Maryville College soccer coach wins 700th game

Photo Courtesy of Eric Etchison
Coach Pepe Fernandez

Maryville College soccer coach Pepe Fernandez has recently surpassed the 700 win mark during his time as coach. Fernandez, of Franklin Tennessee, has been coaching soccer here for 30 years.

He began as the coach for our men’s soccer team, then two seasons later was made coach of the women’s as well. Beyond that, Fernandez spent four years as the head coach of high school soccer, meaning he’s been coaching for an impressive 34 years.

Fernandez’s 700th win came against Tennessee Wesleyan, though for all his wins Fernandez remains humble, insisting that the team just did what it always has, keeping good possession and good positioning.

When asked what kind of coach he was, Fernandez said, “When you coach at a small school, you have to be able to do a lot of things. I’m a firm believer that it’s a player’s game, more than any other sport. So you know, we try to recruit good players that fit what we like to do, and players that fit at Maryville, that are good people, you know, serious about their academics and love soccer.”

Fernandez, who has always loved the game, had this to say about his upbringing in Middle Tennessee, “I grew up playing, my dad was an immigrant from Spain, so he brought soccer to Middle Tennessee, really, I played in youth leagues, High Schools, and played in College…I always played an attacking mid or forward, being on the attacking side of the ball.” When asked if he had any advice for people curious about getting into the sport, he said,

“Play. The great thing about soccer is that it’s not restricted to any size, shape, or one particular ability. If you just enjoy movement you should get out there and play. I think if you enjoy the game, you should just get out there and play, cause it’s a lot of fun.”

Fernandez’s favorite international team is Barcelona, and his favorite British Premier League team is Liverpool. He hopes to support Nashville’s future Major League Soccer team when it hopefully begins playing in the 2020 season.

Fernandez added, “I think one of the main reasons people come to Maryville is because of the people, and because of the location. It’s the main reason I came here. Our strong point is longevity of coaches, we’ve been here forever. I think the main reason students are attracted to Maryville is because it’s a special place that attracts really good people.”

We hope to see Fernandez win many more games as MC’s soccer coach, which he will no doubt continue to do in the coming seasons.

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