Jose Cedeno adds fresh perspective for men’s soccer

Jose Coronado, Staff Reporter

Born in Manta, a city on the coast of Ecuador, Coach Jose Cedeno left the warm shores of the Pacific when he was 11 years old and moved with his family to Queens, New York. Jose and his family moved to the neighborhood of Woodside, a place full of diversity with many families from Colombia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

Coach Jose had started to play in soccer in fifth grade back in Ecuador and continued his career in high school where he played as left back and left midfielder. He had always enjoyed the game and was calm in most situations. His good technique gave him the opportunity to play soccer at the college level. The beginning of his college career started as a central defender at Ulster Community College, which was ranked third in the nation. He also got to practice his leaderships skills in Ulster after being named captain.

His level and good performances helped him transfer to St. Peter’s University in New Jersey where he finished his college career as holding mid. At St. Peter’s, he helped the coaching staff, which was new at the time. In 2002, Jose graduated from St. Peter’s with a degree in Modern Languages. After finishing college, he played for Istria Soccer Club in New York and in a European tour. He was offered a contract with a professional soccer club in Croatia, but rejected it because he already had a job as assistant coach at Marist High School in New Jersey. That’s where his coaching career would begin.

His first experience training teenagers and young kids was in 2003, when he worked for a kids club in New York teaching soccer. This was the first job involving training and developing young soccer players. Two years after getting his job as assistant coach at Marist High School, he was promoted to Head Coach.

In 2005, he landed a job as head coach for Hunter College where his successful coaching made him coach of the year in 2008 for the City University New York Athletic Conference. His team was champion of the conference in 2008 and 2010. After living almost all of his life in the New York area, Jose felt it was time for a change; he and his wife Jennifer moved to the Bay Area where he worked as Director of Coaching and Player Development for the Belmont United Soccer Club.

That’s until spring of 2015, when Jose got the position of Head Coach at Whitman College. He was amazed by the facilities at Whitman and also by the academics. He loves the support he gets from the athletics department, but above everything he was convinced to be the head coach of Whitman because of the potential on the team. His first season was tumultuous, 2 victories, 2 ties and 10 losses. For him the season was difficult because of the results, but his players acknowledged his capability to organize the team.

“We established how we were going to play defense right at the beginning of the season and just stuck with that all season,” said captain and senior Park Harmon.

Coach Jose made a instantaneous impact in the players this season by trying to correct the little mistakes players were making.

“He corrected the things that I think the other coach looked over. With him, everyone knows what to do and he gives specific directions to everyone,” said sophomore Noah Cavanaugh.

Although the team earned a bad record, senior goalkeeper Baker Conte said that the team liked the defensive mind of Coach Jose and made some progress at the end of the season.

“We really frustrated teams the second half of the season, which bodes very well for next season and the one after that,” said Conte.

Now in offseason, Coach Jose has more time to relax, do more recruiting, and generally enjoy his new environment. He also has more time to be a dad. His daughter Jordyn was born this October, and now in offseason he has more time to take care of her.

“There is nothing better than being a dad” said Coach Jose.