For Giuseppe “Joe” DePalo, soccer is more than just a game. The NSU men’s soccer coach has led the Sharks’ program since 1999. DePalo is a native of Milan, Italy and attended Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, helping their soccer team reach the Division II tournament in 1993 and 1994.
DePalo came to NSU in 1999, a year after he was an assistant coach for the 1998 Florida Sun Conference Championship team, Embry-Riddle University. Once DePalo was at NSU, it did not take him long to find success. In both 2000 and 2001, he led the Sharks to finish nationally ranked in the final NSCAA poll of the season.
Building on his early success, DePalo only needed four years to have won the most games in NSU history. DePalo focuses on more than just the short term success of his program; he wants to build it into a stronger program overall.
Midfielder Andrea Spuntarelli, sophomore said, “He told me that he wanted to build a good soccer program, not only for this year, but next year. He made me interested in a new project.”
Coach DePalo brings a balanced style of coaching to the program. According to his players, he is not the type of coach that screams at the players for every wrong move. But he is also not the type of coach that sits back and doesn’t care.
Defender Nicola Brivio, freshman, said, “He is a balance between the two. He helps you work, but at the same time he is able to make you understand in the right way. He’s a great communicator.”
DePalo not only wants to build the school’s soccer program, but also wants to maintain a high level of academics for the school.
Spuntarelli said, “He sold me on the school’s academics first. We get an email every week to remind us to go to study hall. When he sees me around, he asks how I am doing with classes and what grades I got.”
His players speak highly of DePalo, not only as a coach, but on a personal level. Spuntarelli and Brivio agreed that he is always there for his team and is very caring.
Brivio said, “He’s not just a coach, but a man you could talk to with no problems. He’s a confidential guy.”