Assistant Coach and Scouting Coordinator - Jake DeClute
Birthplace - Wheaton, Illinois
Hometown - Wheaton, Illinois
Citizenship - American
Seasons with Whitecaps FC - 2012
Acquired - 2011.01.20
Previous Club - Gordon College (NCAA Division III)
An experienced coach in the college and professional ranks, Jake DeClute joined Whitecaps FC as assistant coach and scouting coordinator on January 20, 2012.
DeClute comes to the Major League Soccer outfit after serving as the men’s team head coach at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, from 2007 to 2011. During his five seasons with the Fighting Scots, the native of Wheaton, Illinois, helped build a highly respected national-calibre program at the NCAA Division III school. This included leading the Fighting Scots to The Commonwealth Coast Conference championship title in 2010.
In addition to coaching at the college level, DeClute has previously worked as an assistant coach for current Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. In 2010, DeClute assisted Rennie in guiding Carolina RailHawks to the NASL Conference title in the United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Professional League (USSF D-2) with a record of 13W-9L-8D. Carolina then earned their first playoff win and won their first playoff series in club history that season before advancing to the USSF D-2 championship series, where they fell 3-1 on aggregate to Puerto Rico Islanders.
Both Rennie and DeClute initially joined the RailHawks coaching staff for the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) campaign, where the pair helped the North Carolina outfit to a second-place finish in the USL-1 standings with a record of 16W-7L-7D. The RailHawks earned a berth in the USL-1 playoff quarterfinals, where they fell 1-0 on aggregate to Whitecaps FC. That season, Carolina also established new club records for wins, points, shutouts, goals scored, goals allowed, and the longest winning streak.
In 2005, DeClute assisted Rennie at Cascade Surge in the USL Premier Development League (PDL). With a 12W-2L-2D record, the Surge placed sixth overall in the 54-club PDL that season, with the Oregon-based outfit finishing top in the Northwest Division of the PDL’s Western Conference, and earning the league's Fair Play award. It was in 2005 that Cascade qualified for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the only time in club history.
An alumnus of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, DeClute began his coaching career at the school in 2001 and under the tutelage of then head coach Joe Bean, who was at the helm of the Thunder in NCAA Division III for 38 seasons, and remains the winningest head coach at any level in American college men’s soccer history. As Bean’s top assistant coach for six years, DeClute helped the Thunder to the NCAA Division III championship title in 2006 and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) number-two ranking.
Prior to starting his career in coaching, DeClute had a successful four-year playing career at Wheaton, where he served as captain of the Thunder for two years. He was a vital member of their 1997 NCAA Division III championship side that amassed a record of 24W-0L-1D. Additionally, he was a key member of the Thunder squad that went undefeated in 66 consecutive matches by 1999. He is 12th on Wheaton’s all-time career assists list with 22. He also played for Chicago Fire Reserves and Chicago Eagles in the PDL.
Off the pitch, DeClute holds an undergraduate degree in Christian education, and a graduate degree in biblical studies, from Wheaton. He also holds a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) 'A' Coaching Licence with the Irish Football Association in Northern Ireland.
DeClute is married to wife Erin.