Imaan Kerchgani

Lassen College Lady Cougars welcome new soccer coach

 

Lassen Community College has hired Imaan Kerchgani as the new women’s soccer coach for the 2017-2018 season.

Kerchgani is not only looking forward to joining the Cougar family, but he has also expressed his joy regarding joining the Lassen County community.

“This is just the place that allows people to grow and focus on their craft,” Kerchgani said, “If (the players) love the game, there’s no better place than to come to Susanville and focus on soccer and focus on their academics so that they can make that next step onto a four-year.”

Kerchgani believes the small, close-knit community will be greatly influential for the team’s success. “We are constantly looking for ways to be involved in the community, whether it’s community service or mentoring, he said. “Any way that we could get the community involved to come out and support us, that’s really important to creating the atmosphere, the positive, motivational climate.”

Before entering his first season as Lassen’s women’s soccer head coach, Kerchgani capped off a successful career at Foothill College. With Kerchgani’s help, the Foothill women’s program made it to their first Final Four Appearance in the school’s history.

Kerchgani has specialized in working with student-athletes at the community college level. He has provided a dynamic and strategic approach in this development of collegiate student-athletes to enhance their success both on and off the field. With such hard work and dedication, he has been able to see more than 25 players transfer to a four-year college during his tenure.

Kerchgani’s passion for soccer led him to establish his academy, IMK Soccer Academy, where he has developed numerous Olympic Development Program athletes who have gone on to earn athletic scholarships and compete at the highest levels.

He said, “I knew as soon as I got into coaching that I wanted to develop players and afford them the opportunity to attend any academic institution in the country through sports and through scholarship.”

As a coach at both Menlo Atherton High School and Alpine Strikers Football Club, Kerchgani led his teams to five championship titles. He has coached at the collegiate level for five years. Now, he is looking forward to contributing to the Cougar’s winning tradition.

As a player, Kerchgani has been on the ODP State and Regional teams, which helped earn him an athletic scholarship to play on the Cal Bears men’s soccer team.

During his time at UC Berkley, he helped the team win the Pac-10 Championships back-to-back, while obtaining his bachelor’s degree in legal studies.

Kerchgani holds the U.S. Soccer Federation F, E, D and C licenses in addition to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Premier Diploma License.

In March 2017, Kerchgani will complete his Master’s in Sports Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.

He commented, “The academic part is equally, if not more important, so any player that comes here can rest assured that aspect will be a priority.”

Kerchgani looks forward to joining the Lassen Cougars with plans to continue the ascendancy of the program.

One of his goals for the Lady Cougars is to win the Conference Champion title for the third year in a row, and extend Lassen’s run in the playoffs.

In order to work on this goal, Kerchgani is currently focusing on recruiting for the fall 2017 season.

Kerchgani mentioned that recruiting focuses on in-state students initially before venturing nationally and internationally. Kerchgani’s connections from Foothill are sure to boost the recruitment process, but of course the coach is looking for fresh faces with new perspectives as well.

“We want to leave no stone unturned,” Kerchgani said with respect to seeking recruits.

Kerchgani views recruitment with equal importance as helping sophomores transition to their next academic stepping stone. He said, “It’s very important that we have a roster so we are able to compete and stay healthy and not over-exert players, so the recruiting does help the sophomores transfer. It’s all intertwined.”

Whether the women would like to continue competing after Lassen, or would rather focus on their educational and personal growth, Kerchgani is interested in playing his part to help each player succeed.

His emphasis on controlling the ball and being thoughtful in one’s play are staples of his coaching philosophy.

Kerchgani believes in a versatile and pragmatic approach to playing the game with the assets of the team, focusing on possession and counter-attacking through efficient transitions, as well as a high pressing style defensively or a low defensive block.

Lassen College is looking forward to the great soccer season sure to come this fall.