Yavapai Soccer Coach Recipient of Prestigious National Award
Yavapai College Head Soccer Coach Michael Pantalione has been named as the recipient of the prestigious National Soccer Coaches Association of America Bill Jeffrey Award. This marks the first time a junior college coach has been selected to receive this award. He will be honored at the NSCAA Awards Banquet, which will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 15.
The Bill Jeffrey Award recognizing long-term service and contribution to collegiate soccer is named for the former Penn State coach who played a major role in shaping soccer and the National Soccer Coaches Assocation of America (NSCAA). Jeffrey was the head coach of the 1950 U.S. World Cup team that defeated England, 1-0, in one of the greatest upsets in the history of soccer. He was the coach of Penn State for 26 seasons, winning 10 national college championships, and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. A founding member of the NSCAA, he served as president of the Association in 1948. Each year, the NSCAA presents this award to a person who has raised intercollegiate soccer to new heights through his or her long-term dedication to the game. Founded in 1941, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America is the largest soccer coaches’ organization in the world dedicated to serving the needs of soccer coaches with over 30,000 members. The NSCAA administers an extensive awards and recognition program designed to recognize excellence in soccer, academics and service to the game.
Michael Pantalione completed his 27th year in 2015 as Yavapai’s first and only head soccer coach. Under his direction, Yavapai developed the most successful Junior College soccer program in the nation, capturing 73 championships including seven national championships, 18 final four finishes, a combined 41 region and district championships along with 25 conference titles. He currently has the best winning percentage of any collegiate men’s soccer coach (574-50-27/.904) and is the all-time leader in JUCO wins (574). In 1995, he was selected as the recipient of the NSCAA/NISOA National Merit Honor awarded to one college coach (2-year or 4-year/men’s or women’s) whose reputation is recognized as praiseworthy, and reflective of the highest standards of professional and ethical behavior. In 2006, he was the first active coach elected to the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2012, he received the prestigious NJCAA National Service Award given to those who have made significant contributions to junior college athletics. In 2015, he was awarded the NSCAA Letter of Commendation, presented for unusual achievement that clearly exceeds performance requirements, expectations and contributions beneficial to the NSCAA and soccer in the United States. Additionally, honors include seven NJCAA and five NSCAA National Coach of the Year Awards along with being named NSCAA West Region Coach of the Year 17 times. He is a 38-year member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and 19th year serving as National Chair for both the NJCAA and NSCAA Soccer Rankings.