Wade leaves Lake Tahoe CC men’s program, retires from coaching soccer
After two decades of coaching soccer at the collegiate level, Ben Wade is stepping away from the pitch. Wade resigned as head coach of the Lake Tahoe Community College men’s soccer team last week, following a year-plus coaching the Coyotes.
“I am thankful that I was able to wind up my college career at Lake Tahoe Community College,” Wade said. “Life is about leaving a legacy and I hope that I have done just that, not only at LTCC but also at the other colleges I have been a part of.”
Wade finished his career with a .765 winning percentage (243-63-33) in 20 seasons coaching at the collegiate level. He came to South Lake Tahoe from Lassen College in 2014 to become the first head coach in Coyotes’ program history.
“He means a lot to the players because he brought us here to get an education and play soccer,” Coyotes sophomore Carlos Trujeque said of Wade. “Him leaving the way he did was a test for the team.”
Under Wade, the Coyotes won the Golden Valley Conference championship and made the second round of the CCCAA playoffs in their inaugural 2014 season. LTCC went 17-9-5 in two seasons with Wade as head coach and were nationally ranked throughout each campaign — a series of events in early November eventually led to his resignation.
“The timing is never right to step down from a program, but I feel at peace with my decision,” Wade said. “I have been doing this a long time, but it seems like yesterday that I got that first job offer to be a college head coach.”
Wade’s first job on a collegiate sideline came in 1996 at Simpson University in Redding, California. Two decades later, he has decided to leave the game to focus on a different team — his family.
Wade said he enjoyed his two seasons coaching at LTCC, but acknowledged that it was hard on his family. He commuted between Tahoe and Susanville, California, nearly every day — time he ultimately wanted to spend with wife Jessica, son Avvan and daughter Lenna.
“This next chapter is about being the best husband and father I can be,” Wade said. “The older you get, the more you realize that family is what life is all about.”
Assistant coach Nick Arbelaez replaced Wade after his departure, and will finish the 2015 season as Coyotes’ head coach. Lake Tahoe closed out the regular season by winning back-to-back conference championships and making the playoffs for a second straight season.
“We’re just doing it for him,” Coyotes sophomore Ivan Rodriguez said.