Acasio Roche III has spent more than two decades working as a firefighter in the Milwaukee, Wisc., area. Now, Roche hopes to use his education from the United States Sports Academy to transition into a role he’s always wanted: head collegiate soccer coach.
Roche, who is pursuing his Bachelor of Sports Science degree in sports coaching, is the Academy’s latest Student of the Month. In addition to fighting fires, he’s spent time coaching soccer at the youth, regional, club, high school and college levels.
Roche is currently a volunteer assistant coach for women’s soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where the late Academy founding president Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich once served as director of athletics between 1969-1972. Rosandich was instrumental in launching the school’s original sports programs and building athletics facilities.
When he earns his Academy degree, Roche plans to pursue a head coaching position upon his graduation. Roche said his favorite courses so far have touched on sports psychology, sports coaching methodology, and sports ethics.
“The courses I’m taking have been so beneficial to my career,” Roche said. “Everything I have learned has been applicable to what I do now. I haven’t taken a single course that didn’t immediately benefit my career in some way.
“In addition to the great courses, my professors have this great wealth of knowledge and ideas. I love being able to have that back-and-forth with them about ideas. Not only are they teaching me skills for work, but they are also showing me some new perspectives and ideas about ethics and coaching methodology. It is a well-rounded education.”
Roche came to Parkside after a five-year stint working as an assistant soccer coach at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisc. Before coaching at the collegiate level, Acasio served as head girls’ soccer coach at Franklin High School for five years posting an overall record of 52-31-10, including two regional championships. At the club level he has spent nineteen years working for the Croatian Eagles Soccer Club in Franklin, Wis., where he served as coach, Academy Director, and Co-Vice President in charge of youth operations. Acasio holds a USSF National D license.
“I played soccer most of my life, so it was only natural to be drawn toward coaching the sport as a career,” Roche said. “I love not only the competitive side of soccer, but also how diverse the sport is. If you look at your players, they come from such diverse backgrounds. Soccer is great because there’s not one set ideal player for the sport. There’s very little ‘barrier to entry’ in soccer, so it is kind of ideal for young people to get involved. There’s no perfect size or weight, and basically anyone can play it and learn the important skills.”