Nitan Soni (pronounced “nee-tan so-nee”), a veteran of eight seasons of coaching at the collegiate level, was named the new assistant coach for the University of Delaware women’s soccer program in August, 2012.
He will begin his second season as head coach Scott Grzenda's top assistant in 2013. During his first season on the staff, he helped guide the Blue Hens to a winning record of 9-8-1 and a berth in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament quarterfinals.
Soni, who served the previous four seasons as head coach of Delaware State, also had previous coaching stints at Wesley College in Dover, Del. and Temple University since 2005. His primary role at UD is working with the defensive players and assisting in overall program administration, compliance, and recruiting.
“We are extremely happy to have Nitan join us as a coach at the University of Delaware,” said Grzenda in making the announcement. “He brings a wealth of soccer knowledge and an energy that will compliment an already dynamic coaching staff. His experiences at DSU, Temple, and Rutgers as well as his club participation make him a valuable resource for everyone involved in the program.”
“I am thrilled to join the Blue Hen athletic department and the coaching staff of the women’s soccer team,” said Soni. “The expected standard of excellence is obvious throughout the school and the athletic department. I look forward to the opportunity to help promote and preserve that standard with our players. This is an exciting time for the women’s soccer program and I am thankful to be a part of it.”
Soni began his career as an assistant coach and director of men’s soccer operations at Rutgers University in 2004-05 before moving on to Wesley where he served as an assistant for the women’s team in 2005, leading the Wolverines to the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference championship game.
He was the assistant men’s soccer coach at Wesley in 2005-07 where he led the 2006 team to a record of 14-5-1 and its first ever top five regional ranking. The team ranked in the top 10 among all NCAA Division III schools in scoring defense. He then moved on to serve as assistant men’s soccer coach at Temple during the 2007 season before arriving at Delaware State where he posted a four-year mark of 7-58-5 with a new program before stepping down following the 2011 campaign.
In addition to coaching at the college level, Soni also served two tenures as a head coach for Delaware's Youth Olympic Development Program and worked with youth as a professional coach and trainer for the Central Delaware Soccer Association. During his tenure, the association's top team earned its highest ever regional and national ranking and defeated two top 10 nationally ranked teams in 2005. He also serves as director of coaching for the Smyrna Claytons Soccer Club and is a USSF ‘C” licensed coach.
As a player at Middlesex University in London, England, Soni helped lead the team to two league championships (1999 and 2000) and the South Division Cup in 2000. While at Halesowen College (England 16-18), he was a member of a league (1997) and cup championship team (1998). He also competed for several of England's top amateur clubs and from 2003-04 was a midfielder for Kappa USA Real Wyckoff in the semi-pro Garden State League in New Jersey.
Soni earned a joint bachelor's degree in Honor's Media and Cultural Studies & Information Technology from Middlesex University in 2001 and a Master of Arts in Teaching (specialty in math) from Wesley College in 2007. He most recently finished his MBA from Delaware State in the spring of 2011.
Soni and his wife, Amy, have two daughters, Kaitlyn and Ella, and reside in Clayton, Del.