14th Season at JCCC
Entering his 14th season as Cavaliers head coach, Fatai Ayoade continues to elevate the national profile of Johnson County Community College men’s soccer. A former long-time Cavaliers assistant coach, Ayoade was named the fifth coach of the JCCC program in July, 2000, after veteran coach Jim Schwab decided to end his 10-year career to focus only on the women’s program.
Under Ayoade’s tutelage, the Cavaliers have won two Region VI titles and three Kansas Jayhawk Conference championships. His first conference title came in 2003, the first season the KJCCC recognized a regular season champion. He followed with a second title in 2004, and captured his third last year, leading his squad to a 9-0-1 conference mark. Ayoade guided JCCC to two of the program’s three NJCAA National Tournament appearances, leading the 2001 squad to a third place finish and the 2004 team placed fifth.
During his 13 seasons, Ayoade has recorded double-digit victories in 10 seasons, including 2001 when he won 19 during JCCC’s tournament run. Ayoade stands first in school and Region VI history in soccer coaching wins (159) and ranks among the top 10 in the region in winning percentage (.556). In his tenure, the Cavaliers have compiled a 159-106-14 record.
Honors have also come Ayoade’s way. Four times he has been selected the KJCCC/Region VI Coach of the Year. In 2001 and 2004, Ayoade was named the NSCAA/adidas Central Region Coach of the Year, and was a candidate for National Coach of the Year both seasons.
Ayoade’s players have also seen unbelievable success. In 13 seasons as head coach, Ayoade has coached four NJCAA All-Americans, four NJCAA All-Tournament performers, two NSCAA All-Americans, 53 All-Region VI selections and 54 Kansas Jayhawk All-Conference performers. In 2009, JCCC had a record 11 players earn all-conference accolades. Off the field, Ayoade has produced nine NJCAA Academic All-Americans, including three in 2011. He also had two athletes, Brian Wittenborn (2002) and Serkan Sener (2005), selected as JCCC Outstanding Students.
Ayoade entered his first campaign hoping history would repeat itself in the form of win totals he posted as an assistant (1990-1999) at JCCC. The Cavaliers won five Region VI titles, a district title, made the school’s only appearance in the NJCAA tournament, won 156 games and was ranked in the top 20 in the nation every year.
From the outset, it was evident Ayoade would carry on the tradition of success, while establishing a legacy of his own. The Cavaliers finished with a winning mark of 12-9 and captured the Region VI title, the first for the program since 1996. Ayoade’s squad came just one victory away from making the program’s second national tournament appearance, falling to Meramec in the district final. For his efforts, Ayoade was named the Kansas Jayhawk Conference and NJCAA Region VI Coach of the Year. In addition, the 12 wins recorded by Ayoade in his inaugural season match Schwab’s first-year total.
In 2001, Ayoade had his team running on all cylinders. JCCC shutout nine opponents, and held another 12 to one goal. Offensively, Ayoade felt he had enough firepower to carry this team deep into the playoffs, and that proved to be true. JCCC won both the region and district titles, and made the program’s second national tournament appearance. The Cavaliers went on to place third, the program’s highest finish. JCCC posted wins over Meridian and College of DuPage. JCCC’s only loss was in the semifinal match to Bryant & Stratton, who went on to win the national title. The Cavaliers finished with a record of 19-4-3, and Ayoade earned KJCCC/Region VI and NSCAA/adidas Central Region Coach of the Year honors.
In 2002, the JCCC men’s soccer team again proved to be one of the premier programs in the region and country, finishing 14-7 overall, and was an impressive 11-2 in the region. The Cavaliers nearly came away with their third consecutive Region VI title, falling to Barton County 1-0 in the Region VI Championship. With their success, the individual accolades poured in following the 2002 campaign. A record seven players were honored as All-Region VI performers, and Ayoade was selected the co-coach of the year.
The 2003 campaign witnessed the Cavaliers winning the inaugural East Jayhawk Conference title with a 9-1-0 record. However, JCCC’s season ended prematurely by falling to Cloud County 1-nil in the Region VI semifinals and finished the season 14-8-0. In accordance with the team’s regular season success, six JCCC individuals were honored as All-Region VI performers, the second highest total in team history.
