Maryville College

Maryville College Athletics
502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy Maryville, TN 37804
Division 3 Tennessee Southeast
Private Small National competitor


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Pepe Fernandez

Maryville College head coach Pepe Fernandez continues a remarkable dual career in charge of the Scots soccer programs on both the men's and women's side.

Fernandez came to Maryville in 1989. Since that fortunate moment for Maryville Athletics, Fernandez has combined to win nearly 800 matches over his 33 collegiate seasons. He has led the women's and men's programs to several national rankings and 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance by the 2005 men's squad. Both teams have consistently ranked in the top 10 in the South and have had more than 50 All-South players and six All-Americans.

Six-Time Coach of the Year

With Maryville's venture into the Collegiate Conference of the South, Fernandez completed his USA South coaching career with a combined conference record of 146-35-14 from 2012-21. He was named the USA South Coach of the Year a combined six times between the men and the women: 2013, 2018 and 2019 for the women, and 2016, 2017 and 2021 for the men. Fernandez led the women's squad to USA South tournament titles in 2014 and 2019, while leading the men's squad to the 2016 and 2018 USA South tournament crowns.

During the program's Great South Athletic Conference days from 2000-11, Fernandez coached the Scots to a combined conference regular season record of 165-7-6. Included was a remarkable 65-5-3 record on the men's side and an even more outstanding 100-2-3 mark for the women. The Scots under Fernandez won the Great South women's tournament 10 times and the men's tournament another seven times.

Fernandez is a Franklin native who attended Father Ryan High School in Nashville. He played for the Franklin Express Soccer Club in Williamson County and then played his collegiate soccer at Tennessee Wesleyan College. He excelled for the Bulldogs, earned the captain's armband for three years, All-Conference for four years, All-South for four years, and NAIA All-American for two years. He graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan in 1985 and earned his master's degree from Lincoln Memorial University in 1990.

His coaching career began in 1985 as an assistant coach at UT Chattanooga. He soon moved to Hixson High School, where he took the Wildcats to the state championship game in 1986 and had an undefeated regular season in 1987. That fall, he accepted a coaching position at Notre Dame High School, guiding the Lady Irish to the state semifinals in 1987 and then a state championship in 1988. His boys team made the regional final and regional semifinals.

Fernandez in addition to his coaching also played for two seasons in the USISL for the Knoxville Impact, serving one year as head coach. He previously served as a state head coach for the Tennessee Olympic Development Program, and he holds the NSCAA National, Advanced National, and Premier Diplomas and is a USSF-certified coach.

Fernandez was inducted into the Tennessee Wesleyan Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Maryville College Wall of Fame in 2011.

He lives in Maryville with his wife, Fran. They are the proud parents of two sons, Marc and Chris -- both Maryville College graduates -- and three grandsons, Landon, Ethan and Charlie.

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Jon Baker

Jon Baker began his Maryville College assistant soccer coaching tenure in 2000. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2009.

For his efforts with the Scots, Baker was honored with induction into the Maryville College Athletics Wall of Fame in fall 2021.

Baker hails from the town of Billingham in the northeast of England, and it was there that his coaching career began in 1993 as a soccer development officer in the Middlesbrough area. During this time, Baker also played semi-professional soccer for three years. He moved to the United States in 1995 to attend and play soccer at Tennessee Wesleyan College. During his time in Athens, he was a captain for two years and an All-Conference selection for three years from 1995-98.

Baker graduated from TWC with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with Teacher Licensure. After graduation, Baker was the assistant coach for both the men and women’s soccer teams at Tennessee Wesleyan for the 1999 season.

In the summer of 2000, Baker moved to Maryville to accept the position of assistant men and women’s soccer coach.

During his time with the Scots men’s program, they have had an overall record of 272 wins, 109 losses and 31 ties. The men have won 14 regular season conference titles, eight conference tournament titles, and made three NCAA tournament appearances, including 2005 when the Scots reached the “Sweet 16.” Baker has coached 61 All-Conference players, 25 All-South Region players, two All-Americans and six Academic All-Americans.

On the women’s side, Baker has coached the Scots to an overall record of 276 wins, 102 losses and 26 ties. The women have won 15 regular season conference titles, 11 conference tournament titles, and 10 NCAA tournament appearances. Baker has coached 66 All-Conference players, 16 All-South Region players, and two Academic All-Americans. He also aided MC's Shannon Reagan to become MC's first CoSIDA Academic All-America Division III Team Member of the Year and the Scots' first NCAA Post-graduate Scholarship winner. Reagan was named the 2020 USA South Rita Wiggs Woman of the Year.

Baker holds coaching licenses from both England and the United States. He holds his English Football Association Coaching, Teaching and Treatment of Injury certificates from the English Football Association, and the NSCAA National, and Advanced National Diplomas from the United States. In addition to his coaching duties at Maryville College, Baker also has been a member of the coaching staff for the Tennessee Olympic Development Program for the past 17 years.

He lives in Maryville with his wife, Amy, and daughters Julianna and Emma.

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John LaCava

John LaCava ’81 has worked with the Scots' soccer teams as a part-time or fulltime assistant coach since 1993.

For his service as a student-athlete and coach, LaCava was a 2020 inductee into the Maryville College Wall of Fame.

He began coaching as an Assistant Boys coach at Sevier County High School and South-Doyle High School before he became the Head Boys Coach at Farragut High School in 1991. He led the Admirals to three Regional championships, two final four appearances, and compiled a 48-13-4 record in his three-year tenure at the school.

LaCava became the full-time men's and women's assistant at MC from 1994 until 2000.

He is presently a teacher in the Maryville City School System where he is a specialist in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

LaCava was a two-sport letterman at Maryville College, where he graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in 1981. He was a two-time All-South wrestler, and he was the captain of the first varsity soccer team at MC. He received his Masters Degree in Special Education from the University of Tennessee in 1998.

He is married to Carol Carter (Class of '82), and they have two sons, Alex and Carter.

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Joseph Pinkston

Joseph Pinkston joined Maryville College as an assistant soccer coach in August 2022.

Pinkston played four years for the Scots, helping Maryville to a pair of conference championships before graduating in 2014. The Scots during Pinkston's four seasons went a combined 41-25-8 overall and 15-7-2 in conference play.

Pinkston was the head varsity girls soccer coach for seven years at his high school alma mater, Pisgah High, in his hometown of Canton, North Carolina. He was the 2018 and 2019 Mountain Six Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and the 2022 North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Region Coach of the Year.

He has his U.S. Soccer Federation D License, and he is an International Sport Science Association Certified Sport Performance Enhancement Specialist.

Pinkson and his wife, the former Mallory Bonee of Powell, have a daughter, Avery. Mallory played on the Maryville College volleyball team from 2011-14. His brother, Luke, plays on the Scots football team and his sister-in-law, Meredith Bonee, plays for the Scots volleyball team.

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