PORT ANGELES – Cale Rodriguez of Redlands, California this week became the fourth head coach in the storied history of Peninsula College men’s soccer.
The Pirates, winners of three Northwest Athletic Conference championships and six West Division titles, will now be guided by Rodriguez, who brings significant soccer experience to the program.
“We are very pleased to have Cale in our Pirate family,” said Athletic Director Rick Ross. “We had a lot of interest in this position, 35 applicants from eight countries, and we liked Cale’s experience, his passion for soccer, and his fit for our college and for this community.”
Rodriguez is leaving his position as the assistant coach at University of Redlands, where he coached from 2012-2015, to take the helm of the Pirate ship. He also served as an assistant coach at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas from 2011-2012. He has a USSF C License.
The California native also played college soccer at Redlands, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 2010 and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education in 2014.
“I’d like to thank Dr. Robins, Rick Ross, Jack Huls, Kanyon Anderson and the search committee for giving me this incredible opportunity to be the head men’s soccer coach at Peninsula College,” Rodriguez said. “I am humbled and honored to take over a program that Coach Chapman and Coach Anderson have left in such a great position. The overall experience provided to students at Peninsula College is extremely impressive and I consider it a privilege to be in a position to contribute to the overall success of student-athletes. I look forward to adding to the history and tradition of Pirate soccer."
"This is an exciting time for Pirate Soccer,” he said. “My goal is for Peninsula College to be the best place in the West to play junior college soccer. This may seem like a lofty goal, but I strongly believe that the future of this program is very bright. I look forward to the challenge of competing in the NWAC and continuing the success of a program known for excellence."
Among Cale’s strengths identified by the Peninsula College hiring committee was his experience as the Recruiting Coordinator at University of Redlands.
“Cale is an outstanding recruiter with broad West Coast connections – and that is a critical component of this game,” Ross said. “I’m confident he’ll know something about every high school soccer player from Alaska to Southern California, including all those here on the North Olympic Peninsula. He’s also very connected to four-year colleges where he’ll be able to help our players move on.”
Rodriguez will not only coach soccer at Peninsula, but he’ll teach physical education on a part-time faculty contract.
“Cale’s coaching style, and teaching ability in soccer, translate very well into the PE classroom,” Ross said. “Our students are going to enjoy him and I see him growing into an outstanding educator.”
In Rodriguez’s playing career at Redlands, he was a four-year starter and served as team captain his senior year in 2009. He was named to the NCAA Division III All-West Region Team and was twice named All-Conference. His Bulldogs were nationally-ranked in 2006-2008, winning conference titles and reaching the NCAA playoffs all three years.
Rodriguez served as assistant coach under Ralph Perez, who is a West Coast soccer coaching icon. Perez’s coaching resume includes serving as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy, head coach of the U.S. World Cup Under-20 Team that placed fourth in 1989, and a successful career at Redlands that includes four NCAA Championship Tournament appearances and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America West Region Coach of the Year Award.
"I owe a great debt of gratitude to Coach Ralph Perez for being a tremendous mentor throughout my playing and coaching career,” Rodriguez said. “Additionally, I want to thank Liam Connors, BJ Noble, Rich Ryerson, Rob Becerra and Paul Karver. Without their guidance and friendship, I wouldn’t have this opportunity."
Coach Perez says Rodriguez is ready for this next step in his career.
“He’s clearly ready for it,” Perez said. “He has worked hard to become a coach and he’s more mature then his age. He’s very dedicated to the game. The players we have love him.”
Rodriguez will be Peninsula’s fourth men’s soccer coach, following the groundwork established by Jeff Pitman for the first three seasons from 2000-2002, and Andrew Chapman from 2003-2013 and Kanyon Anderson in the fall of 2014.