In 2004, Ayoade again led his squad to the NJCAA National Tournament, the second of his tenure. However, at one point the season looked bleak as the Cavaliers stood 3-10-1 in early October. JCCC won 11 straight games and along the way captured East Jayhawk Conference, Region VI and Plains District titles. The team capped the year placing fifth in the national tournament, and finished 14-12-1. Two members of the team, Cole Copeland and Duane Kahler, were named to the All-Tournament team. One of the team’s leaders was Wittenborn Sener (Seko), who garnered NJCAA All-American, All-KJCCC and All-Region VI. In addition, Ayoade was selected the KJCCC/Region VI Coach of the Year, an honor he has previously earned two other times. He also garnered NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year accolades.
In 2005, Ayoade guided JCCC to another Region VI title, knocking off nationally ranked and previously unbeaten Barton County in the championship game. JCCC just missed making a second straight appearance at the National Tournament, falling in the District title game to Jefferson College, 1-0.
In 2006, JCCC finished a respectable 7-9-5, but their record did reflect how closely their season could have been a banner year. The Cavaliers had five ties, the most in school history, and lost two overtime games. In the team’s other seven losses, five were one-goal setbacks.
In 2007, JCCC’s record again did not reflect the talent and dedication of the squad. The Cavaliers finished the season 6-13-2, but of their 13 losses, six were by one goal, and four by just two goals. Individually, two players received postseason recognition. Andy Howard earned all-conference accolades, while T.J. Nunemaker garnered all-region honors.
In 2008, expectations were high and JCCC put together a solid regular season, battling to the end for the conference title. The Cavaliers tied for third with a 9-2-0 conference mark, and posted an overall season mark of 13-6-1. Individually, there were several standout performers. A total of nine earned all-conference and six garnered all-region honors. Additionally, Michael Shadfar became the first male soccer player in team history to be selected as a NJCAA Player of the Week.
In 2009, the Cavaliers found their way to the top of the conference standings, posting a perfect 9-0-1 record to claim the program’s third championship. JCCC finished the season 13-6-1 after disappointedly falling in the first round of the region tournament. Despite the team’s setback, a record 11 players were honored as all-conference performers, and five went on to garner all-region accolades. Additionally, goalkeeper Mark Saxby became the second player in team history to be selected as a NJCAA Player of the week.
In 2010, JCCC had its ups and downs and finished with an 11-9-1 mark. JCCC did snap its four-season streak of first round elimination in the region playoffs, qualifying for the semifinals in Topeka. Five players were honored as all-conference performers, and four garnered All-Region VI. The leader of that group was Leandro Pinto, a first-team selection and the team’s second leading scorer.
The 2011 campaign was another up-and-down year with the Cavaleirs finishing 8-8-0, and 6-4-0 in the conference. Three players earned all-conference, and Devin Zvosec, the team's top defender, was named to the All-Region VI team.
Last year, the Cavaliers reached the region title game for the first time since 2007, fallilng to Barton 2-0 to finish the year 11-8-0. Ayoade had sixplayers earn all-conference recognition, and two were selected as All-Region VI performers. Ayoade also reached a milestone during the season by surpassing Jim Schwab as the all-time wins leader in team and conference history.
During his career as a collegiate assistant coach, Ayoade was instrumental in the recruiting effort that has brought in some outstanding talent to the Cavalier soccer program. In his 10 years as an assistant, Ayoade helped six players achieve NJCAA All-American and 43 earn All-Region VI honors. In addition, 10 former Cavaliers have been drafted or signed to professional contracts. Among them are Shawn Beyer, who was named to the NPSL All-Rookie team in 1998, and Carlos Olivas, who played with the Kansas City Attack.
Aside from his recruiting accomplishments, Ayoade’s career includes the development of youth players, through his position as head coach for the Attack club team soccer in Kansas City. In fact, one season, Ayoade had four members on the JCCC squad who played for the Attack club team under his direction. With the help of those four, Ayoade guided his U-16 squad to a national tournament win in Las Vegas. Ayoade coached boys U-15 through U-18 and girls U-13 and U-14.
Before joining Johnson County, Ayoade was the leading scorer at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo. After completing his studies at State Fair, Ayoade transferred to Park College, where he was named to the all-area and all-district first teams. Following his collegiate career, Ayoade was selected to appear in the annual addition of the American College Athletics Hall of Fame. He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer-based information systems. Ayoade earned his master of education in exercise, sports and science at the University of Kansas in 2005.
In 1988, Ayoade attempted to play professionally for the Kansas City Comets of the old MISL. Ayoade was one of the final cuts that season. In addition to his coaching duties, Ayoade serves as a fitness instructor in the Barbara Gill Lifetime Fitness Center, and teaches classes related to the game of soccer.Ayoade, 48, is a native of Lagos, Nigeria. Ayoade and his wife Claudia have a six-year old son, Gavin, and a four-year old son, Cameron.