Seattle Pacific Removes Interim Tag From Kevin Sakuda
After taking over in August, Kevin Sakuda led SPU to its first conference title since 2015.
After taking over in August, Kevin Sakuda led SPU to its first conference title since 2015.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021
by Seattle Pacific Atheltic Communications

SEATTLE – Kevin Sakuda, who led the team to an NCAA Division II Tournament berth in his one-season stint as the interim, has been hired to direct the Seattle Pacific program on a full-time basis as head men's soccer coach, Athletic Director Jackson Stava announced Tuesday.
Sakuda, 41, assumed the head men's position on an interim basis in late July after Mark Collings left the Falcons to become an assistant coach at the University of Washington.
He made a strong case for Stava to remove the interim title.
Sakuda was honored as the 2021 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after directing SPU to a 12-4-2 record and the school's first national playoff berth in six seasons. His Falcons compiled a 6-2-2 league ledger, capturing their first GNAC championship since 2015.

"I feel fortunate that I got to be a part of the team this year, and now get to continue coaching them," Sakuda said. "I'm excited. It's obviously an honor to step into this role without the interim tag.
"I understand just how much history there is in this program and what being the head coach of that represents. I'm very aware of the responsibility that comes with this and it's an honor for me to continue the tradition of the coaches that have been here before me."
The SPU men earned the No. 9 seed in the West Region, suffering a 1-0 setback in a first-round matchup with No. 8 Colorado State-Pueblo. They featured GNAC Player of the Year Alex Mejia, who produced a league-high 14 goals, and conference Defensive Player of the Year Lars Helleren.
Prior to his interim men's coaching assignment, Sakuda served six years on the SPU women's soccer staff under Arby Busey. He was a volunteer assistant coach in 2015 and 2016 before being elevated to lead assistant in the spring of 2017.
From his assistant coaching post between 2015 and 2020, Sakuda helped the women's team compile an impressive 67-31-9 record and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
He joined the coaching profession after a successful playing career.
Sakuda had a nine-year run in the professional ranks, including six seasons with United Soccer Leagues version of the Seattle Sounders before that club made the move to Major League Soccer.
A product of Mission San Jose (Calif.) High School, Sakuda lettered four years on the Duke University men's soccer squad before graduating in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in psychology, along with a Markets and Management certificate.
He was selected by San Jose in the third round, the 39th pick overall, of the 2002 MLS SuperDraft.
Sakuda made 148 appearances as a defender with the USL from 2003-08. He played with the Montreal Impact in 2009 and the Austin Aztex in 2009-10.
He also played in the Major Indoor Soccer League from 2002-05 with the San Diego Sockers.
Sakuda is only the fourth coach in the 54-year history of the program. That list includes the two-year stint of inaugural coach Arnie Aizstrauts, who served from 1968-69, 38 years of Cliff McCrath (1970-2007) and 13 seasons of Collings (2008-20).
Stava was pleased to make Sakuda's head coaching position permanent.
"I am thrilled to have Coach Kevin Sakuda in the full-time role of head men's soccer coach at Seattle Pacific University. Not only did the results on the field speak for themselves, but the overwhelming response from his student-athletes spoke volumes that he is the leader we need for this program moving forward."
Sakuda has a United States Soccer Federation National "A" coaching license. He is married to Megan Sakuda and they have a 2-year-old daughter, Sloane.
"It was a true pleasure this year to watch Kevin step into this role," Stava added. "His approachability, desire for holistic development, love of SPU and care for each student was evident and made this a very easy decision. I am excited for many years of Kevin, Meg, and Sloane being part of the SPU Family."