soccer coaching staff at CIU. Sal is joining the coaching staff after being a head coach for the PAC JV boys team this past season. Sal also had a steller playing career being part of the US U-17 National Team and also playing in college for Wake Forest University and Florida International University. While at FIU he was a part of the team that advanced to the NCAA D1 National Championship.
After college, he went on to play for the Charlotte Eagles of the USL D2 Pro League. Sal also holds a USSF E license as well as NSCAA Goalkeeping Diploma's 1, 2, and 3. As part of the coaching staff, Sal will oversee all the goalkeepers and their development.
Sal is originally from Syosset, NY and graduated from Trinity International University with an undergraduate degree in Christian Ministry. He also earned his master's degree in Bible Exposition from CIU in 2009. Sal lives in Columbia with his wife Mari and their 5 children: Sal, Samantha, Donovan, Samuel, and Sofia.