IWU grad to keep Jaguars moving forward
By Matt Wilson
Published: Saturday, July 9, 2011 2:06 AM EDT
Isang Jacob’s journey to the United States that started with playing soccer at Indiana Wesleyan University has landed him his first head-coaching job.
Jacob, who was born in Nigeria, was recently announced as the new men’s soccer coach at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Jacob takes over for Steve Franklin.
“I plan to do well and keep the program moving forward,” Jacob said. “I have been around IUPUI previously as an assistant coach, so I know they have a great program.”
Jacob graduated from Indiana Wesleyan in 1992. During his time with the Wildcats, he was a three-time All-Mid-Central Conference and two-time National Christian College Athletic Association All-American with the Wildcats.
“Marion will always have a special place in my heart,” Jacob said. “That was my first home I had in America.”
Following his time at Indiana Wesleyan, Jacob was invited to train with the Nigerian Senior National Team while also attempting to start his professional career. He played with the Houston Force and the Indianapolis Blast in the American Professional Soccer League.
Jacob then became the top assistant at IUPUI in 1995 and helped lead the Jaguars to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 2000. Jacob was with IUPUI from 1995 through 2002, and during that time the Jaguars averaged more than nine wins per season.
“I’m honored and humbled to take over a program like IUPUI,” Jacob said. “I had helped them out in the past as an assistant, and they had a lot of success then. I’m just really thankful that the search committee is giving me this opportunity and is helping me get back to Indianapolis.”
During his time at IUPUI, Jacob also was the director and owner of the Screaming Eagles Soccer Camp, a position he held until 2009. Jacob then got back into the college ranks and for the past two seasons was an assistant coach at Penn State. He was the recruiting coordinator for the Nittany Lions.
Jacob helped the Nittany Lions to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths and a combined 26 wins during the two seasons. This past fall, Penn State finished 14-8-1 and reached the Big 10 championship match. Penn State defeated Old Dominion in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 2 Maryland in the semifinals.
“I could not have found a better place to prepare myself for my first head coaching job than Penn State,” Jacob said. “I loved the school and the campus and they had a very good team.”
Jacob won’t be the only Marion connection at IUPUI next season. Matt Guy, a 2008 Marion High School graduate, enters his senior year with the Jaguars. Guy, a forward, played in all 19 matches for IUPUI last year and ranked third on the team with 20 shot attempts. He had the match-tying goal in a 2-1 win over Oakland (Mich.) on Oct. 2.
Guy is one of six returning seniors for the Jaguars.
“My top priority is to bring in soccer players that really fit IUPUI, both academically and athletically,” Jacob said. “I want to recruit players that are going to graduate and get their diploma from IUPUI, and then turn around and be champions in whatever they decide to do.”
IUPUI finished last season 9-8-2 and lost to Oakland 3-0 in the opening round of the Summit League Tournament.
Jacob takes over IUPUI soccer