Soccer Coach Jac Cicala Retires After 42 years in Coaching

Nick Runkel, Online Editor

In 1993 boys’ soccer head coach Jac Cicala led the George Mason Woman’s soccer team to the NCAA title game and a number two ranking in the country.

“My favorite moment coaching has to be coming second in the country in 1993, we were underdogs the whole tournament and we were able to work through it,” Cicala said.

After 12 years coaching the George Mason Woman’s soccer team Cicala returned to the high school coaching ranks, becoming the Centreville High School boys’ soccer coach in 2004.  After four years at the helm of the Centreville program, Cicala took over as boys’ soccer head coach in 2008.

“Coaching in high-school allowed me to get more involved with the kids,” Cicala said, “I really enjoy working with the student-athlete process.”

Since coming to Robinson Cicala has led the Rams to the state championship game, two northern region titles and two district titles.

“He is an outstanding coach, his knowledge of the game is impeccable and that has allowed him to be extreamlly successful,” Director of Student Activities Jeff Ferrell said.

Throughout his 42 years of coaching in club, high school and college Cicala has been highly successful, in addition to his national runner-up at George Mason he collected four state titles as boys’ varsity head coach at Lake Braddock.

“My first state title [at Lake Braddock] was one of the most exciting moments of my career, winning a title is always special and it being the first one made it even greater,” Cicala said.

For Cicala the success is not the best part about teaching and coaching.

“The positive interactions with young people, in the classroom and on the field, are what I will miss the most,” Cicala said.

His players will also miss those positive interactions.

“Coach [Cicala] was one-of-a-kind, he made everything at practice fun, even conditioning,” senior Ryan Harmouche said.

Cicala’s coaching style has left a big impact on some of his players.

“I never dreaded going to school practice, it was never a chore, [Coach Cicala] always made practice enjoyable and it made us better players, because we always had fun,” junior Baris Safoglu said.

Off the field Cicala spent 33 years in the classroom and he found his time as a member of the Robinson faculty rewarding.

“I was fortunate to teach upper level students, it was a positive experience working with my students and the other members of the government team,” Cicala said.

Cicala is not only respected by his players and opponents, but his colleagues also hold him in high regard.

“The way in which he manages his wide variety of athletes, from a division one recruit to someone who is playing their last year of soccer, is extreamlly impressive,” Ferrell said.

The athletic department and the Robinson community in general will work in the coming months to find a new boys’ soccer coach, but replacing Cicala’s success and leadership will make the change difficult.

Ferrell said, “When someone of his stature leaves we will never be able to replace him.”