After five years of playing varsity soccer, one player plans to coach

Transitioning away from college sports can be difficult for some

Kevin Monk plans to become a coach after his college soccer career ends. Photo by Christina Dommer
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Reported by Christina Dommer

As Kevin Monk’s college soccer career comes to an end, he plans to keep the sport and the Falcons in his life as a coach.

Monk, a goalkeeper, has played five years of soccer at a college level, which is the maximum number of years allowed for students to compete by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Monk is one of many student athletes whose sporting careers come to an end at the college level. The transition from away from college sports comes with decisions about what role the sport will play in their futures.

Monk, a third-year international business management student, recently completed his first coaching certification as a way to continue his career in soccer.

“Having a coaching certification opens the doors for me,” Monk said. “I’m not entirely certain which way I’d like to go, to specialize with goalkeepers or eventually start running my own team.”

Five-year limit

Falcons coach Marc Rizzardo said that Monk is slated to be an assistant coach for the Falcons, with an emphasis on goalkeeping.

Rizzardo said the five-year limit on college sports is imposed so students focus on academics.

“They want a kid to go there and get an education. So, the athletes are student athletes, not athletes only,” Rizzardo said.

Monk’s teammate and close friend, Joey Ratcliffe, only has one year left playing at a college level. He has different ideas for his soccer career after Langara. Ratcliffe plans to advance his refereeing career.

“This year I took a step back and changed the league that I was playing in, so it would eliminate conflicts of interest for me to referee the most elite men’s leagues in Vancouver,” Ratcliffe said. “The goal in the next four or five years would be to move on to professional leagues.”

Rizzardo’s own career in semi-professional soccer ended after he tore a ligament in his knee.

“It was frustrating at times,” Rizzardo said, about the transition between playing and coaching. “My knee just couldn’t let me do it.”

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