New soccer coach Shivraman brings 30 years of experience to Polk State

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

After reaching the national NJCAA Tournament last season, Polk State Soccer found its new head coach in someone who has been there before.

Dee Shivraman, 59, officially began his tenure on June 19. A native of India, Shivraman has three decades of coaching experience.

“The history and reputation of Polk State and its soccer program and my experience and passion for this beautiful game will be a great mix,” Shivraman said. “I look at this opportunity as a privilege that I will cherish. It is something that I will share with our players as well as that none of us are entitled to anything. It should be our collective responsibility to ensure that we work daily to reach levels of excellence.”

Shivraman has coached at the high school, club, and college levels. As head coach of Schoolcraft College, a junior college in Livonia, Mich., from 2006 to 2014, Shivraman guided the program to eight conference championships, four NJCAA Tournament appearances, and a remarkable 136-12-5 record.

“I find coaching at the junior college level rewarding because players get the opportunity to study and play at the collegiate level without it being a heavy financial burden,” Shivraman added. “For coaches, it’s like a revolving door. With players coming and going on a constant basis, we’re always recruiting. It keeps things fresh and exciting.”

Recently an assistant for the men’s soccer team at Johnson University, a National Christian College Athletic Association school in Kissimmee, Shivraman has been coaching soccer since 1993. During his time at Schoolcraft, Shivraman was a three-time Regional Coach of the Year. He coached six NJCAA All-Americans during his tenure.

“I learned a long time ago that while winning is great, it’s the incredible journey that teams undertake and the imprint that our coaches and players leave on the community and on people’s lives that matter most,” he said. “I can’t recall much about the championships or games we won, but I do remember the fantastic people and the wonderful experiences we shared. When we meet, we reflect on the good times we had.”

In addition to his extensive coaching career, Shivraman played professionally for more than a decade in Detroit. During the offseason, he coaches soccer clinics in the U.S. and Europe.

“I have a futsal (indoor soccer) program and every summer, it seems to be growing more,” Shivraman added. “I also was introduced to the Special Olympics a few years back and fell in love with these kids; I try to give my time to support Special Olympics soccer.”

In addition to 30 years of coaching experience, Shivraman also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wayne State University in Detroit. He holds a master’s in education from Marygrove College.

“We were fortunate to have so many qualified candidates, but Dee’s track record spoke for itself,” said Stanley Cromartie, Polk State Director of Athletics. “Under his leadership, we expect to continue to compete at a very high level and develop athletes as players and as people.”

Shivraman will have large shoes to fill as he takes over for Jess Belli. Belli retired to spend more time with her family after leading Polk State to a 38-9-1 record in three seasons. Last season, the Eagles claimed the Region 8 regular season and tournament championships before making their first NJCAA Tournament appearance since 2009. Belli was named South Atlantic District Coach of the Year.

“The potential is limitless for this program,” Shivraman said. “Coach Belli proved that. We are in a fantastic community. The resources and facilities are great; we will strive daily to reach the high standards set by previous teams and coaches — both on the field and in the classroom.”

Shivraman has more than his share of familiarity with Polk State Soccer. Last season, his daughter Meg Shivraman, a midfielder, recorded an assist in 11 matches and helped the Eagles finish with an 18-2 record. While head coach at Schoolcraft, Shivraman’s team fell to then Polk Community College in the 2007 NJCAA Tournament by a narrow 3-2 score.

“I’m extremely blessed to be part of this College, community, and team,” Shivraman added. “My coaching philosophy is to make sure our players have respect for the game, their teammates, and coaches, and reflect class on and off the pitch.”

In addition to his on-the-field accomplishments, Shivraman has also been recognized for his work off of it. While coaching at Schoolcraft, Shivraman was presented with the Service of Excellence Award by the Detroit Police Department’s Police Athletic League for the team’s community involvement. Shivraman said his family is to thank for much of his success.

“They are my inspiration,” he said. “My 89-year-old mom, my incredible wife, Sheela, my two kids Meghana and Milan – their support has always been unwavering and gives me strength and confidence.”