Barboto, who built the Iona College Gaels into one of the top Division I mens soccer programs in the area, will lead mens soccer at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Lenny Kaplan announced today.
In announcing the appointment of Barboto as NJITs fourth head mens soccer coach in the programs Division I era, Kaplan said: Fernando is a proven Division I head coach with New Jersey roots, who is respected throughout the region for the program he has built at Iona. We are pleased that he will guide our program and we look forward to a successful future with him as our coach in the years to come.
Under Barboto, who completed his 13th season at Iona in November 2015, the Gaels have become a perennial top contender in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Starting in 2008, when Iona posted a record of 11-6-1, the Gaels have reached double-digit wins totals in five of the past eight seasons. They finished 2015 at 10-7-3 overall and 5-3-2 in the MAAC.
In that same eight-year period, Barbotos Gaels have had just one sub-.500 record and that was in 2012, when they finished 7-11 overall, including two close non-conference losses against teams ranked in the Top Six nationally. Iona was 5-2 in MAAC games that season.
Headlining Ionas run of double-digit seasons, the Gaels posted an overall record of 14-2-3 in 2009, earning MAAC Coach of the Year honors for Barboto, and then went 15-4-1 two year later in 2011.
Not surprisingly, given his teams success, Barboto has helped mold several players who went on to professional soccer, including three in Major League Soccer: Franklin Castellanos (New York Red Bulls); Ignacio Maganto (LA Galaxy); and, Victor Munoz (Sporting Kansas City).
Castellanos was MAAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2013, Maganto took the same honor in 2014, and Marcos Nunez made it three Iona players in a row named MAAC Offensive Player of the Year when he brought home the award in 2015. In doing so, it marked the second time in NCAA Division I history that the same program has had three-straight conference Offensive Players of the Year with a different player winning the honor each time.
Iona under Barboto has had numerous conference award winners. In 2013 alone, the Gaels had five All-MAAC honorees, as well as three NSCAA All-Region selections, and 12 MAAC All-Academic picks.
Im excited about the chance to come to NJIT and build a strong program, said Barboto, who met his new team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon. In meeting with Lenny (Kaplan) and the rest of the people here, I can tell this is a school and department that cares about its mens soccer program, he said. NJIT is a great academic institution that has the resources to create a winning environment.
This is an exciting time to be coming here with a new facility (a new stadium adjoining NJITs $100 million dollar Wellness and Events Center, now under construction) and a new conference (Atlantic Sun).
Barbotos recruiting base at Iona has centered around players from the New Jersey/New York metro area, with a sprinkling of international students. He expects to continue that formula at NJIT.
A 1994 graduate of New Jerseys Montclair State University, Barboto first became a Division I head coach at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA, in 2000.
At Saint Francis, Barboto took over a program that had never won more than four conference games in 11 previous seasons. Under Barbotos guidance, the Red Flash topped their best previous conference record, winning five league games in each of his first two seasons.
He took the helm at Iona in 2003, inheriting a program that had gone winless in 20 matches in 2002. Barbotos first season at the New Rochelle, NY, college produced five wins. He then guided the program to steady progress, getting a winning record of 7-6-5 in 2006, then 8 wins in 2007, before the breakthrough to 11 victories in 2008.
Including that breakthrough season in 2008, Ionas record under Barboto is 85-52-15 over the last eight years.
In conference games, Iona finished on the winning side of the ledger every season from 2006 through 2015. In his 13 seasons at Iona, Barbotos teams were a combined 65-43-10 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games and his conference record at Saint Francis, which competes in the Northeast Conference, was 13-11-3 in three seasons.
His overall record at Iona, including the building years, was 116-103-27 in 13 seasons. His overall record as a Division I head coach is 133-134-34 in 16 seasons.
Coming to NJIT represents a move closer to home for Barboto, who resides in Cresskill, NJ, with his wife, Betina, and their sons Maximus and Tristan, and daughter Valentina.
As an undergraduate at Montclair State, Fernando Barboto was a four-year letter winner and was National Soccer Coaches Association All-America as senior playing for the perennial Division III powerhouse.
He went on to play six professional seasons with the North Jersey Imperials of the United Soccer League.
He began coaching as head coach of the womens soccer team at Montclair State, a position he held from 1995 through 1998.
Leaving his alma mater, Barboto signed on as an assistant mens coach at Lafayette, where he helped the Leopards win two straight Patriot League championships. He went from Lafayette to become head coach at Saint Francis.
At NJIT, Barboto takes over a program that has achieved a measure of success in recent years, earning Top 10 Regional ranking in 2012, finishing eighth in NSCAA North Atlantic Region that year. The 2014 Highlanders were ranked in the NSCAA Southeast Region for seven weeks, as well.
That year, they defeated #22 Navy and followed that in 2015 with a win over #22 St. Francis Brooklyn. NJITs final 2015 record was 5-10-4.
NJIT mens soccer will play its first season as a member of the schools new multi-sport conference, the Atlantic Sun, beginning in 2016.
Mens soccer is NJITs most decorated team over the years, with the schools only national championship in any sport and 12 different players recognized as All-Americans between 1960 and 1983.
Known as Newark College of Engineering until the 1970s, the schools national championship was won by mens soccer in 1960, when the team was champion of the small-college National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The 1961 Highlanders also reached the NAIA championship game in 1961.
Later, they were the first NJIT team to make the move up to NCAA Division I, playing their first schedule in 2004 and becoming postseason-eligible in 2005.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New Jersey Institute of Technology