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|Born:||August 3, 1945|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school:||Levittown (PA) Woodrow Wilson|
|NFL Draft:||1969 / Round: 5 / Pick: 128|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Full name||Karl Friedrich Kremser|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|1960–1964||Woodrow Wilson High School|
|1964–1966||Army Black Knights|
|1970–1975||Palm Springs Junior High|
|1975–1977||Miami Killian High School|
Karl Friedrich Kremser (born August 3, 1945) is a German American former football placekicker for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) and retired college soccer coach from Florida International University. He played college soccer for the United States Military Academy and college football for the University of Tennessee. He was chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round of the 1969 NFL Draft.
Kremser was born in Salzwedel, Germany towards the end of World War II to Reichsdeutsche parents born in Latvia. His father was drafted into the German Army and fought on the Russian front. While his father was in the army, his family fled to Germany to avoid the incoming Russian army. Kremser lived in Germany as a war refugee until his family immigrated to Seabrook Farms, New Jersey in 1952. Seabrook Farms was a truck farming area and pioneer of the frozen vegetable industry. They would give people jobs in the factories and help them immigrate in exchange for one year of service. After Kremser's father had finished his contract at Seabrook Farms, he found a new job and relocated the family to Levittown, Pennsylvania. Kremser attended the local Woodrow Wilson High School where he excelled in track and soccer and graduated in 1964.
Kremser was recruited by West Point for track, but also played soccer where he led the Black Knights to the final four of the 1965 NCAA Tournament. Unable to adjust to the cadet lifestyle, Kremser decided to leave after two years and find another school he could transfer to. After reading a Spring 1966 Sports Illustrated article about Richmond Flowers, Kremser wrote University of Tennessee track and field coach Chuck Rohe. Coach Rohe wrote back and the two arranged to meet during an AAU meet. Unable to offer Kremser a scholarship, Coach Rohe offered him a work-study and Kremser transferred in 1966.
Since Tennessee did not have a soccer team and inspired by Charlie and Pete Gogolak's innovative soccer-style placekicking, Kremser decided to start practicing. Word spread about his ability and was encouraged to try out for spring football and was eventually offered a full football scholarship becoming perhaps the first non-recruited dual sports athlete at Tennessee. The highlight of his collegiate football career came with a 54-yard field goal that helped the Volunteers defeat Alabama, 10–9, in 1968. That kick set a Southeastern Conference record for distance up to that time and still stands as one of the longest field goals in Tennessee history.
After graduation, Kremser was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 5th round of the 1969 NFL Draft and was the team's leading scorer in his rookie season. The following year, George Wilson was replaced by Don Shula who brought in Garo Yepremian. Shula initially kept both kickers until deciding on Garo and releasing Kremser. After being released, Kremser started teaching physical education at Palm Springs Junior High while looking for a new team. He signed with Green Bay for pre-season camp. The day before leaving for camp, he hurt his quad during practice and decided to end his football career.
After cutting his football career short due to injury, Kremser returned to Palm Springs Junior High. The school system had a soccer competition for junior high schools so Kremser organized teams for the tournaments and realized he really enjoyed it. After several years at Palm Springs, Kremser moved on to Miami Killian High School in 1975 where he taught German and coached soccer eventually leading the team to a state championship in 1977.
Kremser entered the college ranks in 1977 when he took over the Davidson College Wildcats and started to build their soccer program while also coaching track. By his third season, the Wildcats had five players named All-Southern Conference and Kremser was selected the league's Coach of the Year.
Kremser's coaching legacy is defined by his tenure as coach of the Florida International University Panthers from 1980 to 2007. During his 27 years at FIU, Kremser was able to develop FIU's program from a small Division II unknown to a respected Division I program. He guided two NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championship teams at FIU in 1982 and 1984 and three others reached the national finals, including his 1996 team that played for the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship against St. John's. The two championships won in 1982 and 1984 remain as FIU's only national championships in any sport. Kremser led FIU to eight Division II and eight Division I tournament appearances while winning the 1991 Trans America Athletic Conference tournament and the 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004 Atlantic Soccer Conference regular season championship.
Among his many honors and achievements, Kremser was named Florida's Coach of the Year in 1980 and the Collegiate Coaches' South Region Coach of the Year in 1985. He was selected Trans America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1991 when he guided the Panthers to their first conference crown and NCAA Division I Tournament appearance. He was voted TAAC Coach of the Year again in 1996 and picked up Atlantic Soccer Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2002 and 2004 - FIU's final season with the league.
Kremser has coached 32 all-state selections, including five state Players of the Year, 34 All-South Region selections and eight All-Americans. He also has had 40 former players move on to the professional ranks, including former U.S. National Team player Robin Fraser, the 1996 MLS Rookie of the Year and former U.S. National Team member Steve Ralston, 2003 and '05 MLS All-Star Tyrone Marshall, 2005 MLS All-Star Greg Vanney, 2006 MLS All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year and member of the Radio Shack Best XI Bobby Boswell and goalkeeper Jeff Cassar, FIU's first player in the English Premier League.
Kremser decided to retire in 2002 after FIU decided to end the soccer program to divert funding to their new football program. The decision was reversed the next day following alumni protest, but the relationship with the school athletic directors was already damaged. Kremser stayed on for five more years until officially retiring in 2007 after 27 years. Kremser's assistant coach and former FIU three time All-American Munga Eketebi took over.
Kremser retired from FIU as the 17th winningest coach ever in NCAA Division I men's soccer history with a 337-210-41 career record. He posted a 324-171-41 mark at FIU and guided the Panthers to 24 winning seasons. His teams recorded 10-or-more-victories 14 times in his last 17 years.
- "Karl Kremser Interview" (PDF). Interview with Karl Kremser Conducted by Tom Scott Friday, September 10, 2013 Telephone Interview. The Rohe Era Track and XC Association. 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
- C-USA (May 8, 2007). "FIU Soccer Coach Karl Kremser Announces His Retirement". C-USA. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
- Gary Davidson (May 8, 2007). "Kremser retirement from FIU is deemed final". SoccerTimes. Retrieved August 17, 2015.