By Jenna Swank
UPPER BURRELL, Pa.—In the last few years, the soccer program has made some great strides in the right direction. Some of these accomplishments have come within the last year with the arrival of a new head coach. Jordan Valentine, resident of Pittsburgh, was selected as the head coach of the men’s soccer team in March 2013; this is his second season with the program.
When Valentine took over the team, he had a roster of seven people, which meant a lot of recruiting needed to be done. In his first season in 2013, his team made it to the PSUAC playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. Many of the starters from that team left the campus so more recruiting had to be done for the 2014 season. This season, Valentine has a roster of 24 people. Thus far, the team has spent a considerable amount in the number one spot in the PSUAC. He says the team is enjoying a lot of success, but they know they need to continue working hard to achieve their goals.
In the future, Valentine says he is “looking forward to establishing the program as a powerhouse within the PSUAC.” Coaching at PSNK gives him the opportunity to run his own program and gain experience at the collegiate level. He knows that the team is bound to bring PSNK a soccer championship. With his roster right now being largely made up of freshman, Valentine can use them continue to build a solid roster for the upcoming seasons. Senior Captain, Perry Sciulli, says “coach focuses on changing the culture and making sure our soccer team has successful seasons each year and build a better program. He has already done great things in his short time here.”
Being a relatively young collegiate coach, Valentine brings a wealth of coaching and playing experience to the program. He has been playing the sport for around 20 years from amateur level to having several tryouts at the professional level. Valentine played competitively in England, where he was born. He was offered a full-ride scholarship to the NCAA D2 school, Ohio Valley University in West Virginia, where he graduated with a degree in Sports Management. In his time there, Valentine was nominated for WVIAC All-Conference player twice and he was also invited to play for the Great Britain National University Team in 2008.
Between having a wife and a three year old golden retriever, Valentine still manages to be coaching full-time. He is currently a coach for the PA West Olympic Development Program, the Century United Football Club, and UK International Soccer. Before taking on the program at PSNK, Valentine had coached at all ages and levels even in other countries, including England and Greece. Previously, he ran a club in Michigan, as well as coached clinics and camps across the country and even worked with Disney to arrange professional trials and combines. He has English Coaching Licenses at levels 1 and 2. Valentine also has coaching licenses from America including the NSCAA National Diploma.