Staff
Head Coach
Carl Rees

The word first comes up many times when you talk about the career of Carl Rees, who enters his 22nd season as the head coach of the Fairfield University soccer program. And every one of those firsts represents a positive benchmark for the Stags.

He was the first Fairfield University coach to win an NCAA tournament game when he led his team to a 2-1 win over the University of Connecticut in the 2006 edition. He was the first men's soccer coach to garner a post-season berth, a number which now stands at four berths including the 1999, 2006, 2008, and 2011 NCAA tournaments.

Fairfield played the University of Illinois-Chicago in the 1999 play-in round, dropping a 1-0 decision. The Stags fared better in the 2006 tourney as they picked up a road win against UConn before falling to Towson University in the second round. In 2008, an own goal was the difference in the team's match up with UConn as the Huskies hung on for a 1-0 first-round win. The team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time under Rees in 2011, as the Stags dropped a 3-2 decision to Brown on the road.

Rees was responsible for another first when he led the 1998 team captured the program's first-ever national ranking. The Stags secured the number 24 position in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top-25 poll. It would be the first of six seasons in which Rees led his team to a national ranking.

Fairfield reached as high as 15th in the 2000 national poll before ranking 12th in the 2001 poll, the highest national ranking by any Fairfield athletic team. The program also secured national rankings in 2005 (24th), 2006 (15th), and 2007 (17th).

Rees has never shied away from playing top competition as well, regularly playing teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, and the Ivy League. The Stags have also had its share of wins against nationally-ranked teams, the most recent coming in the 2008 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship game as the Stags posted a 1-0 win over sixth-ranked Loyola University to advance to the NCAA tournament.

The Stags have certainly flourished under Rees, winning 60 percent of their games overall and 66 percent of their MAAC regular-season games. The program has advanced to seven MAAC championship games under Rees and won three of those appearances. Through 21 seasons, Rees owns a 198-134-57 overall record and a 117-54-21 mark in MAAC play

Rees turned around a program which struggled in its infancy. Fairfield soccer registered just two winning seasons in its first 22 years of existence. All that changed when Rees took over the program in 1996. After posting six wins in each of his first two seasons at the helm, the Stags responded with a school record 15 victories in 1998 en route to their first MAAC championship game appearances under Rees.

Fairfield would go on to win 10 or more games in four straight seasons, averaging 13 wins per year from 1998 to 2001. The team would win seven MAAC regular-season games in each of those four years as well. Rees would also put together another run of four successive double-digit win seasons, starting with 13 in 2006 and ending with 11 in 2008.

During that 2005 campaign, Fairfield would post an 8-0-1 MAAC regular-season record, the only time the Stags have posted an unblemished conference record. While the team would lose in the conference championship game that year, Fairfield would rebound with a regular-season title and a conference championship in 2006, finishing the year with a 15-6-1 overall record and a 7-2 MAAC mark.

Rees is the all-time winningest coach in Fairfield soccer history with 198 victories. He won his 100th career game in 2005, defeating Niagara University in the conference tournament for the prestigious victory.

Originally from Bebington, England, Rees was Hartwick's team captain for his junior and senior seasons. He was a three-year starter on defense before moving to forward as a senior. He led the team in scoring that season with 10 goals and four assists, raising his career scoring total to 24 goals and 13 assists.

As a coach, Rees served as a Region I Olympic Development staff coach and holds a United States Soccer Federation "B" coaching license. Rees also holds a NSCAA advanced national diploma.

His player experience also extends to the international level, playing with the Everton and Liverpool Football Club youth teams before deciding to attend Hartwick College in 1984. He was inducted into the Hartwick College Hall of Fame in June, 2007.

He also played a role in the 1994 World Cup which was played in the United States. Rees worked with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) during the event, working primarily at the Meadowlands venue in East Rutherford, N.J.

Assistant Coach
Javier Decima

Javier Decima is entering his eighth season with the Fairfield University men's goalkeeper coach.
Javier Decima brings a wealth of coaching experience to the program which includes time at the youth and collegiate levels. He was a Graduate Assistant coach at the University of Bridgeport for two seasons beginning with the 2005 campaign. He served as the team's goalkeeper coach during his stay.

Decima has been an Assistant/Goalkeeper coach at Fairfield University for the past 6 years. From 2010 to 2012, he worked with Michael O’Keeffe, who became a three time All MAAC Conference 1st team selection. Michael was awarded the MAAC 2011 Defensive Player of the Year and All-MAAC Conference tournament team. In 2012, O’Keeffe received a call up to the New Zealand Men’s National Team for 2012 OFC Nations Cup. O’Keeffe was also selected for the New Zealand team that participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

In 2014, the starting goalkeeper Matt Turner was awarded the NCAA Statistical Champion for Best Save Percentage and Shutout Percentage in the Nation. He was also awarded to All-MAAC Conference tournament team. In 2015 he was selected All MAAC Conference 2nd team as well as Adidas All-Region 2nd team.

Decima is currently the Director of Goalkeeper Training for Beachside of Connecticut (USSDA). He also coaches local travel teams around southwestern Connecticut.

Decima played his high school soccer at Aviation H.S. He was awarded Best Goalkeeper in NYC in 1998 and 1999. Decima played for two years at Ulster Community College for Hall of Fame coach George Vizvary. During his stay there, Ulster placed 3rd in the 2001 National Junior College Tournament. After Ulster CC, Decima accepted a soccer scholarship to the University of Bridgeport. There he won an ECAC championship and was selected to the NYCAC 2nd team in 2003 and 1st team in 2004.

He holds NSCAA Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma, NSCAA National Diploma.

Assistant Coach
Johnny Raj

Jonny Raj begins his first season with the Fairfield University men's soccer program as an assistant coach, spending the previous two seasons as an assistant at the University of Bridgeport. In his first season working alongside newly promoted assistant coach Javier Decima and head coach Carl Rees, the Stags finished the season as MAAC Regular Season and MAAC Tournament Champions posting a mark of 12-5-3. They also finished the season ranked #1 in the North-East Region.

As a player, Raj was a four-year varsity soccer player at Fairfield University, beginning with the 2009 season. He earned three All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) first team honors as a back following his sophomore, junior and senior seasons as well as First Team New England All Region Honors junior and senior year. During his four years as a Fairfield Varsity player started in every single game bar one when he was sidelined due to an ankle injury. He served as a captain his junior year in which they were MAAC Regular season champions as well as eventual MAAC Champions.

Raj also spent two summers playing for the Chicago Fire in the PDL serving as a captain in which they reached the quarterfinal of the US Open Cup as an amateur side eventually falling to eventual winners Sporting Kansas City. He also spent a year with Reading United out of PA who are a feeder club to the Philadelphia Union MLS franchise as well as CFC Azul out of Connecticut again serving as a captain.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Fairfield, an Master of Business Administration from the University of Bridgeport and is currently finishing up his MBA in Business Analytics from the University of Fairfield.

Before Fairfield the defender played with the New Zealand U20 national team before deciding to enroll at Fairfield University. He was also a part of Auckland City FC who were winners of the Oceania Federation and earned a berth to the FIFA Club World Cup.**text in bold****text in bold**