MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University Director of Athletics Jon Hart is pleased to announce the addition of José Lopez as the next head men's soccer coach, beginning immediately it was announced on Friday.
A former player for the Tigers, Lopez brings a wealth of experience and passion for the game to a young DWU squad. A native of Lewisville, Texas, Lopez began his coaching career after graduation as a graduate assistant in 2013, guiding the Tigers to their longest winning streak in program history and first winning season since 2005.
"It feels great to be back home." Lopez said. "This is an institution and program that I truly care about and am excited to build a prestigious program that will compete locally, regionally and nationally."
After DWU, Lopez became the assistant men's soccer coach at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. At Bethany, he directed the recruitment efforts in signing 33 players, while expanding the roster from 30 to 50 players. He also coached nine all-conference players and five players of the week.
In 2016, Lopez became the assistant men's and women's soccer coach at Neosho Community College, an NCAA Division I junior college in Chanute, Kan. At Neosho, he was an instrumental piece of the recruiting efforts for both programs, while helping the men's team to its first national ranking in school history. Aside from coaching at NCCC, he was the also head coach for Ozark FC, a professional soccer team in the National Premier Soccer League. With Ozark, he conducted tryouts, managed gameday operations and planned, organized and facilitated team practices.
"We are very excited to add José to our staff," Hart said. "He brings some great energy to the program and wants to see his alma mater reach the next level. He will be focused on recruiting locally and that is a key ingredient to building successful program."
Lopez received his Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Association of America in Aug. 2014, his National Diploma in Jan. 2014, the National 'D' License in June 2013 and the National 'C' License in July 2017.
"I look forward to building and creating the environment needed to succeed, connecting with our local communities and building connections with the soccer community," Lopez added. "I plan on recruiting the right individuals in order to build a program that will make the conference tournament every year, be the best soccer program in the state and make an impact in the Great Plains Athletic Conference."
Lopez and his wife Taylor Lopez are expecting their first child in late November.
The DWU men's team begins play in an exhibition game against Iowa Lakes Community College at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 12 in at the Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex in Mitchell.