Jakel named new Ashwaubenon boys’ soccer coach
By Jordon Lawrenz
ASHWAUBENON – Ashwaubenon recently named Zach Jakel as the new boys’ soccer coach.
Jakel replaces Ken Vaughn, who served as head coach for two years.
“Soccer coaches are hard to come by. Zach really stood out with his passion for the game and his understanding of working with high school student-athletes,” Ashwaubenon activities director/associate principal Nick Senger said.
Jakel is no stranger to soccer.
“I have been playing since I was 5 years old and played throughout high school and beyond,” he said. “In high school, I was a captain my senior year and a three-year varsity player.”
When the head coaching position became available, Jakel’s wife was the first to notice.
“My wife was actually the one that found the open position and brought it to my attention.” Jakel said. “It was something that has always been in the back of my mind but never had the time to explore it with a growing family and professional time constraints.
“I was excited for the opportunity when I filled out the application and I continue to be excited while figuring out the direction of the program.”
The direction of the program is something that Jakel gave coach Vaughn a lot of credit for. While Vaughn was only with the program for two years, Jakel said, “He put the program in a position where we can grow and build off the progress he has created.”
“I have spoken with Ken and it was nice to see how great of a relationship he has built with the players,” Jakel said. “One of my goals is to continue the coach/athlete relationship with the students. I also want to build relationships with the youth organizations to ensure high quality youth coming into the high school program.”
Throughout the interview process, Senger was quick to realize that Jakel always puts the student-athletes first.
“He is student-centered and looking to make sure the lessons learned on the soccer field carry into their lives,” Senger said.
Jakel was interviewed in front of coaches and parents involved in the soccer community.
This will be the first high school coaching job for Jakel.
“I helped coach some youth organizations in the past along with some soccer clinics,” he said. “While I have not been a head coach before, I had some fantastic coaches to learn under and want to take everything I have learned from them and pass it on.”
Senger touched on a few key reasons why Jakel fit what Ashwaubenon was looking for.
“He has a plan to increase the awareness of Ashwaubenon soccer,” Senger said. “We need to continue to build our program, and he is the right person for the job.”
Even though Ashwaubenon is coming off a 3-18-2 season, Jakel said expectations are high.
“Regarding the immediate expectations for this year’s team, they are high,” Jakel said. “In our upcoming meeting in May, I want to lay out clear expectations to the players for a successful season.”
While Jakel was first named head coach on Feb. 6, he’s already been doing some homework.
“I have watched a lot of film on the players thus far, and I believe they have the talent to be successful this year.” Jakel said. “I hope to be able to put the players in the right position to succeed.”
With Senger and the entire Jaguars community looking forward to Jakel’s first season in the fall, Jakel echoes that excitement.
“I am excited to work with the students, parents and the rest of the staff to have a great year,” he said. “I invite everyone to come out this upcoming season to cheer on their Jaguars.”