Joe Pehanich leads women's soccer team

Joe Pehanich, who has played soccer since he was 3 years old, was an obvious choice for head coach of the Santa Monica College women’s soccer team.

“It was an honor to have Aaron [Benditson] and Tim [Pierce] recommend me,” said Pehanich. “I feel blessed to have this position.”

Bendtison was the previous women's soccer coach, and Pierce is currently the head coach of the men's soccer team.

Pehanich's coaching career started with the North Valley Soccer Club in Northridge, Calif. From there, he went on to coach many soccer clubs, including the girls under-19 division of the Chivas USA league in 2010. He also served most recently as an assistant coach on the SMC men's soccer team.

Voted the most valuable attacker and earning a four letter in high school, Pehanich shows the passion he has for soccer on and off the field.

He has played with various minor club teams, including the California Heat, where he played alongside current professional player, Landon Donovan.

It was during that time when Pehanich was recruited to California State University, Northridge, but shortly after training began, he stopped playing and started looking into coaching.

“I was just drawn to coaching,” said Pehanich.

As a geography major in college, Pehanich has always been interested in traveling and has used that in conjunction with his passion for soccer. He had the opportunity to play in many other countries including Brazil, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Croatia and France.

He also played professional indoor soccer for a year for Valencia Club de Futbol.

His experience and knowledge in soccer is evident in his coaching style. Staying positive and setting a good example for his players, Pehanich always maintains his calm during games.

“My coaching style is based on being positive and to always be in their corner,” he said. “I view myself as somebody who is out there to give them ideas as a coach and how I would like them to play.”

While Pehanich allows his team to improvise, he still maintains and stresses team structure.

“I give them the freedom to do things their own way, but there is a nice template for our system and I expect them to play within it,” he said.

The Lady Corsairs have gotten off to a rough start this year at 1-3, but Pehanich said he continues to be optimistic.

“My plan is just to have a positive season and a positive environment," he said. "I just want a program based on positivity. We really just want to do good in conference.”

Soccer, SportsLauren NarvaezComment