By Emily Berry
Maria Rios Jean is the new women’s soccer assistant coach. Originally from Puebla, Mexico, she played soccer in high school and was captain for her team.
She played in college at Butler Community College, then played at and graduated from University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She came to Southwestern to begin her coaching career and to be close to her family in Kansas.
The positions she played were holding middle, attacking middle and forward. Jean heard of Southwestern from one of her teammates from Butler.
Jean’s experience at Southwestern has been enjoyable. Jean said, “I really enjoy it. I think we are a good community and all the staff and all the students are actually really nice. So I’m really enjoying it here.”
She said she loves El Maguey and usually listens to music and tries to relax in her free time.
Jean does have some pre-game rituals – she puts her left cleat on first, tapes her wrist and writes a Bible verse on it.
She said she thinks she would do something with engineering if she didn’t coach soccer, but she does not see herself not doing soccer.
One of the women’s soccer players, Emily Sutton, freshman goalkeeper said, “Coach Jean brings a new perspective on strategy and brings a lot of technicality that our team can really use.”
Joe Wood, women’s head soccer coach, said, “She brings a good perspective. She’s a very relatable coach for the student athletes on our team. She does a really good job relating with them, listening to them.
“She brings a good balance between being just done playing her college career, not being much older than the girls that are on the team, but still maintaining a really good coach-player relationship. She brings a more diverse skill set, which is good. It is really nice to be able to make sure that we are doing things the best that we can within our soccer program.”
Wood said, “She’s a very hard worker, passionate about soccer and passionate about the team. She’s awesome, has a big heart and is caring. She puts the team and the players before herself. I couldn’t ask for a better personality to have in an assistant coach.”
Emily Berry is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally published in Volume 130’s 3rd edition of The Collegian. To see past Collegian archives click the following link: http://scupdate.org/collegian-archives/