Delano takes over Dominican soccer program

DU coach Jon Delano

DU coach Jon Delano

Jon Delano, a Maria Carrillo High graduate, has been named the new Director of Soccer at Dominican University in San Rafael.

Delano will take over the program immediately after John Brooks, who was the men’s coach at DU for the past 15 years, said he was relieved of his duties earlier this week.

“It was philosophical differences,” was the way Brooks, in an e-mail, explained his termination by new DU athletic director Terry Tumey. Brooks was the Cal Pac Conference men’s soccer coach of the year in 2008 leading the Penguins to a second place finish (11-4-3 overall; 11-2-1 conference) behind Holy Names University in the Cal Pac.

“I think we were just in disagreement over the structural direction of the program both on and off the field,” Tumey said. “It was unfortunate in the way coach Brooks termed it as a dismissal. It was more of a resignation. He did a lot of very good things here but we have a plan for how we want our student/athletes to conduct themselves both on and off the field. We want them to come in here as Penguins and finish up here as Penguins.”

Delano, who is the returning DU women’s coach for his fourth season, will coordinate the soccer program and be the head coach on the sidelines for both teams.

“That isn’t all that unusual (one head coach for both teams),” Delano said. “A lot of schools do it that way including Humboldt State and CSU Dominguez Hills who happen to be the Div. II men’s national champions this year.”

Both Penguin men’s and women’s teams report for practice Aug. 10. Delano’s assistant coaches will be Phil Billeci-Gard for the men’s team and Steve Sosa for the women’s squad.

“I really have mixed emotions about all of this,” Delano said, “because I played here for John (Brooks) and he has mentored me while I’ve been a coach here. But at the same time it is really exciting to take over the program and lead it as we go into Division II play.”

The Penguins join the Pacific West Conference this season and will play a Div. II schedule for the first time in school history.

The DU women’s team has eight players on its roster with Sonoma County ties – Alicia Paulsen, Ursuline; Jill Rizo, Windsor; Taylor Houston, Petaluma; Sayna Elkins, Montgomery; Michele Mason, Ursuline; Eleanna Mendez, Windsor; Anika Lindemuth, Petaluma; and Julliana Bratsburg, Maria Carrillo.

The DU men’s team has five Sonoma County starters returning in the fall -Alec Ziegler, Montgomery; Derrick Wilkinson, Cardinal Newman; Pedro Guevara, Montgomery; Ryan Vella, Piner; and Tim Pinella, Maria Carrillo.

(Here is a link to an  interview Tumey did with Channel 4’s Gary Radnich).