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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

New era kicks off at NMU

After concluding a search for the individual to become the newest NMU Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Jon Sandoval was named as the next coach of the Wildcats.

Even though the announcement was made official on Thursday, Feb. 13, Sandoval said that he had been with the team for over six weeks before it was released. Sandoval was the Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach under David Poggi for two seasons before jumping ship over to the women’s side. This was one of multiple stops that Sandoval made since his playing days ended at Western Illinois University in 2012, but he has really grown to accept what this community is all about.

“When I originally moved to Marquette, I wasn’t really sure to expect or really how much I’d like it. But after about a year, I realized that this is a great place and it’s kind of where I want to be,” Sandoval said.

During the six-week period, Sandoval coached the men’s team from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and then would shift his focus to the women for the rest of the day. Some would consider it a leap to go to coach women’s soccer after being with the men for a couple of years, but Sandoval is happy where he is, and where the team is headed.

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“With the opportunity to become a head coach and stay in the area and really cement some roots, I thought it was a great opportunity and as the time went on actually working with the women,” Sandoval said. “I found them to be very good and very open to new coaching styles and willing to learn. It just seemed like a very mutual, good fit for both parties.”

After being given that six weeks, Sandoval will have an entire offseason to work, unlike the couple of months like he had with the men in his first season. With the extra time, it has given him a chance to get to know his players early on in his tenure.

“It would be much different if I was coming in in July, like I actually did with the men,” Sandoval said. “That was difficult, because my first interaction with the men was immediately in the season, where this process gives more time to get to know each other and find out an individual’s weaknesses and strengths.”

Sandoval takes over a Wildcats team that finished 5-13 in 2019 in a season that ended in a 5-1 loss in the GLIAC Tournament quarterfinals to eventual national champion Grand Valley State University. The ‘Cats lost only four seniors, but even though there is a lot of returners coming back, there is a lot of youth as well.

“Our underclassmen are really good, I think they’ve got a lot of potential. They still have a long way to go in terms of soccer IQ and understanding the X’s and O’s, but our recruiting class, freshman and sophomores, are pretty strong,” Sandoval said. “That also makes us pretty young as well. Our upperclassmen are kind of limited, but the few upperclassmen that we do have like senior defenseman Isabela Cardoso, junior defenseman Kiera Scanlan and junior midfielder Caroline Halonen are very quality players and are providing some very good leadership for our group.”

The regular season doesn’t start until over six months from now, and Sandoval isn’t in any rush to decide goals or talk about what to expect during the season just yet.

“We set goals within each other, and we’ve just started in that process, it’s a little early just because we’re doing our individual meetings next week and kind of determining where everyone will fit,” Sandoval said. “In terms of goals, it’s a little premature, but we will get together in the next few weeks.”

The Sandoval era has officially started at NMU, now it’s time to see if he can take the program to new heights.

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