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Faculty Profile: Christian DeLeon

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Christian DeLeon, SNC Men's and Women's Soccer Coach

Christian DeLeon, SNC Men's and Women's Soccer Coach

Courtesy Christian DeLeon

Courtesy Christian DeLeon

Christian DeLeon, SNC Men's and Women's Soccer Coach

Zach Krahnke, Contributor

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Coach Christian DeLeon, who coaches both men’s and women’s soccer teams at SNC, is no stranger to the soccer field. DeLeon moved to Lake Tahoe in 2000 after playing collegiate soccer at Northland College in Wisconsin. Before coming to SNC, he coached both high school and college teams in South Lake Tahoe. DeLeon was a part of four state titles for South Tahoe High School, two with the girls’ team and two with the boys’ team. DeLeon likes to work with young people because he enjoys seeing what they can become not only as players, but as people as well.

“I live vicariously through the athletes,” DeLeon said. “I feel their joy, sadness, comradery and frustration. I always put up a good fight to support my teams, just as long as they do their part in class as students.”

DeLeon sees more than just the physical benefits of soccer; he sees an opportunity to learn life skills. De Leon says he will always do his part, and he wants his athletes to do their part, to capitalize on that opportunity. On the field, players from different backgrounds interact as one, and that presents a learning opportunity, he said.

“I would do anything for my team. Even if we were not the best of friends, I will respect my team members on and off the field.”

SNC started its soccer program in 2015. Both the men’s and women’s teams are part of the Cal-Pac Conference.

“I think being in Cal-Pac is a good level for SNC. We have a good opportunity to make the national tournament in the future. SNC men’s soccer is still working on developing its culture,” DeLeon said. “A winning record and championships help the recruiting process. This is why it’s even more important to be a strong team, not individuals.”

DeLeon believes SNC has the potential for being a top destination college for athletes.

“We might not have the best facilities for athletes on campus, but we have some of the best overall athletes with the will to win. Whether it is skiing, snowboarding, lacrosse, golf or cross-country, it takes a special student athlete to accept SNC as their school,” he said. “Combine this with our outdoor education, business, arts, psychology and biology departments; it is a pretty sweet gig.”

DeLeon is in the process of bringing in players for the soccer programs. He scouts the entire west coast for potential student athletes. But with scholarship funds being limited, DeLeon has faced some obstacles. “We do not have large scholarships compared to other programs,” he said.“I was given this position very late in the recruiting process, but I have been using my own funds to get up to Seattle, Los Angeles, Reno and Las Vegas to get the word out about us,” he said. “Successful recruiting cannot be done just on a computer.”

DeLeon lives in Stateline, Nevada, with his wife Lisa, daughter Arianna and son Matteo. He also has an older daughter, Courtney, who is establishing her acting career. DeLeon said the Tahoe basin is a great environment for both his family and his sports-oriented lifestyle. He plays in two men’s soccer leagues, and he enjoys “mountain biking, paddle boarding, skiing and doing anything outside.”

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Faculty Profile: Christian DeLeon