Sockers FC general manager Jeff VonHolle needed a unique head coach for his team and the Midland-Odessa area of Texas. Enter Luis Rincon.
Rincon, currently the Ohio Valley University Director of Soccer/Head Coach, was the man for the job at Sockers FC of the NPSL’s Lone Star Conference. Coaching both the men’s and women’s programs at OVU to successful seasons after finding them in failure three years ago, Rincon has proven himself.
“I mean gosh, he inherited on the guy’s side, a program that quite honestly wasn’t very good and really made them respectable in year one and pretty good in year two,” VonHolle said. “And by year three, he’s got them nationally ranked, a Division II program.”
Outside of his pedigree with OVU, another large factor in Rincon’s hiring was his history in the state of Texas. He played as a goalkeeper and coached at Texas A&M International University. He’s confident in his area-specific contact list of both players and coaches.
“I think it was very important because I know the area,” Rincon said. “I know the teams, I played there against the local university there and I’m pretty well known there, and I know most of the coaches in that Division II conference, which is pretty high. I think it played a big factor.
While VonHolle said Rincon will be given “100 percent” control over his roster for the 2018 season, Rincon would like to build off of the team that had success last season in the Lonestar Conference and NPSL. His goal is to have eight to 12 returning players.
“We have to respect what those guys have done,” Rincon said. “Last year, that’s a huge accomplishment. I’m trying to do that. Some people have different expectations every year, different goals. It’s not going to be an easy task but it’s what I want. They’re familiar with the area, they’re familiar with the tournament. They’ve been in those playoffs. That’s big.”
Rincon is a native of Colombia. He went through the most important academy in his home country. He’s learned from former professional players. He turned around an 0-17 team. He’s done his fair share of winning as a player, and as a coach.
Since coming to the United States, Rincon has built a life based solely on the game of soccer, in line with the fact that he just took a second job with a third team to coach. He does not have family responsibilities as most do in his profession. This is why he has complete confidence in his ability to run both OVU and Sockers FC.
“I’m dedicated 200 percent here,” Rincon said. “I think that’s very important. I don’t have an attachment, a family attachment. That gives me 24/7. I finish, it’s well known, it’s something that I do. Daily basis, recruit, plan and I have my coach [at OVU] as well that is going to help me out.”
In the 10 days since his position at Midland-Odessa FC was announced, Rincon has already received five commitments for the upcoming season. His focus is on Division II college players, as Division I athletes can pose a challenge with having to return to school earlier for training.
Rincon will conduct all of his offseason Sockers FC business remotely from West Virginia and OVU, with the exception of an introductory press conference next week and tryouts that will follow shortly thereafter. He has a vision for his new team, come the month of May.
“First, play good soccer, football that people like to go watch,” Rincon said. “Represent the club with the highest standard on the pitch. The kids from that area looking up to the players, looking up to us as a team. I’m very ready for the challenge.”