Roughriders soccer coach Mike Pantalione takes leave of absence
Junior College Soccer
PRESCOTT — Yavapai College men's soccer head coach Mike Pantalione, the all-time wins leader in junior college history, is taking a family medical leave of absence, effective immediately, the school announced Friday.
Longtime assistant coach Hugh Bell will act as head coach moving forward this season until further notice.
"Mike is a wonderful guy and a great coach, and the college is supportive of him and his family while he takes this time off," Yavapai College Athletic Director Brad Clifford said, who added soccer program is in good hands with Bell.
"We expect the members of the team to continue to excel and achieve as we proceed with our season," Clifford said.
Clifford said Pantalione is in good health, but is on family medical leave.
The Roughriders (5-2-0, 5-2-0 ACCAC) are scheduled to play Saturday, Sept. 15, against Paradise Valley in Phoenix.
Pantalione, who entered his 30th season on the sideline for the Roughriders and is the only coach the program has ever had, began 2018 with 620 wins, which is No. 1 all time in junior college history.
In 2006, Pantalione was the first active coach elected to the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame.
A native of Philadelphia and former goalkeeper, Pantalione previously coached soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Montana, Kenyon College in Ohio, Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, and Archbishop Wood High School in Philadelphia.
Pantalione has led the Roughriders to seven national titles and 27 ACCAC championships, recently making it to the NJCAA Final Four in 2017.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is news/sports editor for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud at @NewsSportsNotes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.