Men’s Soccer Promotes Davidson to Head Coach
On August 1, the Athletics Department promoted JJ Davidson from Assistant Coach to Head Coach of the Men’s Soccer team. This move comes after Josh Pransky, former Director of Recruitment and Alumni Affairs in the Athletics department, stepped down from his full-time position at YU.
“I feel truly honored to be the Head Coach at YU, and I can't wait for the season to start,” Davidson told The Commentator shortly after his promotion.
Davidson faces an interesting challenge this year, as 14 of the 20 players on the team’s roster have worked with Davidson in his prior role as Assistant Coach. It is possible such a promotion could spurn tension between the athletes and their new Head Coach as they are unused to having him in such a high position. When this concern was brought to his attention, the new coach had full confidence that this would not be an issue.
“My communication with the players has always been very open and direct, and they can expect the same from me as the head coach,” Davidson said. “Obviously, some things will be done differently now as I implement my coaching philosophy but I've felt nothing other than support and excitement from the team so far.”
Davidson’s familiarity with the team will end up being an asset, as he is a young coach with little head coaching experience. He served as Head Coach at Kushner Yeshiva High School as well as the Head Coach for the USA Under-16 junior boys team in the 2018 International Maccabi Youth Soccer Games (YUmacs.com).
"J.J. is an excellent young coach with great leadership skills," Yeshiva University Director of Athletics, Joe Bednarsh said in a statement to YUmacs.com. "His philosophy mirrors that of the department's, and he's going to bring a level of discipline and hard-nosed style of play that will be very exciting to watch."
In other YU sports news:
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY has a new Head Coach and Assistant Coach: YU recently announced that there will be two new coaches for the Women’s Cross-country team. Rolanda Bell, a former track athlete at the University of Tennessee, will be the Head coach, and she will be assisted by Lidia Garcia. In the past, the men’s and women’s Cross Country teams shared coaches.
WOMEN’S TENNIS looks to repeat as champions: Fresh off an appearance in the NCAA Division Three Tournament this past spring, the women’s tennis team aims to go all the way for the second year in a row. The biggest obstacle they must overcome is the loss of star player Shani Hava, who graduated last spring after accumulating numerous Skyline Conference Player of the Year Awards in her four years at YU. Tennis opens its season against Pratt on September 2nd.
WOMEN’S SOCCER aims to continue building its program under Coach Marc Zharnest: While the Men’s soccer team faces a coaching transition this season, the women’s team, under Coach Zharnest is looking to retain some consistency. The enthused coach told The Commentator that “there is no greater feeling than just getting back to work,” especially as the team has retained its core group of players and added some “new recruits.” Coach Zharnest also preaches patience in the team’s prep for the season. “We need to walk before we can run,” Zharnest said regarding of the work the athletes must do to prepare for the season. Women’s soccer open’s its season against out of conference team City College on August 31st.
WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL Coach Dalliana Toussiant looks forward to “building skills” with returning players. Last years Volleyball team left much to be desired after finishing their season with a record of 1-19. The rough season seems to have already been forgotten by Coach ‘Dalli, who described herself as “super excited” for the upcoming season. Women’s Volleyball plays its first game of the season versus Lehman College on August 31.
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY did not reply to The Commentator requests for comments on the upcoming season.
Photo Caption: JJ Davidson
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University