Niko Marcina has been named the permanent head coach of the UFV women’s soccer team. He had been serving as the program’s interim head coach since August. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)

Niko Marcina has been named the permanent head coach of the UFV women’s soccer team. He had been serving as the program’s interim head coach since August. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)

Surrey’s Niko Marcina named UFV women’s soccer head coach

Former assistant coach had been serving as interim head coach since August

The interim head coach tag is officially off Niko Marcina, as the University of the Fraser Valley athletic department introduced the Surrey native as the permanent head coach of the Cascades women’s soccer program on Tuesday (Feb. 2).

Marcina took on the interim role back in August after longtime Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht departed for Trinity Western University. He had previously spent five seasons with the club as an assistant coach under Giesbrecht.

RELATED: Niko Marcina takes charge of UFV women’s soccer squad on interim basis

“Niko has earned this opportunity,” stated Steve Tuckwood, UFV director of athletics and campus recreation in a press release. “He’s passionate about the team and the student-athletes, and the successes they’ve had even in a really challenging year. There’s been commitment from every member of the team athletically and academically, and I’ve seen them really gel as a group in what have been probably the most difficult months they’ve ever experienced as athletes. We’re excited to have Niko come in on a full-time basis and continue the good work he’s already started.”

Marcina brings a wealth of coaching experience to his new role. He is the director of coaching at New Westminster Soccer Club, and also serves as a support staff coach with BC Soccer. He holds a national B coaching license from the Canadian Soccer Association, and a technical director diploma from BC Soccer. He’s previously worked as a coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy, and as a head coach in the BC Soccer Premier League, leading youth squads from Surrey United SC and Fraser Valley FC to Provincial Cup titles.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Marcina had a highly decorated playing career with the UBC Thunderbirds men’s soccer program. He was a three-time team MVP, led Canada West in assists in 2005, and helped the T-Birds win a pair of national championships (2005 and 2007).

A graduate of Surrey’s Tamanawis Secondary, Marcina holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics from UBC, and a Master’s in Recreation and Sport Science from Ohio University.

“It’s been a long-term dream and goal of mine to oversee this women’s soccer program,” Marcina stated. “I’m extremely excited, relieved, and anxious at the same time. But all of it said and done, I’m well-prepared to take on this task, and I know the players are excited to move forward with the consistent approach we’ve established. We’re all looking forward to building a positive future for the program together.”

For more on the team, visit gocascades.com.

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