Former soccer star returns as coach

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Just three years ago, the Pacific University Men’s Soccer program was at one of its highest points in school history.

Now in 2013, the Boxers hope to return to being a top program and have decided to get a little help from the past.

In November of 2010, the Boxers closed the regular season with a shutout victory to claim their first Northwest Conference Championship since 1996.

One of the players out there celebrating with the team was senior captain, Mike Iacolucci.

Iacolucci, a Seattle, Wash. native, was a huge part of the Men’s Soccer Team from 2007 to 2010.

Over the course of his Boxer career, Iacolucci has earned honors such as NWC Honorable Mention, two All-NWC First Team selections and National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

He also received All-West Region Second and Third team selections and an ESPN Academic All-District VIII men’s soccer second team selection.

The most important honor to the Boxers, however, is being able to call him a conference champion.

In present day, Iacolucci has once again found himself out on the turf of Lincoln Park Stadium.

This time, he is a member of the coaching staff.

“I had the best possible experience here as a player and as a student,” said Iacolucci. “Being back and getting to coach is a blessing, for sure.”

Iacolucci has been brought back to help out with coaching the defensive positions.

Up until his senior season, Iacolucci had played the forward position.

After the departure of one of the team’s best defenders, Head Coach Jim Brazeau tried Iacolucci at defender.

Iacolucci has found his home there ever since.

When Iacolucci last played in 2010, many of the team’s current seniors were only freshmen at the time.

One of the coaches’ concerns was that it too early for Iacolucci to join the coaching staff since he had previously played with some of the players.

Ultimately, Brazeau was confident that they would have the respect and mutual desire for the team to do well.

“My relationship with the guys is great,” said Iacolucci. “They can relate to me as a younger coach and come to me with things that are going on within the team that the older coaches might not want to hear about.”

“Mike has made a difference in the mentality of our defense,” said current senior defender and one of the team’s captains, Mason Nakama.

“He’s restored a fight that we’ve lacked in previous seasons. He also provides a more in touch view of the game because he’s only three years removed from the collegiate game,” said Nakama.

Iacolucci, who was a captain both his junior and senior seasons, has experienced only success as a player at Pacific. This can be very useful as a coach.

One of the things Brazeau had asked was that he bring back the mentality of expecting success out of a program.

“Sometimes you expect something and you keep working at it,” said Iacolucci. “If everyone is on board and thinking that it’s going to go that way, sometimes it just goes that way.”


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