Published in The CHagrin Valley Times
March 21, 2019
Kenston High School athletic director Reid Guarnieri announced last month the hiring of Trip Roney as the district’s next varsity boys soccer head coach.
Roney, who has nearly 30 years of coaching experience from the youth through college levels, succeeds outgoing coach Josh Sladick, who led the Bombers to an 8-7-3 campaign, including a 5-1-1 mark in the Western Reserve Conference, during his fifth season at the helm this past fall.
Following a thorough search, Guarnieri and high school principal Tom Gabram recommended the hire of Roney to the board of education.
“We had a very impressive candidate pool for this search, which included a number of coaches in the area with a very diverse set of backgrounds,” Guarnieri said. “However, Trip presented our committee with a highly detailed and incredibly well-thought plan on how to take our boys soccer program to a new level of competitiveness while restoring connections to the Kenston-area soccer community. We have every confidence that he will bring a high level of professionalism and precision to his leadership of the program.”
Following a successful playing career at Kenston, Roney, who graduated in 1986, went on to play and coach under the tutelage of legendary Ohio Wesleyan University head coach Jay Martin, who is the winningest coach in collegiate soccer history with more than 700 career wins. At OWU, Roney was a two-time all-conference selection, served as team captain and was part of a squad that reached the postseason and was ranked in the top 10 of NCAA Division III each year he was there.
Following graduation, Roney served as an assistant coach at OWU and went on to coach in Northeast Ohio for 25-plus years, including club-level teams for 15 years.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with incredible young men, many highly skilled players, and the privilege of working alongside and learning from some of the best youth coaches in the country,” he said. “I am excited to provide the soccer program with a new vision and to infuse 40-plus years of my own passion and experience into the foundation of Kenston Soccer.”
In 2004, Roney collaborated on a brainstorm to build a legitimate travel program in the Kenston area and became one of the founding architects of the Kenston Futbol Club. A group of 40 passionate volunteers helped launch the club that summer. Shortly thereafter, more than 300 players comprised the club and it continues to today, led by a new generation of players, parents, coaches and leaders.
“There is a rich enthusiasm for the game at the youth level, and our high school staff and players will interface with KFC in an effort to bring the soccer community together,” Roney said.
While serving as coach with the Ambassadors from 2004-2014, Roney led his club team to four consecutive State Cup championships, four consecutive bids to the Midwest Regional Tournament and a No. 11 national ranking in 2013. One of his players was ultimately drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2017, while 10 of his players were selected to the State Olympic Development Program and 17 athletes went on to play at the collegiate level.
Noting that Kenston last won the state championship in boys soccer in the fall of 1987, Roney said, “There is pride and tradition here that needs to be uncovered and dusted off a bit, and there is no lack of passion for the game in our community.
“But we have to put a good product on the field at the high school level in order to capture that passion in the younger players so they are inspired to train and develop in the game in order to be part of something special. I would like to thank the Kenston High School administration and the Kenston Board of Education for entrusting me with this responsibility.”
Coach Roney lives in Bainbridge Township and works as Vice President of Sales for Sensical, Inc., a local company based in Solon.
Kenston will open its 2019 regular season on the road against archrival Chagrin Falls on Aug 16.
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