Coach Spotlight: Luis Rincon


Photo by: Contributed Photo

Luis Rincon, head coach of the FMU men’s soccer team, led the Patriots to a 16-5-1 season last year.

For Luis Rincon, head coach of the Patriots’ men’s soccer team, soccer has always been a focal point in his life-a passion that turned into an opportunity and then turned into a profession. However, Rincon’s profession in coaching college soccer was not always part of the plan.

“I never thought I was going to coach, to be honest,” Rincon said.

Rincon eventually found his true calling, and now he uses it to change the lives of young men and women through soccer.

“Regardless if they go pro or not, I want them to take my experiences to life,” Rincon said. “I have been through a lot to be where I am right now and I am still learning, and I want to share that. As we are hungry for success, I want them to be hungry for success in their professional careers and in their lives.”

Rincon is originally from Bogota, Colombia. After graduating high school, with virtually no skill in the English language, he moved to the U.S. to attend school and play soccer at Warner University – a small, private, Christian university in Lake Wales, Florida – in 2005 where he received his bachelor’s in business administration. He red-shirted his sophomore year and graduated early, which allowed him to have two extra years of eligibility to further his education. Rincon moved to Texas in 2009 to attend Texas A&M International, where he finished his soccer career and received an MBA in international business.

He had a job right out of school with Enterprise as an assistant manager in Miami where he worked for two and a half months. However, he soon discovered that he did not enjoy the position and missed his true passion: soccer.

“I didn’t like it,” Rincon said. “I was missing soccer and my coach from Texas A&M offered me a job as a full-time assistant coach for both programs – men’s and women’s. That changed my career path completely.”

With his new job as an assistant soccer coach, his career path shifted in a new direction and quickly brought him to his first head coaching position at Ohio Valley University (OVU).

“The baseball coach at Texas A&M International got a job at his old alma mater as the athletic director,” Rincon said. “He called me up and said, ‘Hey, what you do over there, I want you to do it here as a head coach.’”

The first year was a true transition for Rincon. He went from being an assistant of two teams to being the head coach of the OVU men’s soccer team. There was a lot of responsibility and countless challenges, but he looked forward to the opportunity.

“I was eager for the opportunity to be a head coach,” Rincon said.

From a 0-19 record and a year-and-a-half long losing streak to two conference championships under his belt and an Elite 8 finish in the NCAA tournament, Rincon turned the program around completely. The team was even ranked number two in the country for a couple weeks.

However, after his 2018 season, Rincon decided he wanted a change of pace. He was offered a position at FMU, which he accepted.

“I really like the facilities; I really liked the people,” Rincon said. “I was closer to home – my parents live in Miami. I also thought we had the resources to do something special here.”

And do something special he did. Rincon took the Patriot’s from a 9-7 record in 2018, to a 16-5-1 record in his first year. He concluded the season with a PBC tournament win and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He attributes these victories not only to his program, but to the school as well.

“We have a lot of support from administration and the staff,” Rincon said. “Without those key things we would not be able to achieve what we have achieved in such a short time.”

Rincon also said that setting high expectations and striving after them is what makes their efforts rewarding and successful.

“With me, every training is serious,” Rincon said. “I do not take this as fun; I take it very seriously. We want to achieve excellence. We demand excellence in everything. Every pass is important, every pass counts. There are no breaks with me. Fun is winning.”

With this lifestyle, it is no wonder Rincon has big plans for the future. That demand for excellence is leading him and his team down the only path he will accept – the path of success.

“It’s a process, but I think we are in a good route,” Rincon said. “It takes time, but to be able to get 17 players back – 10 of them starters – is a good sign of things and we can improve a lot of the team.”