Robinson boys’ soccer Coach Jac Cicala will retire at the end of the season, he said, stepping away after an illustrious career that included 20 seasons and four state titles on the sidelines of Northern Virginia high schools.
Cicala, 58, is retiring after more than 30 years as a teacher in Fairfax County. County rules specify that a retiring teacher must step away from coaching for at least one year before being salaried again.
“A mandates that I leave B, it’s not that I wanted to leave coaching,” said Cicala, the 1989 All-Met Coach of the Year. “I would have loved to stay, but I have to sit out a full year. … It’s very difficult. I’ve loved being at Robinson.”
A member of the Virginia-D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame, Cicala began coaching at Marshall in 1979 and has spent 20 seasons at boys’ soccer programs across the county. In between high school stints, he also spent 12 seasons as a coach of the women’s soccer team at George Mason University.
Cicala led the Patriots to a 139-93-22 mark in his tenure as head coach beginning in 1992, including a berth in the 1993 NCAA championship game. Cicala stepped away from Mason in 2004 as the school’s all-time leader in women’s coaching victories.
Before going to the collegiate level, Cicala coached at Marshall in 1979 and Stuart in 1981. He then landed at Lake Braddock in 1982 and guided the Bruins to four Virginia AAA state championships in nine seasons. The Bruins won titles in 1982, 1983, 1988 and 1989 and Cicala compiled a 104-17-6 record at the Burke school.
After leaving George Mason, Cicala was hired to coach at Centreville in 2004. He led the Wildcats for four seasons before departing to coach Robinson in 2008. Cicala led the Rams to the state championship game in his first season and has the third-ranked Rams (9-2-2) in contention for a state championship run this season.
“This year team has an opportunity to do something special,” Cicala said. “It is as good technically as my first year at Robinson, when I was blessed with a lot of talent, but chemistry here is fantastic. That’s contributed to a lot of successes this season.”
Cicala, who has won national coach of the year honors at the high school, club and collegiate levels, said he plans to continue coaching at the club level, though he is not yet sure which organization.