“What’s great about the Kickers is that we develop players, but we also develop individuals; we develop character. That’s important in creating any good soccer program.” - Pete Knezic
When the family and most of the kids in the neighborhood are playing soccer, it is hard to stay away from. And when you’re really good at it, it is hard to dislike. Pete Knezic attributes his love for soccer to the days spent playing in the neighborhood with his older brothers. “Playing against the older kids really helped prepare me for when I played against the kids that were my age,” he said.
Knezic played youth soccer for the Milwaukee Serbian Soccer Club. He was an All-American at The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, playing midfielder. He signed with the Chicago Horizon in 1980 and played several years of professional soccer, including a stint with the Oklahoma City Slickers, before moving to the Milwaukee Wave in 1985. With the Wave, Knezic served as Team Captain, Assistant Coach, and General Manager, tallying 81 goals during his tenure.
He became the first player in the history of the Milwaukee Wave to have his jersey retired and was inducted into the Wisconsin Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007.
Knezic’s coaching experience includes coaching positions at Waukesha Catholic Memorial, Brookfield East, Brookfield Central and UW-Milwaukee (Women's Team). He also served as Coaching Director at FC Milwaukee.
“I love coming to work because I get to be around a team of great people,” said Knezic. Having been a staff coach with the Milwaukee Kickers for three years, he is most excited about the MKSC Academy program. He embraces the challenge of continually elevating the program and pushing the Academy to the highest level.
Off the pitch, Coach Knezic supports Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Germany and Serbian National Teams. However, nothing is better than seeing the kids he coaches, including his own kids, improve and excel at the game he loves.