Carmine Isacco named master coach of York soccer program

photo of female soccer player kicking a ball in a soccer game

York University Sport & Recreation has announced that Carmine Isacco will be the master coach of the York soccer program beginning in 2012.

Longtime men’s assistant coaches Hieu Quach and Patrice Gheisar will remain with Isacco for the men’s team. On the women’s side, he is joined by Laura Arduini, who comes to York from the University of Toronto and will serve as the associate coach of the women’s program. Also coaching the women’s team next season will be Paul DeAbreu and Breagha Carr-Harris, who were both part of the staff this past season.

Carmine IsaccoCarmine Isacco

“We now believe that we have one of the best soccer coaching staffs in the country,” said Jennifer Myers, director, Sport & Recreation. “Carm is already a proven champion with our men’s team and his technical expertise will be an asset to both programs, while his assistants bring several years of soccer experience and success to the teams. I think that under their guidance, the Lions will continue to be one of the preeminent programs in the CIS.”

Isacco has been the leader of the Lions men’s team since 2007, and during that time he has turned the program into one of the best in the country. The Lions have made three appearances at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships in his five years and won two national titles in 2008 and 2010. He is a two-time Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Coach of the Year award winner, received York’s inaugural Coach of the Year Award in 2011 and was the 2007 CIS Coach of the Year. He joined the Lions after spending two seasons as the head coach with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, where he led the team to a pair of OUA silver medals and a CIS silver medal in 2005.

Arduini helped guide the University of Toronto Varsity Blues to a program-best fifth-place finish at the CIS championships in 2009. Prior to joining the coaching ranks, she played five seasons for the squad, including two where she served as team captain. She was named an OUA all-star in each of her last two seasons and became the first female soccer player in Varsity Blues history to be selected to the Canadian team for the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Games, serving as the team leader at the 25th Summer Universiade in Serbia. Arduini, who earned a bachelor of science degree in biology and her bachelor of education from the University of Toronto, is also the director of soccer operations at Christie Kicks Soccer and an elementary school teacher.

Quach came to York from the University of Toronto along with Isacco and has played a key role in each of the two recent championship titles. A three-year starter for the Varsity Blues, he graduated with an education degree and away from York is a high school science teacher. Gheisar’s move to the coaching staff in 2009, after two years as an assistant at Ryerson, brought him back to York, where he spent five seasons playing for the men’s soccer team and graduated with a degree in sociology. He is also the head coach at the Vaughan Soccer Club, which won the under-18 Ontario Cup championship in 2010.

DeAbreu came to the Lions women’s soccer program in 2011 as an assistant coach and is also the head coach of the Pickering Power Girls Ontario Youth Soccer League under-15 and under-17 teams. Carr-Harris also returned to the Lions in 2011 after previously serving as an assistant coach for York’s soccer program in 2005 and 2006, and then exclusively with the women until 2008. She heads the community development department with Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC and is both a head coach and technical trainer at the Vaughan Soccer Club.

The Lions men’s and women’s soccer teams will return to action in the fall of 2012. The complete OUA regular season schedule has yet to be released.