This story originally appeared in Onward: John Carroll Alumni Magazine, which was mailed in early November. Check your mailbox over the next few weeks to get your copy.
In 2005, the Blue Streak men’s soccer team reached the NCAA playoffs, their third berth in five years. When their head coaching position came open after the season, the search began for a leader to continue that tradition.
Enter Hector Marinaro. He was a household name in northeast Ohio, having led the NPSL’s Cleveland Crunch to three professional indoor soccer championships over his 19-year career. Marinaro left the game as the league’s all-time leading scorer, earning six MVP trophies.
“I had just retired, and I’d done some player-coaching with the Crunch,” Marinaro remembers. “I had offers, maybe go to the MLS as an assistant, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Then this job presented itself and it really intrigued me.”
It was a local legend, taking over a program with tradition. What’s not to love? In 2006, anticipation was high…and the Blue Streaks won five games. It was their worst mark since 1988.