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Austin FC Announces New Soccer Operations Hires

December 21, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Austin FC News Release


Austin, Texas - Austin FC, the 27th Club in Major League Soccer (MLS), has announced the continued expansion of its Soccer Operations team. Cory Jez joins from the NBA's Utah Jazz as Director of Sports Science & Analytics. Aki Tajima joins the Club from the Orlando Magic in the NBA as Director of Sports Medicine. Satoshi Iida, most recently with Sporting Kansas City, joins as Athletic Trainer. Luis Jeronimo from USL team Reno 1868 FC will become the Club's Strength & Conditioning Coach. Chad Kolarcik, formerly of the Colorado Rapids, will join as Head Fitness & Rehabilitation Coach, and Andrew Roberts, Equipment Manager, moves to Austin FC from Atlanta United.

"We are pleased to welcome Cory, Aki, Satoshi, Luis, Chad and Andrew into our growing Soccer Operations department," said Claudio Reyna, Austin FC Sporting Director. "Between them, our six newest appointments bring a wide range of experience in top-flight sports, particularly MLS. They are welcome additions to Austin FC, and I know they are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our Club."

Jez joins Austin FC after spending three (3) years as Coordinator of Basketball Analytics with the NBA's Utah Jazz (2017-2020) where he led the front office and coaching analytical efforts that aided the Jazz in making three (3) consecutive playoff appearances. Jez, who earned an MS in Analytics from Georgia Tech (2020), also spent two (2) years as an Analytics Manager for FanDuel Inc. (2015-2017) and one (1) as a Business Intelligence Analyst for analytics consulting firm, InterWorks Inc. (2013-2014).

Tajima spent the 2017-20 seasons with the Orlando Magic in the NBA as an Assistant Athletic Trainer, while the team reached the playoffs twice during his tenure (2018-19, 2019-20). He also brings valuable MLS experience as an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Seattle Sounders during the 2015-17 seasons, where he was part of the team that won MLS Cup in 2016 and the LA Galaxy (2014-2015), being part of the team that won MLS Cup in 2014. Additionally, he brings ample experience as an Assistant Athletic Trainer in multiple international events, such as the 2019 World Championships in Athletics in Doha, Qatar, and the World Jr. Championships in Athletics in Barcelona, Spain (2012), among others. Tajima received a Master of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Arkansas (2012), as well as a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Texas State University (2010).

Satoshi "Tosh" Iida arrives to Austin FC from Sporting Kansas City where he spent four (4) years as an Assistant Athletic Trainer. He also supported Swope Park Rangers and the team's Youth Academy rehabilitation efforts (2016-2020). In addition to his work with Sporting Kansas City, he evaluated, treated and rehabilitated athletic injuries for the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team during two (2) separate national team camps in 2019. Iida holds a BA of Arts in Sports Science from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan (2013) and a Master of Athletic Training from the University of Arkansas (2016).

Luis Jeronimo spent 2020 as Head of Performance and Data Analytics for the USL's 2020 Championship Western Conference Semifinalist, Reno 1868 FC. Jeronimo's professional experience includes roles with the Kansas City Royals (2019), Washington Nationals (2017-2019), and the United States Olympic Committee (2016). Jeronimo earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton (2015).

Head Fitness and Rehab Coach Chad Kolarcik has over nine (9) years of experience developing and overseeing load monitoring, strength and conditioning, sports science and rehabilitation programs with MLS Clubs. He has worked with the Colorado Rapids (2018-2020), Seattle Sounders (2012-2017), and LA Galaxy (2011). Kolarcik obtained a MA with High Distinction in High Performance Sport and Exercise Science from Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia (2019).

Equipment Manager Andrew Roberts arrives from Atlanta United, where he was part of the Equipment Operations team that won MLS Cup in 2018. Prior to joining Atlanta, he was with USL Championship side Saint Louis FC as Academy Lead Operations Coordinator. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from Georgia Southern University (2017).

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