For the first
time since the program was founded, the University of North Florida men’s
soccer team is under the direction of a new head coach. In December, North
Florida Athletics Director Lee Moon announced the hiring of Derek Marinatos as
the head coach of the Osprey men’s soccer program.
to UNF following a four-year coaching stint at Furman University, having most
recently served as associate head coach. During his tenure, the Paladins
compiled a 49-27-4 (.638) record and were the 2010 Southern Conference regular
“I am extremely
excited to have Derek taking over our men’s soccer program,” said Moon. “He has
been a key part of nationally successful programs and also demonstrated the
strong ability to recruit and develop the top caliber student-athletes that we
are looking for at North Florida. Derek definitely possessed all the qualities
we were looking for in a head coach.”
originally from the Jacksonville area and brings a wealth of soccer experience
and knowledge to the North Florida team. Since arriving on campus, Marinatos
has been working non-stop to improve the men’s soccer program. This is most
evident with his efforts on the recruiting trail. The first-year head coach brought in more
than a dozen new players.
“I am very
excited about the guys we have coming in,” Marinatos stated. “All of them have
strong character and are extremely competitive. We brought in a lot of guys who
excel both on the field and in the classroom. The players we have coming in
will be able to immediately challenge for positions and help us compete in the
Atlantic Sun Conference right away.”
Two of his
recruiting classes at Furman earned high national rankings with his 2008 group
listed 17th and the 2009 class ranking 27th.
In addition to
dealing with recruiting, Marinatos has worked hard on the 2011 schedule for the
Ospreys. The schedule features 16 regular season matches, including six matches
to be played at Hodges Stadium.
“I think we
have put together a schedule that will challenge our players and prepare us for
the Atlantic Sun Conference season,” said Marinatos. “We are excited about
going on the road and earning our reputation. The matches we have scheduled
early will help us when we play the conference season.”
As an assistant
at Furman, Marinatos was responsible for all aspects of the Paladin program,
including recruiting, film analysis, scheduling, equipment, budgets, alumni
relations and academics. In addition to capturing the 2010 So-Con title, he
helped guide Furman to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007 following a 19-4-0
finish that included a Top 20 national ranking and both the Southern Conference
regular season and tournament crowns.
Prior to his
time at Furman, Marinatos served a six-year stint as an assistant and
goalkeeper coach at his alma mater, Emory. The Eagles made a pair of NCAA
Division III Tournament appearances including a 15-4-0 finish in 2005.
In addition to
his collegiate coaching experience, Marinatos is currently a U.S. Academy scout
in charge of identifying players for the U-15, U-17, U-18, and U-20 men’s
national teams and served as goalkeeper coach for the 2009 United States U-20
women’s national team. During the summer of 2006, he served as goalkeeper coach
and advance scout for the United States U-21 women’s national team that
participated in the prestigious Nordic Cup.
As a player at
Emory, Marinatos helped guide the Eagles to three straight NCAA Tournaments
while garnering three first-team all-league honors. A two-year team captain, he
was twice named All-South Region. Marinatos played with the Atlanta Silverbacks
of the United Soccer League’s First Division in 1999 and earned a full tryout
with AC Milan in the Italian Seria A.
a bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory and earned his master’s in sports
administration at Georgia State University. He is a 1994 graduate of the Bolles
School, a private high school in Jacksonville.
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