Stars Name Mike Jennings New Head Coach
The Tacoma Stars have announced Mike Jennings as the head coach of the team ahead of the 2021-22 season. Jennings has been with the Stars since the 2016 season and has served under previous head coaches Darren Sawatzky and Nick Perera as part of the technical and medical staff. Per team and league policies, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Jennings is a resident of Tacoma and following his college career as a four-year starter with Azusa-Pacific, he served as the women's soccer coach for the University of Puget Sound from 1982-88 and was the National Coach of the Year in 1985. He won the NAIA Certificate of Merit in 1988 and guided his team to 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the National Tournament.
Jennings joined Tacoma Stars owner Lane Smith in ownership roles with the Seattle Sounders U23, Seattle Sounders Women, beginning with the PDL's Tacoma Tide in 2006. Jennings nodded to Smith's ownership of the Stars when asked about stepping in as head coach.
"I want to thank Lane Smith and the team's senior leadership for their confidence in me. The team's foundations in having solid ownership, quality players and their collective desire for solid performances bodes well for our Stars Family and community. We all look forward to getting started in the upcoming weeks. Go, Stars!"
Jennings will rely on his medial and technical background while behind the bench and sees this as an opportunity to free former coach Nick Perera from some of the day-to-day player management and game day issues to be the best player he can be. He will also focus on improving team fitness and organization. Adam Becker remains as assistant coach
On the naming of Jennings as Tacoma's new head coach, Stars owner Lane Smith said, "Mike is very well known in the local soccer community, and I have known and worked with him for years. He brings a unique set of skills and talents. Mike is not only an "A" licensed coach but also brings his vast performance training knowledge and top a notch facility for the Stars to train out of. Mike has been in the "box" with us for 6 years and has a fantastic rapport with the players. I look forward to Mike bringing the Stars great success in the 2021-22 season."
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